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Interactive Annual 15:
information design

Design and the Elastic Mind

Launch Live Site

“Visitors will find themselves engrossed in exploring the relationships between science and design; the presentation of the relationships between the pieces is inspiring and extremely well done.” —Edward J. Heinz Jr.

“An engaging and fun UI with delicate details in a pretty, type-driven experience.” —Michelangelo Capraro

Overview: This is the companion Web site to a very popular MOMA exhibition that highlighted examples of successful translation of disruptive innovation, examples based on ongoing research, as well as reflections on the future responsibilities of design. Of particular interest was the exploration of the relationship between design and science and the approach to scale. The exhibition included objects, projects and concepts offered by teams of designers, scientists and engineers from all over the world. Ranging from a nanoscale to a cosmological one, the objects included everything from appliances to interfaces, from pragmatic solutions for everyday use to provocative ideas intended to influence future choices.

  • • MOMA worked with Tokyo-based THA Ltd. and completed the site in three months.
  • • There are well over 350 images and dozens of videos.
  • • The site has received over 675,000 visitors.

Comments by Erica Sakai and Yugo Nakamura

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “When we began working on the Design and the Elastic Mind site, we first needed to decipher the enormous amount (some 350 plus) of works that were to be included in this exhibition. Because they had already been carefully categorized into specific categories, the challenge was to translate that system into a Web site without creating another hierarchical interface.

“After going through a number of models, we decided to create a ‘map’ of all the work, where we organized the entire collection onto a single spreadsheet, and connected them with threads that represent uncategorized relationships. These loose ‘relationships’ between the featured artwork, which were different from their general categories, contrast a rigid grid against the flowing threads of connectivity.

“The result is an extremely unique navigation system that connects objects based on common themes, while underscoring and expanding on the exhibition’s themes of elasticity and scale and allows for a more organic theme-based Web of connections.”


Allegra Burnette/Yugo Nakamura, THA Ltd., creative directors
Takayuki Fukatsu, THA Ltd./Erica Sakai, THA Ltd., designers
Shannon Darrough, project manager
Paola Antonelli/Patricia Vecchierini, curators
Andrea Lipps, researcher
The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), project design and development