Walker Art Center

Web & digital platforms

In my five years designing at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, I had the oppor­tu­nity to work on a great number of incred­i­bly inter­est­ing and chal­leng­ing projects sur­round­ing all things digital (and sometimes not-​so-​digital). This is a sampling of some of them.

They tend, to various degrees, to point back to the main Walker website, which I redesigned upon joining the Walker in 2010. One of the unique things about the insti­tu­tion is the dichotomy between its inter­na­tional influence and its regional setting in the middle of the country. Our goal was to turn the site into a true “virtual Walker,” a digital rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the mission statement that could further support the global reach of its programming.

To that end, through the redesign, the site was reimag­ined as a true pub­lish­ing platform. The blogs, influ­en­tial among a few but long hidden, were rebranded and brought to the forefront. An editor was hired to write long-​form feature stories, work on branded long-​running editorial series, and aggregate topical art and socio-​political news of the day. Content was indexed and inter­linked, exposing the “long tail” of the archive.

I designed the site with these prin­ci­ples in mind — par­tic­u­larly the homepage, which was designed as one would design the website of a major newspaper or journal.

With the advances in web tech­nol­ogy around that time, the site as a whole was designed with precise typog­ra­phy, a flexible grid system for building out-​of-​the-​box, a library of modular inter­ac­tive com­po­nents, and the ability to go “off the grid” and create many a totally cus­tomized microsite for special projects.

Several of those special projects are included in the following pages, such as spe­cial­ized marketing sites for the Cinema and Stage programs and an overview of regional design mile­stones (his­tor­i­cal and physical) in Minnesota by Design. Most prominent is the Living Collections Catalogue, an ambitious multi-​year project to bring scholarly writings contained within discrete volumes to the web, and tackle many of the chal­lenges inherent in that, ranging from dynamic layouts with rich media to inte­gra­tion with the canonical Collections all the way down to citation and provenance.