With the introduction of Apple’s first iPad in 2010, the Art Institute of Chicago approached us to create a pilot project to explore the opportunity of handheld interactive media in the gallery. The project focused on providing interpretive material for 6 objects in the Martin European Decorative Arts collection.

The experience we designed was inspired by a close examination of the object “tombstones” (interpretive labels) which almost universally reference the object’s historical context, function, craft, people (artist and patron), and form. The design concept was to cluster reference images or other objects around the work of art in these categories to encourage gallery visitors to learn more about each object and to explore related material.