Responses by Troy Curtis Kreiner, art director and Levi Brooks, creative executive officer/cofounder, Use All Five
Background: Ways of Curating, in partnership with Google Arts and Culture, is an effort to digitally archive and connect the curatorial work of Hans Ulrich Obrist. Its target audience is mostly people in the contemporary art world, researchers and academics.
Highlights: The core features of the website are the themes page and the individual exhibition pages. Each of Obrist’ projects has visualizations that are accompanied by an audio clip of Obrist explaining the history and theory around each theme. The colors all relate to a specific theme, to help create visual coherence and correlation. There are also a few core design elements, one of which is the animated scribbles that mimic Obrist’s erratic note taking.
Challenges: The most challenging aspect of the site was figuring out how to visualize and organize all the exhibitions. After literally two years of website iterations, we were finally able to come to an agreement as a group.
Favorite details: The UX and the animation of the drawn lines provide an engaging way to navigate mountains of information and help bring the site alive. The typography is also really exciting. We used SangBleu BP by Swiss Typefaces, a sophisticated light serif with unique flourishes, accompanied with Colophon Foundry’s Castledown, a friendlier, rounded contemporary sans serif.
Anything new: We learned that when designing a website for a large data set, connecting the themes and filtering the content is a great way to leverage technology and make the content more accessible. We also had to figure out the balance of functionality and style and feel like this project was a success in uniting both objectives.
Alternative approaches: If there were anything we could have done differently, it would have been to show more connections between the artist and the artwork. This would yield fascinating results but would probably take another two years to develop.