Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

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MoMA: Georges Seurat


Conference: 
MW2009
Institution: 
Museum of Modern Art
Designer: 
Behavior Design
Why: 

Behavior Design reunited with The Museum of Modern Art for their latest exhibition, Georges Seurat: The Drawings, creating the show’s web site and an interactive touch-screen kiosk that enables MoMA’s visitors to virtually explore Seurat’s four surviving sketchbooks.

Interactive Kiosk: Directly alongside their conventional showcase (each object opened to a single spread), the sketchbooks can be viewed in their magnificent entirety on two kiosk monitors, revealing insight to Seurat’s methods that otherwise would remain hidden, accessible perhaps only to art historians and academics. Behavior mastered numerous challenges to collect, digitize, and choreograph elements into an intuitive and becoming interface that gracefully reveals Seurat’s work and invites users to marvel and explore at will.

Touching and Seeing: Behavior and MoMA engaged in brainstorming sessions where the teams would play the roles of museum goers, translating different kinds of thinking into different experiences. We then distilled those experiences down to their bare minimums, to achieve a balance between simplicity and proficiency. The process wasn’t just concerned with basic usability—we sought to draw users and onlookers into the work through an inviting and contagious experience that felt natural and easy and preserved the integrity of the subject matter and the sketchbooks as art objects.
 
Roberta Smith of the New York Times praises the exhibition and its interactive experience, opening her review with delight at Behavior’s contribution, stating “The Museum of Modern Art’s elegantly plain exhibition of Georges Seurat’s drawings begins with an unexpectedly extraordinary moment of computerized art viewing.”

Behavior Design also designed and developed the companion website to supplement the gallery show and its themes, featuring a sampling of the sketchbooks, drawings, and other works alongside examples of Seurat’s working methodologies and processes.

Nominated By: 
Year: 
2009