By Jeffrey T. Schnapp

Designer's Statement

Though the two sites, Crowds and Revolutionary Tides, are interrelated, we approached their design very differently. Our objective with Crowds was first to reference the phenomenon of the crowd. We accomplished this with our opening Flash animation, which depicts, abstractly, a large public gathering and creates from that gathering the logo that brands the site. Since the purpose of the site, however, was to corral and disseminate information about "crowds," we also had to "manage" the crowd once we established it — that is, we had to structure it and render it navigable. To do this, we relied on visible grid lines, a reference to official crowd assessment and control.

The grid-made-visible also plays a central role in the Revolutionary Tides site, though there its purpose is to create a virtual analog to a traveling exhibit. Through the use of gridlines and thumbnails to scale, the Posters page gives visitors to the site an overall sense of the exhibit's organization, scope, and scale. It also facilitates inspection and study of each of the exhibit's 119 posters.

Bill Freias and Andrea Silvestri