Student Project
March 2014

The Care Package Campaign is a handmade design project that functions as interventionist art—a social experiment exploring the boundaries of creative community via collaboration with strangers. It was originally inspired by a project with a friend where we exchanged writing and images over the course of five weeks during a class we took at the University of Florida.

I began to wonder if I could collaborate with strangers in a similar way. I had an idea: I would assemble 20 care packages to leave in public spaces—including objects I found (like toy army men), made (like collage), or might want to find (money, pens). Each package consisted of a variety of different handmade and found objects from trinkets to framed hand drawn illustrations. Every package also included one dollar, and a blank letter with a stamped envelope.

My hope was that when (or if) my packages were found, that these individuals would appreciate the surprise even if they disposed of the entirety of the package. And one or two people, if so moved, would respond with a care package back to me or someone else.

As it turns out, I had a 15% response rate. Out of 20 packages, I received emails from 3 strangers.

I also received 1 care package in return (a wrapped present including a music box & note, seen above).

The process posters shown below were a second iteration of the project.

I collaged imagery from the collaboration on the outside of the posters, and picked favorite quotes to display on the inside (the quotes were overlayed on top of writing from the initital collaboration with my friend in school). Each person who responded to me initially was mailed a poster set.

© Katie Ladd 2019