SAFEWORD: A platform for artists of all medium. Creative direction for the launch event on May 24, 2019. ︎

South Willamsburg, Brooklyn, New York          
Paul Kheem, Adam Santiago, Kyle Sheth, Spring 2019

Exhibition Design • Experience Design • Event Production • Art Direction • Branding

SAFEWORD is a platform for artists of all medium. Collaborative work of visual artists, musicians and technology professionals is showcased through seasonal exhibitions. The first event was held on May 24, 2019 in Williamsburg, New York, featuring Geotheory, W.Y Huang, Daye Beats, ADAMBOY, Davy Wreck, Pretend Labs, Kyle Sheth and myself. I participated to design their first exhibition.


images by Joe DāJour


The main visual elements of the exhibiton are the following: video, glitch, tech, sci-fi, hidden and industrial. The curation of the images for the promotional materials followed the aesthetics of the brand. The color schemes are Red(#FF0000), Green(#00FF00), and Blue(#0000FF), the three primary colors that form all the images that we see through digital screens. 

Site Visit - 250 S 5th St, Brooklyn, NY

The event was held at an event space in Williamsburg, New York. The focus was on utilizing the given architecture and create a completely different experience from the former events that were held in the space. The unique long floorplan of the event place was not a typical gallery space to exhibit art works. The team sectioned off the space according to the architecture to create different zones for various experiences and reduced all the existing visual elements that did not follow the design language of the brand.

Introduction of the participating artists

Daye Beats, W.Y Huang, Pretend Labs, Geotheory, Kyle Sheth, ADAMBOY, Davy Wreck, Paul Kheem

Line drawings by Paul Kheem, edited by Kyle sheth

Projection Mapping

The three arches that are part of the building structure was utilized as a screen to map projection. The visuals corresponded to the music that was performed throughout the event.


Installation- Infinity Tunnel

Installation by Kyle Sheth

Infinity Tunnel is an installation by the featured visual artist, Kyle Sheth. By projecting on mesh screens that are tied on to the black frames, it creates a parallel effect that the audience can enter and immerse themselves.

Virtual Reality Experience

Pretend Labs

Primary focus of the event was to give value to the end-users by providing them with digital takeaways. VR portrait experience was operated by Pretend Labs, an experiential design studio based in New York City specializng in the intersection between emerging technologies, brands and culture.


Preparation of the event required setting up audio equipments, visual installations, projectors and lighting for the venue. 


Cone Bench: An outdoor bench assembled using traffic cones in varying orientations. Reinterpreting an everyday object through it’s structural and sculptural quality. ︎trafficcones.archive

Pratt Institute, Brooklyn Museum           
Paul Kheem, Fall 2018

Furniture Design • Product Engineering • Prototyping

63” x 10.5” x 18.5”
HDPE, Marine-grade Plywood, Traffic Cones



Aside from its vibrant color, traffic cones have interesting forms that can be stacked and laid out geometrically. Also, its bottom can be structurally beneficial to be attached to a different material. 

Structural Quality

Cones can distribute weight very well and also resist tensile stress when it is laid in an intersecting zig-zag format, which worked as a cross beam for the bench. 

Making Process

Interlocking Plywood, Brass inserts and CNC milled UV protective HDPE. The CNC milled circular plates structurally bond with the bottom structure of the traffic cones.

Cone Bench is installed in the Brooklyn Museum backyard. (June, 2019 - Sept, 2019)


Point Arena: A modern pendant light inspired by a lighthouse in Mendocino County, California. With an upward facing light, it creates its own medallion-like pattern on the ceiling through refraction of light.

Pratt Institute New York           
Paul Kheem, Spring 2018

Lighting Design • Product Engineering

Point Arena creates a medalion-like pattern on the ceiling by refraction of light. It does not require as much material as a conventional chandelier while having the same presence. Point Arena keeps its visual weight while significantly reducing its physical weight.


Point Arena lighthouse was the first place to use a lens developed by French physicist and engineer Augustin-Jean Fresnel in the 1820s. The lens was developed to focus and project light much further without taking too much space in comparison to conventional lenses. Point Arena is an homage to this invention.




Chitosan Biopalstics: Durable, biodegradable and recyclable material that is made from crustacean shell waste. A research project done in collaboration with Ronny Haberer to discover reliable source for plastic alternative.

Pratt Institute, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum            
Paul Kheem, Ronny Haberer, Fall 2017

Material Research • Sustainable Design • Packaging Design • Product Engineering


A boy swims through Manila Bay collecting recyclable plastic waste. Image shows the seriousness of marine pollution.   © Reuters

The oceans face a massive and growing threat from something you encounter everyday: plastics. An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year—this is roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the oceans every minute.


Sheet molded in repetitive hexagonal pattern, Chitosan 12%, Acidity 3%, Additives 0%, Cure time 48hrs.

Making Process

Production Experiments

Recycling Experiment

Scrap materials from different experiments reconstituted into new material in 72 hours. Every piece had a different cure time, acidity and ratio of the components.

Experimented Tools


Chitosan Powder Calcium Citrus
Calcium Carbonate
Silk Protein

Apple Cider Vinegar
(5% acidity)
White Vinegar
(5% acidity)
Distilled Water


Triple Beam Balance Oven / Microwave
Laser Printer



Laser-cut Acrylic
3d printed PLA Plasticine

Conclusion on Production

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Dec 2017

Chitosan Bioplastics has an issue of warping and shrinking which makes it difficult for industrial use. Through our experiments, we figured out a way to control these issues by structure and additives. Chitosan Bioplastic biodegrades in two weeks while plastic takes more than 450 years. In addition, chitin is an abundant resource that is not utilized enough. Every year, 100 billion tons of chitin are produced in nature which is 400 times more than plastic usage. So far, we have succeeded with producing sheet, solid and foam materials. It can replace plastic bags and long-term use plastic products such as electronics. Because it is a water-based material, it does not solidify in an enclosed mold. The next step for Chitosan Bioplastics is to experiment with injection molding with a ventilation system.

Paul Kheem Design

Brooklyn, NY.