March 21, 2013  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Design
Coding a Title Wall

It’s always exciting to try new things as part of MoMA’s graphic design team. In the case of Applied Design, the new Department of Architecture and Design exhibition curated by Paola Antonelli and Kate Carmody, we got to challenge ourselves by using technology featured in the show to program a moving, dynamic title wall.

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From the several options for the title wall we had put together, Paola and Kate chose our idea of creating an animated projection, using icons of different works in the show to form the letters in the title. The problem was logistics—animating each icon by hand would be incredibly time-consuming, and wouldn’t leave much room for adjustments.

The solution came to us when Paola described “the elegance of code” as one of the inspirations for Applied Design. We decided to try using the programming languages featured in the show to create the animation. With the help of my good friend David Yen, we coded the title wall in Processing, an open-source programming language simple enough for non-programmers, but complex enough for the kind of animation we were designing.

Using code to program the title wall was a first for all of us, but who knows, maybe this process will only become the norm in the future.