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webpick of the week

Born magazine

Editorial, Public Service

“This project was a labor of love,” says Thomas Ryun, art director at Belle & Wissell, “something that we really wanted to make as a way to encapsulate all the great collaborations that happened in Born magazine.” Born launched online in 1997 and evolved along with the web, exploring media-rich, collaborative storytelling through combinations of different art forms. In 2011, Born officially retired, and the new site archives all the work that was produced by the boundary-breaking publication. The “facilitators” of Born, Gabe Kean (founder and artistic director), Anmarie Trimble (editor) and Scott Benish (online curator) were all involved, and the design and development teams at Belle & Wissell, Co., brought the project to completion.

“There were so many great collaborations that took place between people involved in literature, media and emerging technologies,” Ryun says, “so the site itself was designed to recede a bit and encourage visitors to really focus on the work.” The site is a visual index of over 400 projects, each featuring at least five images, and most linking back to the original interactive project that can still be experienced in full. Sort projects by “experience,” or type, or select “browse” to peruse curated collections of work. Projects can also be sorted by the year they were produced, and it’s fascinating to see the evolution of web technologies used in the projects over the fourteen years of Born’s publication. Belle & Wissell leveraged the Cargo Collective CMS to handle all of the content, and added custom HTML, CSS, and Javascript. If the site piques your interest, you have more to look forward to: Born’s volunteer staff is hard at work developing a multimedia “book” that documents the magazine’s works and the creative process and spirit that led it to become one of the pioneers of literary arts on the Web.