Client: Phoenix Arts and Innovation District
Location: Jacksonville, FL, United States
Completion date: 2022
JacksInJax is an interactive treasure hunt mural meant to engage the public and encourage them to visit and explore the neighborhood. Featuring puzzles and clues embedded in the imagery, the mural works in conjunction with the website jacksinjax.com, where the public can input answers and receive new clues. Along the way, prizes are awarded including gift cards and certificates to local businesses, all of which culminated in a cash award to the first player to solve all of the clues.
The mural itself is 13 feet tall by 30 feet wide and included a custom engineered device hidden in the downspout of the wall that delivered the grand prize to the winner. Connected via a mobile hotspot to a custom web interface, the device released $500 in gold coins once a NFC tag was trigger by a user on site.
The Phoenix Arts and Innovation District is a project by the team at Future of Cities, who seek to co-create a community with artists, residents, cultural instigators and change makers in Jacksonville, Florida. This project was the first step in the complete rehabilitation of the neighborhood and was used as a catalyst for encouraging the public to visit the area and engage in the decision making process for the types of things that will be included in future stages of development.
This project was a collaboration between the artist, a team of engineers/programmers, and the Friends of Phoenix, a non-profit who's goal is to sustainably build equity in the community, and provide a platform for business incubation and innovation in Jacksonville’s Springfield neighborhood.
The first step in designing this project was to develop a set of clues and answers that lead to a final event, similar to an escape room. That set of clues was then worked into visual elements to be represented in a mural, adding in bits of misinformation and clues that do not apply in order to disguise some of the answers. Once the imagery was finalized, a device was engineered to drop the prize money at the end of the game and a corresponding website was developed for players to input their answers and receive new clues. The device, which was hidden inside the downspout on the wall, was connected to the website using a mobile hotspot so it could be triggered to deploy once a user input the final answer.
A marketing campaign was then developed to build curiosity around the project by advertising the website, which used GPS coordinates to direct people to the location of the mural, parts of which encouraged visitors to explore the neighborhood searching for more clues.
This JacksInJax project succeeded in promoting the Phoenix Arts and Innovation District and their redevelopment process. The game engaged over 1300 players, and awarded over $2,500 in cash and prizes. Multiple community engagement meetings were subsequently scheduled around the promotion of this project, with interactive stations set up to allow the public to provide input into what additional amenities and ideas they would like to see incorporated into future stages of the development.