"Why Work?" is an exhibition concept co-designed by student curators at Johns Hopkins University and student environmental designers at MICA. Intended for display in a small room for rotating exhibits at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, the exhibit was briefed by the curatorial team as an exploration of what motivates people to work in the city of Baltimore.
Johns Hopkins students initially met the designers with a rough concept and loose body of content, and requested that each designer develop a unique concept proposal based on their input. This concept pairs material from the museum team with census data, and frames an image of "Baltimore then and now" to explain how de-industrialization, population change and suburbanization have affected the labor experience in Baltimore. A large aggregate interaction allows viewers to participate in a data visualization of basic opinions on work while also providing individual feedback.