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The renowned Small/Cool event from Apartment Therapy goes interactive

As the WIREWAX team at our New York City headquarters can attest, there’s nothing better than getting inspired on how to take full advantage of that small yet precious real estate we call home.  Luckily, our partners at leading lifestyle and home decor publisher Apartment Therapy have got us covered. Apartment Therapy’s Small/Cool contest is one such avenue that pays homage to the stylish, well-designed and efficient living spaces in the smallest apartments around the world. First launched in 2005 by founder Maxwell Ryan, the event has built its own name under the Apartment Therapy umbrella as being the authority in the smallest, coolest homes. 


2020 was set to be a year like no other for Small/Cool, envisioned to be a construction of tiny spaces curated by both seasoned and up-and-coming designers, all taking place in Brooklyn’s Industry City with an expected 10,000 attendees. What happened instead, as we all know too well, was a world flipped upside down with new and necessary yet unfamiliar physical limitations. 

By mid-March, it was clear that the event couldn’t go ahead as planned. 

Refusing to give up, the team at Apartment Therapy decided it was time to get virtual.

In lieu of the physical event space, the team turned to interactive video as the best alternative to delivering their audience a truly immersive experience while still being able to showcase and display the talents of their designer partners who had worked hard on transforming each small space. Hear about the process and check out the action in this interview with the Apartment Therapy team here:

In conjunction with the team at WIREWAX, Apartment Therapy workshopped a plan for 20 interactive rooms, recreating the intended experience of the original event by reimagining each space with a beautifully illustrated and animated video. Thed added extension of shoppable hotspots makes it easy to purchase any of the illustrated products featured in the rooms at the point of inspiration. 

The illustrated videos were created by artist Danie Drankwalter, who took the 20 designers’ sketches and product lists and created her interpretation of each room. Danie’s illustration layers were then animated, with added perspective and movement to make it feel like the viewer was entering the space. 

As seasoned users of WIREWAX Studio, the team at Apartment Therapy had the familiarity and ease of access to our entire suite of interactive video technology, meaning they had the freedom to custom-build each of their own experiences in the way that suited their experience best, and within their own timelines.

The end Small/Cool Experience At Home was nothing shy of spectacular. 

Launched on apartmenttherapy.com on May 15th, each of the 20 interactive video experiences featured beautifully designed and illustrated rooms with hotspots that feature on every sponsored product available for purchase. 

Backed by key sponsors including Behr and Amazon Handmade, the enormous event took place over three days, with live programming across Instagram to add additional promotion and immersion to the overall experience of the series. 

Audiences loved engaging with the interactive rooms and other content over the course of the weekend. The content pages received over 300,000 page views and the interactive videos more than 80,000 views. More than half of survey respondents who visited the onsite shoppable experiences made (or planned to make) a purchase.

Check out the recap of the event in Adweek.


Written by Marissa Ke, Customer Success Director


Apartment Therapy


interactive video


shoppable video