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Statens Museum for Kunst
Museum, Cultural
Brand Experience Design
Customer Research & Insights
Product and Service Design
Website Design
Morten Øhlenschlæger Andersen

Experiencing art can be an enlightening and even life-changing experience. But actually getting to the gallery in our busy lives is sometimes tricky. We focused on both the practical and the profound.

Understanding the practical challenges

How can we get an understanding of the challenges that keep people from a visit to the museum?

We set out to uncover what really matters to people before their actual visit to the gallery. We tested a host of challenges, desires and needs with a wide variety of test persons to find solutions that help users with their key challenges. For instance, how do you plan a visit with children?

Connecting the digital and physical experience

Art can be experienced everywhere. But art at a gallery – or more generally, exhibited art – has the unique potential to obtain full attention to the art object and exclude everything else – context, the noise of the world and everyday worries alike.

The visual experience of the website found inspiration in the frame, as a metaphor for the exclusive focus. The frame gives different pieces of content full focus and calls upon us to exclude everything else. And correspondingly, the absence of the frame widens the perspective and brings us back into the more practical realm.

Echoes of the museum

The design, in general, drew much inspiration from the physical features of the museum. The structuring of images in the website's grid echoes the free composition of paintings on the walls in the gallery at Østre Anlæg.

The differently coloured walls, complimenting the curated works, are also seen in the digital context where the colour palette is free, so that the given content is presented as good as possible.

SMK Open

We also helped SMK create SMK Open - an immersive digital catalogue making the entire art collection of SMK accessible online. Including a comprehensive collection in their vault, which is rarely exhibited.

SMK Open lets you search through 89,000 different pieces of art and explore them in detail. It is possible to filter colors, artists or subjects along with a number of other choices. The site is easily accessible to anyone interested in art, but also serves as an important resource for professionals within the art world.

Leveraging SMK’s own public API, and by adding Machine Learning, artworks can now be experienced, studied and utilized on different levels in your own time and place.

3D models, high-resolution images, explanatory texts as well as audio and video will shape your exploration. We’ve analyzed all images using artificial intelligence and thereby added a wide range of keywords using object recognition, and enabled color search. Also, the artwork photos can be downloaded for free use to the widest possible extent.

Creative Circle Award won a Creative Circle Award within the category Design & Digital Design.

Red Dot Award

SMK Open won a Red Dot: Best of the Best in 2020, for unique design and outstanding creativity.

SMK Open was also recognised with gold at the Danish Digital Awards in the category Digital Differentiation and also received a Webby Award for Best Navigation/Structure.

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