An inventive web magazine of ideas and culture, for the center for invention at the Smithsonian.O1_Lemelson_Combined

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The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation is committed to supporting education, invention, and innovation regardless of age and occupation. The Center originally approached C&G Partners with a website that was fragmented, outdated and lacked a content management system. Additionally, the site was not optimized for mobile devices, thus failing to capture a significant segment of their younger audiences.

C&G Partners identified three target audiences: The Relentless Researcher, The Active Parent and The Lifelong Learner, and defined the desired online experience as “A Magazine of Ideas and Culture.” A new vibrant experience offers a curated source of ideas, inspiration and resources, suitable for all visitors, from goal-oriented to casual browsers.

The site’s organizational structure was updated to address user and institutional needs, while providing opportunities for discovery, casual sketching, and user commenting. Content is organized in 3 activity-based buckets: Explore, Study and Try.

Our team created an interactive map tool to support the Center’s ‘Places of Invention’ – a multifaceted research project and exhibit at the Lemelson Center. The studies show that geography, resources, and talent, often play an important role in supporting invention and innovation. The interactive map allows users to explore and share stories of invention. Since the exhibition launch in June 2015, Lemelson has collected more than 3000 unique stories. The site’s search tool displays results that visually depict content type and topic, further exposing the user to the site’s rich content and the relationships between inventions, people and places.

To meet the content management system (CMS) requirement, the development was carried out using Drupal. The end result provides a responsive, mobile optimized online space to nurture a curious and engaged community.

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