As face-to-face interaction becomes increasingly rare, Selin Yazici, Alex Halimi and Arno Murcia set out to change how people engage with each other.
The Melodi House entered The Garage in the fall of 2018 after the three co-founders conceived the idea in an entrepreneurship class. The founders are hoping to start more conversations by planning events and, eventually, creating a physical space for people to develop their passions in areas such as art and music. Their mission statement is, “The Melodi House aims at creating the events, conversations, and relationships we came to college to experience and form.”
Their fall quarter event, held at an apartment, featured music, student art and excellent conversation. It had about 70 people at its height. The Melodi House hopes to host three events this quarter. Be on the lookout!
This interview has been edited and condensed.
On the idea behind ‘The Melodi House’
Selin: It’s a very conceptual idea. It’s nothing really physical. We’re coming together, creating this community that aims [to put] the moments, relationships and events we all come to college to experience.
Alex: Our mission is [to] expose students to new sensations or things that are different that they’re be talking about later.
Selin: There [are] millions of interesting topics and conversations just waiting to be started. We saw this missed opportunity, because as students, [these] are the only four years [when] we’re going to be in such a concentrated environment. Why not take advantage of it?
Alex: We’re all very happy we pursued [working at] The Garage. [It] is super helpful with mentoring us. It also helps keep us on track and focus on what we actually have to do. We’re happy to be here.
On their fall quarter event
Arno: We created this event where we asked everyone to submit a piece of art. We delivered canvases. We asked them to submit something they had already done, or make something.
Selin: We realized life gets in the way, and you usually don’t get to do what you really want to do. So we’re like, “We’re delivering it to you. Do whatever you want. We’ll pick them up and we’re going to display them at the event.” [It’s] a great conversation starter.
Arno: We saw people stop and converse next to a piece of art and start this more interesting, personal conversation.
Selin: We had the art, and then we had students who are passionate about music DJing and playing their music.
Alex: What I thought was cool about the event was that we did it donation based. The only rule was you had to pay. It didn’t matter how much it was; you just had to donate something. It was very successful. We definitely reached the amount we needed.
Arno: It’s a way to allow everyone to have access to our community, regardless of their financial status.
Selin: People were engaging so beautifully with each other. We got feedback, and a lot of the things in common were, “Thank you so much for this experience. We can’t wait for the rest of it.”
Arno: The first thing [a friend] told me was, “I met a really cool person I don’t think I would have met otherwise.” That was originally our goal.
On the name
Selin: No matter what language you speak [or] where you’re from, everyone speaks the language of art, culture, music and melody. Bringing this all together, it’s like, why don’t we call it [melody] and spell it with an “i” instead [to] be more creative.
Megan Lebowitz is a freshman majoring in journalism. She is a reporter for Northwestern News Network and loves storytelling in all forms. She is from Cleveland, Ohio.