Ida C. Benedetto | About

Ida C. Benedetto

I believe in storytelling, empathy, and adventure. They spark the creativity to make us better people and a better society. As an experience designer, I will get you doing and discovering things you might not otherwise. I’m often at the helm of a fair bit of creative chaos, be it with a film collective of AIDS orphans in Ethiopia or a punk rock video game gallery in New York City. I accentuate potential for the sake of greater impact and stability. My creative roots lie in documentary photography, and my current work involves games and real world adventures.

Currently

As a Senior Designer at SYPartners, I create systems of human-led, purpose-driven transformation at the individual and organizational level to propagate large-scale, positive impact in society.

Independently, I’m exploring the design of transformative social experiences by comparing sex parties, funerals, and wilderness trips. The research started through graduate work at the School of Visual Arts’ Design Research Program and is now supported through a research residency at NEW INC.

I advise documentary and educational organizations, including The Heart Radio, a podcast about love and intimacy on the Radiotopia network, Photography, Expanded, an initiative of the Magnum Foundation to inspire documentary photographers to extend their storytelling practice beyond the still image, and The School for Poetic Computation, an artist-run school about the intersection of code, design, hardware, and theory.

I give talks at venues like the Tribeca Film Festival and Businessweek’s Design Conference, and I teach for organizations like the Virginia Commonwealth University and the VR DevLab by Oculus & Kaleidoscope.

Formerly

I co­-founded two design practices: Sextantworks, which orchestrated adventures in places you aren’t supposed to be, and Antidote Games, which creates playful experiences for understanding complex realities.

Sextantworks functioned like a mix between a design studio and a Burning Man camp, creating dozens of site-specific adventures in New York City and abroad over the course of nearly four years. I organized the inspired exploits of intrepid underground creatives into a design methodology that drilled into the historic nature of unloved and overlooked places. We transformed people’s sense of risk and possibility in the built environment. We garnered a fair bit of attention in the press, attracting high-end, private commissions, among other client work.

Antidote Games caters to humanitarian organizations and NGOs like the International Federation of the Red Cross, the African Climate Change Resilience Network, and the Innocence Project, making games that convey unfamiliar realities so players can understand why people make the decisions that they do. I worked with Antidote for the first two years of its existence, leading client relations and establishing the design workflow.

Before founding Antidote and Sextantworks, I traveled compulsively doing documentary projects and collaborative media production in Guatemala, India, and Brazil, and pursued a Fulbright-funded project in Ethiopia.

As for schooling, I have an MA in Design Research from the School of Visual Arts, a BFA in Design & Technology from Parsons, and a BA in History from The New School University.

Of all my accomplishments, few will top being voted “Most Likely to Discover Time Travel” by my junior high classmates.

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© 2006 - Ida C. Benedetto and/or respective collaborators