The IMA Lab creates award-winning digital projects that have been recognized by organizations and individuals throughout the cultural field. Projects have included:



    Art Institute of Chicago: LaunchPad
    The IMA Lab designed and developed an iPad kiosk application for the European Decorative Arts galleries at the Art Institute of Chicago. The application provides an informative and engaging experience for visitors while offering a flexible design for expanding content. In addition to the in-gallery kiosk, the IMA Lab developed a content authoring platform that allows content editors to view the application in their browser before it goes live in gallery.


    North Carolina Museum of Art: ArtNC
    ArtNC is an educator resource for developing concept maps around a work of art. The IMA Lab developed a unique drag and drop interface for creating and discovering the concept maps. The ArtNC site received an honorable mention for Education & Outreach at the 2012 MUSE Awards. It also received a Best of the Web award for Education at the 2013 Museums and the Web.

    Corning Museum of Glass

    Corning Museum of Glass
    In 2011, IMA Lab developed the main website for the Corning Museum of Glass. This project covered the complete range of services provided by the Lab including Information Architecture, Systems Integration, eCommerce, Design, Implementation, and Training. The completed project is a visually appealing and user-friendly site that allows the museum to continue to grow its online efforts with a flexible and robust CMS.


    Atlanta History Center
    In 2010, IMA Lab worked with the Atlanta History Center to build an interactive war map kiosk for an exhibition entitled “War In Our Backyards.” The Atlanta History Center gathered an immense amount of data about the civil war battles in the Atlanta area, and wanted to show visitors where battles happened in relation to contemporary landmarks. IMA Lab built a map interface available on both a series of touch screen kiosks and a large version of the map that would be projected from the ceiling onto a table in the middle of the exhibition. Read more about this project.


    TourML & TAP

    TourML & TAP
    The TourML & TAP: a toolkit supporting museum mobile experiences project seeks to develop tools and a specification for building, sharing and preserving mobile tours that can be used by museums of all types and sizes to create and deploy their own mobile experiences. This project continues important work within the community to create mobile standards and open-source tools.

    In the summer of 2009, the IMA designed and developed a mobile tour platform called TAP. TAP made its public debut in October, 2009 with the opening of the museum’s major exhibition Sacred Spain. Designed to be displayed on iPod Touches available for rent in the Museum, TAP will feature familiar stop based navigation and present users with high quality video, zoomable imagery, audio interviews with curators and designers as well as interactive polls about visitors experience with the exhibition.

    Behind the scenes, TAP leverages a Content Management System which allows authors to create tour content in the same tool that they author websites with. The underlying software then automatically builds deployable platform-neutral tour bundles which can be installed on a variety of devices. The iPod Touch interface is the first mobile client to be built.

    OSCI Toolkit

    OSCI Toolkit
    The OSCI Toolkit is an open-source project to create a suite of tools that facilitates the publishing and broad dissemination of online scholarly catalogues for art history. In 2011, the IMA was awarded a grant from the Getty Foundation to support the project as part of its Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI), which aims to create replicable models for museum collection catalogues in an online environment. The project builds upon the conceptual framework and prototype software developed at the direction of the Art Institute of Chicago during the initial OSCI grant cycle from 2009-2011.

    Eye Tracking Research

    Learning How Visitors Look: Applications of Eye Tracking Research
    Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services Sparks! Ignition grant, the Indianapolis Museum of Art engaged in a research project with the aim of exploring whether or not eye tracking technology can be useful to museums seeking to better understand how in-gallery visitors actually “see” the objects in a collection. The research was addressed and tested in the context of three separate experiments that were conducted at the IMA between July 2011 and June 2012. The results of the first experiment are described in detail in the following paper: Evaluating the Practical Applications of Eye Tracking


    Steve.Museum The Museum Social Tagging Project
    Beginning in 2006, the IMA served as Project Director and Technical Lead for the research project, a two year National Leadership Grant funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) that involved 8 of the nation’s leading art museums. The project’s research examined the use of social tagging for art museums and its benefits for increasing access and engagement to online collections of art. The IMA also co-authored two additional grants extending on the success of the initial project. Both grants were funded by the IMLS in 2008.

    In 2013, the IMA launched a refreshed version of their original site launched in 2010, built internally by the IMA Lab. The refreshed site offers an updated information architecture, responsive design, and refreshed content. The site provides a more structured path to content as well as a renewed simplicity around the site navigation and a refreshed appearance. With mobile traffic on the rise, the responsive design makes the site accessible across a broad range of screen sizes and devices.


    In 2009, the IMA broke new ground by launching the streaming video website,, and in 2013, the IMA Lab launched a redesigned version of the website. ArtBabble aggregates nearly 3,000 art-related videos from 54 prominent arts and cultural organizations to create a true destination for art video online. The site provides access to high quality art content; including documentaries, artist talks, behind-the-scenes topics, and thousands of educational web resources to further the exploration of art. Read more about this project.

    IMA Dashboard

    IMA Dashboard
    In 2007, the IMA launched the IMA Dashboard, a pioneering effort supporting and encouraging institutional transparency among museums, and have since released the tool as open source for the benefit of other institutions.

    Exhibition Microsites


    Indigenous Out of the Wild with A. Bitterman
    The 2012 Island Resident offered some unique experiences through this microsite. The IMA Lab developed an Arduino based GPS tracker that the artist carried with him while on IMA property. This data was used to plot the artists tracks during his time at the IMA. The site also offered the artist a place to post information about how to communicate with him and post pictures about his activities.


    FLOW Can You See the River
    This unique microsite offered a lot of detail about the exhibition and some unique interactive features. Using water flow and drainage data the IMA Lab developed a web app to show users how and where water flows from their location. The red markers placed all over Indianapolis were also added to a web based map to allow suers to locate all of the points for this exhibition.

    Sacred Spain

    Sacred Spain: Art & Belief in the Spanish World
    This exhibition micro-site features a trailer video for the exhibition, dynamic image gallery and links to exhibition programming and catalog purchase.

    European Design Since 1985

    European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century
    The European Design exhibition microsite presented trailer video for the exhibition as well as lecture video and content from a Design Symposium hosted at the IMA. The site also features biographical information and imagery from dozens of designers featured in the show.

    To Live Forever

    To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum
    In addition to the standard video and exhibition features and image galleries, the To Live Forever micro-site featured interactive 3D movies of CAT scans from a mummy in the exhibition. The website also featured integration with Flickr and an interactive JavaScript timeline.

    Breaking the Mode

    Breaking the Mode: Contemporary Fashion from the Permanent Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
    The Breaking the Mode website included an engagement with local fashion designers which culminated in a runway show at the museum. The IMA new media teams used voting features and integration with YouTube to poll visitors to the site regarding their favorite designs and designers.


    2013 Museums and the Web - Best of the Web:

    2013 AAM Media & Technology - Gold Muse Award – Digital Communities:

    2013 AAM Media & Technology - Bronze Muse Award – Online Presence: Indigenous | Out of the Wild with A. Bitterman

    2010 Museums and the Web - Best of the Web:

    2009 Webby Awards Honoree,

    2009 Association of Mid-West Museums - Best Practices Award: For efforts in social media and transparency

    2009 AAM Media & Technology Gold Muse Award – Best Online Presence:

    2008 AAM Media & Technology Gold Muse Award – Public Relations and Development: IMA Dashboard

    2008 Museums and the Web - Best of the Web: IMA Dashboard

    2008 Communicator Award, Silver for Video: Cultural