Fighting AIDS with A Simple Swipe |

fighting aids with a simple swipe

New York, NY


In 2018, Bank of America and their partner (RED)—a non-profit organization targeting the AIDS epidemic in Africa—wanted to create a Goldberg inspired charity activation at the Bryant Park Winter Village in New York City. Hoping to develop a domino-like structure, powered by consumer donations to (RED), the two companies turned to well-known marketing agency, Octagon. With one month to create the huge experience, Octagon looked to Britten to craft the ultimate Rube Goldberg Machine.


Paul Britten, architect and president of Britten, began by studying over 30 years of Goldberg’s cartoons. Deciding on 10 sequential mechanisms modeled after old fashioned toys, he worked with designers to ensure that each component would initiate the next. With the concept finalized, production crafted an oversized Bank of America credit card that donators would swipe to start the machine. Using plywood and a MultiCam CNC router, the team built the nine remaining graphics and structures, complete with Bank of America and (RED) branding.


Just a few weeks after design approval, Britten’s installation crew hand-delivered and assembled the fully-functioning Rube Goldberg Machine. On display for four days, the activation raised thousands of dollars for (RED) and created excitement in the winter village. “The kids were thrilled, there is nothing more fun than seeing their smiling faces,” said Britten. “Our entire Britten team could not be happier with how the event helped raise money and awareness about the ongoing AIDS crisis in Africa.”

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