February 11, 2013  |  Design
Getting to Play at Work

When MoMA’s graphic design team first started working on the newest MoMA Art Lab, I already knew how successful the designs for past Labs had been (and was kind of intimidated to work on one). Unlike most of the exhibitions we work on, the Labs are interactive spaces where kids and families can explore and play while learning about art hands-on. The Labs are educational, immersive, and fun, and as a result, can be a bigger challenge than usual.

Educators Elizabeth Margulies and Cari Frisch explained that the newest Lab was about people in art. We had to design a title wall that not only communicates this theme, but also lets visitors know that the space is both fun and educational. It wasn’t until we started to have fun with the process ourselves that the title wall design began to click into place. We had the idea of using the letters in the word “PEOPLE” to make different faces, and of projecting an animation as the title. For days we literally played at work, making as many faces as we could think of, and seeing what kind of personalities each character and their expressions seemed to have.

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Our proposal was well received, including our suggestion about adding an additional activity where people could make faces on the wall out of magnetic letters. We got to go beyond designing the space, to actually help create the Lab’s content. MoMA Art Lab: People turned out to be a true collaboration between departments and specialties, and was one of the most creative, and fun, experiences I could have asked for.

MoMA Art Lab: People is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m., through August 31. For more information click here, and to see more of the graphic design in the Lab click here.