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Ai Weiwei: Art, Activism, and Technology

On April 5, Ai Weiwei: According to What?—the IMA’s latest featured exhibition—opened to the public. A major retrospective of the artist’s work, this not-to-be-missed exhibition includes examples from the broad spectrum of the artist’s practice, which encompasses sculpture, photography, video, and site-specific architectural installations, as well as the design for the “Bird’s Nest” stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Walking past some of the works in the show, visitors may be inspired to learn more about the man who created these pieces and the circumstances that drove him to do so. In conjunction with the exhibition, the IMA is employing new in-gallery technology to facilitate these inquiries and help audiences engage with the work of this extraordinary artist.


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Filed under: Exhibitions, New Media, Technology


A Brand New

Today, the IMA launches it’s first major refresh of its website since its initial launch in February 2010. The refreshed site includes an updated information architecture, a minimal, responsive design, and loads of new content.


The new

The redesign centers around a more structured hierarchy of information as well as a renewed simplicity around the site navigation and a refreshed appearance throughout. With mobile traffic on the rise, the responsive design makes the site accessible across a broad range of screen sizes and devices and provides a more seamless digital experience. Through the collaboration of the IMA’s digital production team, the site was built entirely in-house.

Though the refresh has been applied to most major sections of the site, some additional sections will continue to be updated over the next year, including areas devoted to the IMA’s collection and blog.

We’re excited to bring you expanded and more timely content on your favorite devices through our new website. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Filed under: Around the Web, Design, New Media, Public Programs, Technology


ArtBabble: Behind the Design

Last Tuesday, we launched a brand new website for ArtBabble.  Rita Troyer, Digital Graphic Designer in IMA Lab, discusses the design process:

The Brand

Since its launch in April 2009, ArtBabble has grown into something far greater than the original website it began as. It seemed only fitting to give the site and its visual identity a facelift given the ever growing nature of its content and partner reach.

In early July of this year, fellow IMA Lab designer, Matt Gipson and I set out to create several rebrand directions. After a few brainstorming sessions with take aways like “simpler,” “sleeker,” and “more vibrant,” the rebrand process was underway. We first nailed down our designs to two different directions and shortly thereafter, came up with our final approach.

Old logo on the left; Redesign on the right.

The new ArtBabble mark focuses on two things: streamlining and refining the brand, while maintaining elements of the original. ArtBabble’s purpose is to enable free flowing conversation, about art, for anyone. The new brand retains the play button, uses the eye catching Babble blue, and maintains the rounded typography, but with a matured feel. The color palette incorporates brighter, more vibrant colors, and with ArtBabble having just celebrated its third birthday, we felt that it was time to ditch the “Play Art Loud” tagline.

The Website

From the start of the website redesign process, the main goal was to come up with a design that had room to grow.  We wanted to plan for the site to evolve in the same capacity that it had over the past three years. Another goal was to design partner pages, artist pages, etc. so they could stand-alone. For some institutions, their ArtBabble Channel may be their main hub for video content. Therefore, their Partner Channel needed to work as a page that could be linked to directly as an outlet for their content. You’ll also notice that the redesign brings more of a visual presence to the videos and allows users to either dive into the material they are seeking, or browse casually. The new site structure brings ArtBabble’s amazing content to the forefront of a user’s experience.

Final homepage mockup

Mobile navigation mockup

Not only has the content of the site evolved over time, technology has evolved as well. The new, responsive design provides an optimal viewing experience for users no matter what device they’re on. Take a look here. Videos now play through players that are HTML5 compatible, making the video content accessible on desktops, tablets and mobile devices. The new ArtBabble is all about making content accessible wherever our audiences may be, on whatever device they may be using.

We couldn’t be more pleased with the way ArtBabble has grown since its launch in 2009.  We hope you enjoy the new logo and website redesign! Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Filed under: Design, New Media, Technology


ArtBabble: Back and Bigger than Ever

Today is the big day – the day we relaunch ArtBabble to the world. After six months of surveying, planning and designing and one wild 24 hour #babblesprint, I couldn’t be happier to share the fruits of our labor with our loyal followers. I hope you love the changes as much as we do.

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Filed under: Art, Design, Education, New Media


ArtBabble 24 Hour Sprint

As ArtBabble turned three this past spring, the ArtBabble Team at the IMA convened and started to think about all of the major changes we wanted to make to the site. This summer the team, which consists of IMA Lab developers, designers, educators and producers, got to work planning the redesign, including establishing a new brand and getting a staging site running to start transferring content.

Inspired by SmallBox‘s 24 Hour Web Project, we decided (perhaps foolishly) to hold a 24 hour sprint to implement the new ArtBabble. This gives the nine of us a chance to collaborate closely on the project, as well as do focused work without other office issues interrupting. We decided to get away from our usual space, and are excited to be sprinting at the Speak Easy, an awesome co-working space in Broad Ripple.

So finally, today is the day! The sprint is upon us, and we have gathered with much caffeine to babble our little hearts out.

The team sets up and gets to work.

Charlie Moad, Director of IMA Lab, and I will be live blogging the progress here, so check back for updates or follow us on twitter at @ArtBabble. We guarantee some middle-of-the-night dance party madness and at least a few shots of us eating pizza.

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Filed under: Around the Web, New Media


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