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Remote Pyramids

Dallas Aurora Project 2020-2021

> Commissioned web design with front-end implementation
 
> Javascript, CSS, HTML, PHP, WordPress, After Effects

remotepyramids.gif

About

"Remote Pyramids" is a project by Chicago-based artist Jan Tichy, commissioned for the 2020-21 Dallas Aurora Biennial. It explores community responses following Governor Abbott's decision to withdraw Texas from the Federal Refugee Resettlement Program.

Through creative dialogue facilitated by Tichy and local educators, the project connects resettled refugee teenagers from Vickery Meadow and Oak Cliff. The goal is to foster collaboration and understanding in the face of immigration challenges.

I am grateful to be invited by the artist to create a website for the Biennale, aiming to preserve the project's story and capture the unique context of the COVID-19 pandemic when it occurred.

Mission

Design

The visual design prioritizes a simplistic style in layout and color scheme, taking into account the artist's artistic style and the canvas of the project -- the Dallas City Hall.

remotepyramids-landing.gif

Landing page of the website with the motion logo

Color

The color palette features black and white as the primary monochrome theme, drawing inspiration from the architectural material, a special concrete mix, and the nighttime public projection onto the Dallas City Hall wall.

The accent color, yellow (#FFD100), symbolizes the vibrant community of young students, providing a lively contrast to the project's underlying social and political issues with the local government. Importantly, this tri-color scheme has successfully passed accessibility tests with a high-contrast ratio.

Logo

The motion logo I created is centered around three essential elements:

  • Pyramid - represented abstractly as a triangle.

  • Inverted - animated to highlight the contrast from a regular state. 

  • Young voices - symbolized as particles that drive the inversion motion, emphasizing the impactful expressions of students in the local community, as well as the participants in the project.

Interaction

To engage audiences, I incorporated interactive features that seamlessly integrate the project concept.

Inverted

The concept of "inverted" plays a crucial role in this project, both conceptually and formally, referencing the inverted pyramidic shape on the sides of the Dallas City Hall, symbolizing the city's service to all communities.

To echo this idea as well as the inversion motion in the logo design, I incorporated an inverted hover effect to the hyperlink text.

"Questions for the Mayor" served as a crucial aspect of the project, originating from participant workshops where questions addressing concerns in Poverty, Policing, Environment, and Heritage were written and later discussed with visiting artists. These questions were projected onto both the City Hall and the Oak Cliff Cultural Center's Storefront Galleries as part of the Remote Pyramids installation.

To adapt this feature to a website context, I transformed each of these questions into a popup alert, responding to the concerns and translating this emotion to the website audience via a confrontational format. The audience is compelled to acknowledge the existence of these questions, as there are no other ways to dismiss them aside from clicking "OK."

Confrontational

Conclusion

This project is my first client-oriented website commission, from which I learned a lot about communication, conducting research for design, and front-end engineering techniques, despite not having a professional background in these fields. This project also incorporates design thinking from my filmmaking background to engage emotions, a perspective I am eager to explore further.

I am very grateful to my mentor and client, Jan Tichy, who offered me generous feedback and insight that helped me better grasp the project and translate the core concept effectively. 

There are still spaces for improvement on this website, such as incorporating a responsive feature to enhance its cross-device support. I will pay attention to these aspects and look forward to developing them further in future projects and opportunities.

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