When the esteemed Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) needed a website like “nothing else that exists,” Hot Studio was honored to get the call. A pillar of San Francisco’s art community since 1993, YBCA sets the standard for visual and performing arts in the Bay Area. With a loyal cadre of passionate patrons from artists to thinkers to the community at large, this city-funded institution transcends the traditional museum experience with dynamic, unorthodox exhibitions. Its latest concept of curating five “big ideas” across all art forms presented Hot Studio with a unique opportunity—building a new site to bridge the in-person YBCA experience with digital media.


On exhibit: online and off
Drawing on their successful track record of museum work for SFMOMA, the California Academy of Sciences, and New York’s El Museo, the team focused first on a digital strategy for YBCA. As one part of the media experience, the new YBCA website would not only clarify YBCA’s “big ideas” concept but extend the museum experience online.
Website as art
Instead of the predictable listings of exhibitions and talks and art collection photos, Hot Studio recommended a fresh break from the common newsletter-style museum website. The new interface streamlines the browsing features for fast access to exhibit details, and rotates homepage content about the “big ideas” and exhibits. Through videos of the artists and curators talking about the art, the redesigned site welcomes patrons to look beyond the exhibitions and into the thinking and intent behind them.