This exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery was one of the coolest I have ever been too. It was almost as if if Ann Hamilton was sharing her collection of things she found important to amass for the exhibit. You were allowed to take what you liked.
As far as making your way around, other than the map you were offered, there wasn’t any clear direction. There were your regular signs for the restrooms but that was about the extent of it. It was very “choose-your-own-adventure”. It was explained to us the general idea of the exhibit by tonymyteacher and the Bob, the guy at the front. You could literally take the art off of the wall. The first room had interesting items, and that is where a lot of the class there as well. I walked right to the room that looked like it had something more to offer than a glass case with some text. I went here because I had an idea I was about to get some stuff from the gallery for free! Sorry for the blurry picture, but this what you should walk to first. Here you experience the exhibit at its core. You see the pictures, walk up and feel the paper, you pull it, hear it tear, and you my friends have just experienced something you never had at a museum or gallery in your life, probably. Without getting too philosophical, this place had just more to offer than a regular art of the wall gallery. The pictures, pictures, printed on newspaper, were well thought out and developed. They had content that was interesting and oriented around texture. You could really see the texture and almost feel it. And then you got to rip it down and keep it for as long as you liked.
The second best room to me was the whirlybird room.
Here, you heard and felt the wind rush by your face, heard the noise of these contraptions and wondered what the heck was going on in this room. This place even had blankets in case you got cold, which were sharable and wearable throughout the gallery, provided another texture for you to digest and something to experience. The galley provided comfort as well! I wish they were all this cool. Here you could listen to the repeated, almost soothing sounds of the reincarnation of the bullroarer.
This room is a piece inspired by these ancient instruments once used from Greece to Australia.
“The duration of ascent to descent, controlled by a computer program, moves the circling arms in concert with each other or alone, its deep tonal drone evoking a buzzing hive, a flock of birds, a micro-community of individual organisms operating together.” – Ann Hamilton
One of the few descriptions that naturally looked like an explination. Sort of wayfinding by association of similar layouts encountered by most people most often. The most common design associated with instructions if that makes more sense.
So to really understand the place, you have to go. Look at everything and just accept the fact that it is totally against most of what you have been told about galleries.
As for way finding, the app I am currently working on is above this. Not final, more of a first layout with tweaks inevitable. But the most important thing for this app, which is a skatepark locator for the state of Washington, relies heavily on way finding. I think about all of the times I was looking for a skatepark, and narrowed down how the app should be laid out.
It will use your location if you choose, to display how far the closest skatepark is from your current location. Or you can search by region, which will be a map with a feature to darken when tapping the region. The primary information will include an icon associated with distance and location, with a link to google maps for directions. The importance of way finding is an important aspect to consider when putting most things together, whether its judging by how a person will navigate through an app with their brains and hands, or looking at a certain piece of art and finding a path to follow with their eyes in the art.