Textile Trade Routes


For centuries trade moved slowly, mostly over land. See how this changed at the start of the sixteenth century when ocean going ships began to carry materials and products across the globe. Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500–1800 is the first major exhibition to explore the international transmittal of design and technology through the medium of textiles. It highlights an important story that has never before been told from a truly global perspective.


To help visitors contextualize where and when objects in the exhibition are from, the first gallery features a large animated "time scape". As the timeline animates, the map zooms and pans into position and informational overlays animate on the maps to show locations of textile production, consumption, ports of call, and trade routes.

The projection was positioned outside of primary sight lines and away from objects to avoid distracting from the art.


Wireframe screen comps based on an initial script outline helped curators and exhibition designers get a sense of how the interactive animation would work and what information would appear on screen:

A base map with land surface, shallow water, shaded topography, and vegetation was created using NASA imagery:

Apple Motion was used to composite and animate the timeline and trade routes. The final production file has over 80 layers and 150 keyframes:


Originally we planned for the animation to be interactive, controlled by a small touch screen mounted on a pedestal in front of the projector. The inspiration for this came from The Getty Villa's Timescape. This functionality would have required the development of a custom iOS app, that was later determined to be beyond the scope of work for a special exhibition.

The slideshows were going to feature representative artworks from the exhibition that correspond to each time period, much like this animation. A rough cut animation with this additional content helped us determine that the animation was  too long (>5 mins) for in-gallery presentation. This additional level of information is better suited for online presentation and in scholarly publications.

Produced for The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500–1800, in 2013.

Three-minute animation, running in a continuous loop on a Mac Mini and short-throw projector.

Creative director and producer: Paco Link
Production coordinator: Staci Hou
Curators: Amelia Peck and Amy Bogansky