is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
Along with a few other design figures — each of whom have much, much more impressive reputations than myself — I’ve been been invited by one of New York’s major art museums to help select pieces for inclusion in their permanent design collection. For now, I’m going to be a bit cagey about this and refrain from revealing the name of this museum. But suffice it to say that, to be selected for inclusion in this institution’s collection is a pretty prestigious affair, and I’m more than a little stunned that I was asked for my opinion.
That said, part of my responsibility in this matter is to submit a few possible candidates by, like, a few days ago. I’m late. I’ve been sitting on this for a good time now, and though I have some ideas I’m definitely a little stumped, so I thought I would open it up to my loyal readership.
Design for Design’s Sake
What I’m looking for are the best pieces of interactive design that you think deserve to be considered for inclusion into the museum’s collection. Please add your thoughts as a comment here below. Personally, I would prefer to nominate design samples that have some kind of real world application — I’m going to pass on designers’ portfolios and personal/non-commercial experiments in the online design medium for now.
It’s not that I think that sub-genre of design is unworthy of institutional recognition; it’s just that I think that there’s been a relatively abundant amount of attention paid to interaction design as fine art already, and relatively little paid to interaction design as practical art… at least from museums, that is. I’m willing to keep an open mind about this, so if you can make a great argument for something completely useless (joke), I’m all ears.
My only other major criteria would be that the design sample be aesthetically pleasing. I have a pretty wide definition of that concept, so I’m certainly not advocating a particular style or school of design of any sort. But I do think there’s a museum for the Alertboxes of the world somewhere out there, but I’m just pretty sure it’s not this particular one.
Anyway, if you have any ideas, I’d be most grateful. I promise to keep you posted on this process; I’ll reveal the name of the museum before too long. Thanks!+