ESSENCE And Toyota Turned Brooklyn, NY Into A Virtual AfroFuturistic Playground With #SensoryWonderland Event

Mel D. Cole

Rachaell Davis Dec, 11, 2017

It was an experience like no other on Saturday, December 9 as hundreds of attendees poured into Brooklyn, New York for the first-ever ESSENCE Sensory Wonderland pop up exhibit.

Partnering with Toyota, ESSENCE transformed The Villan event space in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood into a visually stimulating interactive playground carefully curated to activate the senses felt when jumping behind the wheel of the new 2018 Toyota Camry.

Mel D. Cole

The HUNGER exhibit featured an illuminated mobile art-piece hung carefully in the center of the venue that drew all the guests to desirable items just out of arm’s reach.   

In the BOOM room, visitors were invited to find a free drum and contribute to the booming rhythm that lured in the next group of eager guests.  

Nader Hilmi

The LUST room was entirely drenched with velvet drapery suspended at multiple anchor points and enclosed guests in lush surroundings that could only be escaped using one’s heightened sense of touch.   

Mel D. Cole

The THROB room, a favorite of many attendees, featured stark white walls with a life-sized heart hanging in the center that throbbed to the beat of the music to create a rhythmic monitor experience on the surrounding walls.

Mel D. Cole

The PULSE room was lined with chrome pipe graphics and engine sounds intended to simulate the experience within an engine and allow guests to lean in for a closer listen.    

Mel D. Cole

In the DROOL room, guests got behind the wheel and experienced an exhilarating multi-sensory 360° audio/visual journey while seated in the all-new Toyota Camry. During their experience, Lightwave technology analyzes real-time emotion data to create unique, personalized biometric data portraits that showed the raw emotion and unfiltered excitement of their journey. 

Mel D. Cole

The day-long pop up event also featured performances from several artists in various genres who fearlessly push the envelope beyond the realm of possibilities with their unique sound. 

For attendee Parrish Mitchell, the best part of the experience was the utopian atmosphere and energy present throughout the event. “What I enjoyed about the event was the essence that the people brought to it,” he tells ESSENCE. “Despite all the worries and problems going on outside the doors of the Senosry Wonderland, stepping inside, you would think everything was perfect. And Ms. Lennox was the icing on the cake.”

Mel D. Cole

Suzi Analogue and Lion Babe kept the crowd moving with eclectic DJ Sets throughout the day, while Sharaya J, Young Paris and 2017 ESSENCE Festival performer Ari Lennox each lit up the stage to the tune of their latest music.

Check out the photos above to get a peek at everything you missed.