From Oct. 16, 2008 Feb. 15, 2009, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York presents "Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933" http://www.whitney.o...
Every important element of web design is present in Calder's Circus. I love this entire video, but some of my favorite moments happen as Calder pulls his heavy suitcases marked with that distinctive signature CALDER out onto an empty floor.
In moments the floor is transformed. We see behind the curtain as the circus takes shape. The ring is built. The Master of Ceremony announces the first act and Calder begins his ingenious play. Web design follows this same path with slightly different tools.
We start with a blank slate, a flat screen. Calder uses a meme, the circus, to create great art. The circus meme is so common he can create with bent wire, motion and a wisp of hair. His viewers (analogous to website visitors) "see" the circus. They happily fill in the blanks.
Filling in the blanks is the hardest thing to teach in web design. We want to create the entire board, to color inside all the lines until the image is complete. The problem is the web can't complete a picture. We work with bent wire and a shock of hair too. Our best bet, as Internet marketers, is to transform our web design thinking.
We transform our thinking by letting go.
We must give up the desire to complete the picture, a very difficult thing for an American who isn't a Buddhist :). We transform our thinking by allowing visitors to play with our circus. We change our thinking when we respond to how our guests play with our toys when we layer our circus dreams with theirs.
We must let go of the idea that there is only ONE circus and only we can be its Master of Ceremonies. If we were Calder's children or grandchildren we couldn't be restrained from playing too.
Great web sites are like Calder's circus. Websites too are built from bent wire and a shock of hair (code, graphics, images, copy, navigation). Great websites are guided by play and happening now. If others play with your website's circus, tell others about your site and suggest ways you web pages can be better then you deserve large magic black cases with CALDER written on the side too.