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Explore The Smithsonian's Online Design Museum Through Color

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The Smithsonian's design museum, the Cooper-Hewitt, is taking a different tack with a new website: it wants you to explore its digital collection by color.

Clicking on any one of a grid of 117 colors lets you view a list of items that share that specific shade. The Cooper-Hewitt explains:

Objects with images now have up to five representative colors attached to them. The colors have been selected by our robotic eye machines who scour each image in small chunks to create color averages. These have then been harvested and snapped to the grid of 117 different colors — derived from the CSS3 palette and naming conventions — below to make navigation a little easier.


The inspiration for the site apparently comes from Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, and it's hoped the new approach will encourage users to "explore and consider the details." With the Cooper-Hewitt currently closed for renovations until 2014, the new site certainly provides a nice way to explore its exhibits from the comfort of your armchair—especially given that over 55 percent of its collection is currently digitized. [Cooper Hewitt via Slate viaVerge]