‘Weburger’ is a compound word created from web and hamburger which usually stands for the menu icon with three horizontal lines. Hamburger icons are one of the most common features on websites or apps since nearly most websites need menu somewhere. No one exactly knows how the shape was originated at the first time, it is generally known Xerox Star was the first interface who introduced it though. There are quite a few debates if this icon is good to be recognized as a menu button, however, few alternatives have successfully challenged hamburgers.
Weburgers Project is an interesting experiment for alternative ways of communication in various situations. It was originally initiated in 2012 as a part of ‘Mundane Life Project’ by Chan Young Park to celebrate ordinary objects in people’s daily lives. The idea at that time was simply to find and collect ordinary online icons which were universal symbols in online communication. In May 2015, Kyungpill Yoon joined the project, and it began to advance to the next phase. He liked the aesthetics of the icons and suggested Park to create tangible sculptures with the digital icons.
drawings of weburgers in early stage of the project
When Park and Yoon were invited to Hyattsville Arts Festival (HAF) for an on-site exhibition during the festival, they decided to turn the original Weburgers Project into a communication experiment; how do meanings that icons communicate in a specific context transfer to another context? Icons are designed to communicate meanings in a specific context. For example, traffic signs are designed to communicate on roads; they are usually not supposed to be used elsewhere. Park and Yoon focused on the potential communication possibilities of web icons living out of online world. They thought quite a few interesting interpretations should be available when specific icons were put in specific surroundings or environments. For instance, if people saw a giant download icon at the festival, what would they think about it? They might try to interpret the meaning of its existence or regard it as a random decoration with little meaning.
This exhibition is a record of how Weburgers Project has evolved and developed. It shows how a random idea can be evolved into an interesting concept.