Hmm, I am rarely caught off-guard when surfing the internet these days. So much, so many, so seen it. But last week I was looking at a great image of stacking chairs on the design site Mocoloco and clicked through to the exhibition at MoMA in New York: Design and the Elastic Mind. Great name and what looks to be an interesting show, with many familiar names and designs, some new ones, but all gutsily curated. An exhibition with something to say.
But, never mind the exhibition (did I say THAT?) just look at the website… So much thought has gone into this; it is dripping with content, layers and has an intriguing interface. Definitely one of the best exhibition websites I’ve seen in a long time. The credits show the site to be the work of Yugo Nakamura and THA Ltd. His name sounded very familiar and a little bit of searching took me back to an old haunt of mine – when I first discovered surfing the net in a big way – MONO*crafts. Simple, beautiful and at the time, to me, revelatory.
Clicking through THA’s current site it is evident that Nakamura’s work is still simple, extraordinary and then some. Interface design taken to the limits yet so spotlessly executed it becomes seamless and joyful to interact with.
The Elastic Mind site isn’t desperately easy to navigate, but so interesting that I didn’t mind. The search function is lovely, scrolling across the pages, linking results visually. And it feels like a real virtual, curated exhibit, developed alongside the exhibition. Not the usual afterthought – consisting of photographs and visiting information.
It made me feel that athough I won’t see the physical exhibition, I have participated in the experience.