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Non-Voting Booth


Zago LLC

Designing for apathy 

service provided: 

strategic insight


Fast Company

Trend Hunter


In partnership with the design consultancy Zago, graduate students from SVA’s MFA Products of Design were given the brief to "encourage young people to vote".

Research shows that young people tend not to vote in the U.S. midterm elections. The data also showed that young people who start to vote early in their voting lives are more likely to become habituated to the behavior as they mature. To date little field research had been collected on why millennial’s don’t vote.

Featured on Fast Company and Trend Hunter

For more information on the installation, the work can be found at the accompanying website, which details each of the five rationales, along with a project manifesto and an about section.


 “I Don’t Vote”. A non-voting both concept that collects data on the reasons why young people don’t vote. A campaign was developed to coincide with election day – November 14, 2014. The campaign was grounded in a I Don’t Vote Manifesto, and in an online website and mobile web app, an in-person booth, sticker, and button campaign.


The booth contains a “ballot box” equipped with a recording device, and upon entering, young people have the opportunity to “tell” the ballot box in their own words why they don’t vote. After sharing their thoughts privately, visitors were then offered a selection of stickers from the five available options (or filled in their own with a marker), placing it on the booth in a kind of “live non-voting.” Over the course of the event, every visitor got to have an impact on the finished complexion of the non-voting booth.


In a workshop setting we began to dispel stereotypes of young people and why they don't vote. Then we went and met with real students at four different college campuses in New York City. We then began to create user personas and mapped out the journey for "Casey" our ideal non-voter.

Informed by user research, concepts were formed, user journeys developed and storyboards were written and enacted to convey empathy and the challenge.