Everything is OK began as a simple project in our design studio. Faced with the mounting inequities in our world and culture, we set out to assemble a list of resources that would point people toward positive action. We launched a simple website (everythingisok.com) as a means of sharing these links. To promote the site, we created barricade tape with the incongruous message "everything is ok."
The tape was first deployed during the 2006 US election, and then again during a massive pillow fight in San Francisco.
The response to the tape was overwhelming, and we quickly realized that people were more interested in the tool we had created than the project it was designed to promote. It started showing up in design annuals, museum collections, books and blogs. People started writing to us asking for tape of their own. Gradually, we became interested in exploring the possibilities represented by this intersection of design, art and activism.
We read "Everything is OK" as both an affirmative phrase and a condemning indictment of mediocrity — a tension that is amplified when delivered through the cautionary medium of barricade tape. Once deployed, the message takes on additional layers of meaning as it becomes an interactive caption, modifying spaces, objects and events.
While we continue to produce and distribute the signature tape, the project has expanded to include other artifacts. In 2009 we created a conceptual storefront for the San Francisco Arts Commission, and we have begun producing a series of posters from various artists, each offering their unique take on the phrase.
The Short Story
Everything is OK.
The Video Story
A short video interview from our friends at UnFocused.