Whether openly and actively or in subtle, subliminal ways, things talk to us; tangible and intangible, and at all levels, things communicate. These communications are the subject of MoMA’s Talk to Me exhibition on display through November 7.

The show is about the changing role of design between objects and people. This site is the digital window into it. With a visual language that’s familiar, but also surprising, it lovingly displays the objects—and the ways they’re connected—and makes the relationship between them both substantial and tenuous through conceptual threads that, eventually, completely disappear.

Each project has it’s own page, connections to the projects around it, and links to indices of different categorizations of the exhibition: maps, visualizations, cities, etc. Depending on the type of browsing, it’s possible to focus on a single object, pull in just a few connected pieces or to let the screen get completely overrun with related art.

The left side of the screen is reserved for current content and the right side for projects that are in some way connected. The view on the right changes depending on the “size” of the connection visitors are interested in. Eventually the connections get in the way of what’s being viewed and (thanks, especially, to an unusually-functioning scrollbar) the whole thing becomes a beautiful jumbled mess of projects that are equally related and unrelated.

• From concept to completion, it took four months to complete the site.

• As the project was beginning, MoMA’s trusting directive to Stamen was, “Do whatever you want so long as it’s awesome.”

• The site has 133 videos, 758 photos, 195 artworks.

• Each project has it’s own Twitter hashtag, accessible via a QR code attached to the pieces in the museum’s galleries; the hashtags are tracked, displayed on the site and used to determine which project is connected to which.

• MoMA updates a spreadsheet in Google Docs and custom software turns it into structured HTML and XML for the site.

* Stamen Design has two projects in the exhibit PrettyMaps and Walking Papers.

Credits: www.stamen.com
| www.moma.org

Communication Arts

// From our friends at Communication Arts

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