Working in WordPress with the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, our challenge was to produce a digital exhibition platform that is both specific to the Cooper Hewitt, and also flexible enough to accommodate all future exhibitions. The first use of the platform is the digital complement to the Willi Smith: Street Couture physical exhibition.
Willi Smith is an 80s New Wave fashion icon. Immersing ourselves in his milieu helped us take inspiration from seminal multimedia design from a similar period, such as HyperCard for Macintosh. As visitors explore an exhibition in the new platform, they are always presented with two “doors” to choose from. Or they can go back to the previous “room.” The experience is analogous to a physical space, and lets visitors explore quickly and intentionally before spending time on an artifact, video, or text that grabs their interest.
The platform randomizes itself for each visitor – while following contours defined by exhibition curators. Every visitor has a new set of possible paths, and can also make their own choices as they go. Visitors can also get an overview of all the content, including a “Your journey so far” map as well as a powerful search function. This “birds eye” aspect of the experience supports more expert visitors who want to research comprehensively.