Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles website

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The building’s many glass walls expose the public to the inner workings of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, a brand new museum. Intended to let the professional art economy create positive local effects, ICA LA's outward-facing mission of accessibility seeks to invite the public in and be a catalyst for self-organization.

Mirroring the physical space, we designed a website with a visible and accessible database, the website’s inner workings made transparent for all to see. Following the Mark Bradford-designed logo for the new institute, both in terms of color and the locally-posted Colby posters that were a part of its inspiration, we designed a “yellow pages” section for the website that allows the decentralization of content creation and offers opportunities to invite guest artists, curators, or members of the local community to develop new pages for the website. This embodies ICA LA’s community-facing project and becomes a part of the site that can grow with its community and facilitate broad creation.

To enable this range of functionality for a small in-house team, combined with ICA LA’s wish to become a “broadcaster” for their community, frequently producing a range of new and meaningful content for their site, the site uses and exposes our flexible and user-friendly content management system, Economy – a platform that is a perfect match for ICA LA's mission of positive growth, accessibility, and agility.

Building on Mark Bradford's logo, we developed a comprehensive identity for the museum, on-street banners, stationery, and usage guidelines. The website and identity feature a new font, DINICA, drawn by Jack Jennings (Standard Library) and Desmond Wong (AUTHENTIC), as well as a little-known standardized handwriting font (more info). Both the website and identity trade an eclectic set of commercial and institutional vernaculars to build a surface that is both growing and about growth. Beneath that surface, we built a mission-driven and resilient infrastructure.

An ecommerce platform is also integrated throughout the site, allowing catalogs and other products to be purchased in areas other than the online shop itself.

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