This Company’s Business Plan Includes Trespassing

Wanderlust Projects is an event design company that creates and curates original events, but there’s a twist: Attending one of their events could get you arrested.

“I would say probably two thirds of the events that we do involve trespassing,” says cofounder Ida C. Benedetto. She and her collaborator N.D. Austin have taken patrons on an illegal tour of the iconic, abandoned Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn by entering the building at night while wearing headlamps. And in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, they installed a bar inside an empty water tower on top of a high-rise building.

The Domino Sugar Factory at night

“Our lives are full of boundaries,” says Austin. “Anytime you cross those, the transgression of doing something you’re not supposed to be doing opens up something inside you.”

While risky, the duo seems unfazed by the real danger of their events.

“There’s still always a risk of getting discovered and being asked to leave or perhaps even being arrested. We only let people come if they understand that risk and they’re taking personal responsibility for it. That counts out a lot of people for some of our stuff,” explains Benedetto.

In addition to their original events, Wanderlust Projects is available for hire. However, they only take on clients who are invested in creating a unique and meaningful experience for their guests and have an inspiring location to host the occasion. “We like to make experiences that are gifts,” explains Austin. Even when we’re doing commercial work or work for hire, we are still highly motivated by really great ideas and really great places in the world.”