Portals are interconnected, immersive audiovisual environments. They come in multiple forms including free-standing modules in rooms, repurposed shipping containers, inflatables, and custom structures.
When you enter one Portal, you come face to face with someone in a distant Portal and can speak to them live, as if in the same room.
Shared_Studios maintains a network of Portals around the world and connects these spaces to one another for dialogues, performances, and collaborative activities. These connections build familiarity, empathy, and understanding between communities.
Permanent Portals exist in a wide range of environments, including enterprises, universities, schools, refugee sites, cultural centers, public parks and more. Temporary Portals also pop-up at events.
Portals have been activated in numerous ways, ranging from casual conversations to co-taught classes, language immersion, policy dialogues, recruiting, innovation, and more.
Portals are very easy to turn on with a simple QR code.
We have remarkable technology at our fingertips today, but too often this technology drives us deeper into our own closed communities. We connect with those we already know and read articles that resonate with our own worldview.
Portals counteract these phenomena. They combine the connective potential of the internet with the intimacy of a face-to-face conversation, and provide the opportunity to connect with someone new.
Whether separated by distance, perceived difference, or both, Portals bring people together for intentional and meaningful conversations. Portals provide participants an opportunity, a reason, and a context to share a space and experience. Participants can step outside of their comfort zones and speak openly with strangers, simultaneously reshaping their own beliefs and rediscovering how to walk in someone else’s shoes.
We are building a global civic infrastructure. Our aim is to link communities around the world through a network of thousands of Portals. This network of immersive spaces will become a public square for the 21st century where people everywhere can share their stories, learn from one another, and collaborate.
All Portals are staffed by local community members called Curators who operate the Portal and facilitate conversations between Portal participants. At sites where English is not the primary local language, Curators are responsible for translating from local languages to English or vice-versa.
Curators connect the Portal to the world and to their local community. They staff the Portal and are present for all connections where they translate, support, and facilitate encounters in the Portal to make sure all participants are comfortable and engaged.
In the months leading up to a Portal placement, Shared_Studios works with the host site and stakeholders from the surrounding community to develop a Portal schedule.
We factor in domestic and international sites of interest; local site operation and logistics; and the variety and frequency of programming. Each Portal schedule is tailored to the site, ensuring that all sites engage the global network in a way that is relevant and interesting to them.
While it is possible for multiple Portals to connect to one another at once, we do not recommend this because the Portal experience is built around point-to-point connections that give participants the feeling of sharing the same room.
Instead, we recommend scheduling back to back connections with different sites in sequence.