Website Concept

•August 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

For my website i have chosen to focus on ideas mentioned in an earlier blog post (about the ‘Universcale’ – ‘In the grand scheme of things’) about the identities of humans and specific people in relation to everything else. More specifically, this focus now rests on how people use or see different animals as representations of their identity.

At the centre of this concept is the age old question of whether one  is a cat or a dog person (I found some inspiration here These two animals provide the most easily understandable contrast of personality. Surrounding this comparison are any other type of animal someone might align themselves with.

What I aim to do in my site, is to provide a broad range of information specific to each animal. This includes behavioural/physical characteristics, cultural significance/symbolism, and use in narrative.

Through providing this information i want to  give the audience an understanding of the common characteristics of living things, why people chose to align themselves or represent others with a certain animal, and how these aspects provide a window through which to observe the identity of a person or character.


Relationship Between Image & Textt

•August 18, 2010 • 1 Comment

I believe that the relationship between image and text is similar to the relationship between dark and light. Neither image or text serve a particular function, but rather they provide contrast. Text may bring order to the chaos of image, or vice-versa. Image can also do the same to text.

In this picture (from ‘idea magazine’ containing 144 page essay on the floating world), both the image and the text have their own qualities of order and chaos. There is a visible structure apparent in both, particularly noticeable in the text. However, closer observation reveals that text is comprised of a mixture of languages and numerals, seemingly nonsensical; possibly as a way to represent the broadness of the scope of the article.

In the grand scheme of things…

•August 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I thought this site was relevant to personal identity, and the identity of the collective human race. It is fascinating to observe because when personal identity is concerned, people tend to think about this with regard to the rest of the human population.

In terms of identity i think this site both brings people back to a common plane by showing what a narrow level of nature we exist in. However, it also shows just how different each of us can be; we are individual in the universe as a race, and individual as human through our specific genetic code and upbringing.

Identity – Nature vs Nurture

•August 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Being that the major project this semester is based on identity, I decided it would be a good idea to write my own interpretation of what identity is.

I believe identity is a mixture of nature and nurture. The personality traits and lives we lead that give us a unique identity are influence heavily at a base level by our genetic makeup. While circumstance may be seen as the more prominent discerning factor, it is the reaction of the individual to his or her environment that leads to development of identity.

As mentioned above, ones environment plays a significant role in the creation of an identity. Human beings are only able to learn how to live or behave by observing the examples that life puts before them, or puts them in.

In both of these ways simultaneously do I believe an identity is established. Such is the reason for such an infinite spectrum of individual identity; no two people are born the same, and each person can never have the exact same life experience as another.

The Eco Zoo: Art vs Design – 1st research entry

•August 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment



The website I have chosen to report on is called Eco Zoo. It is an educational website based on environmental sustainability. It uses a variety of 3D and 2D graphics in order to create an attractive and friendly environment that the user can explore to discover content. The site uses aspects of both art and design to achieve its purpose. However, it is certainly more related to design end of the spectrum; the reasons for which are described further down.


The overall structure of the website is that of an interactive 3D environment. The centrepiece of the environment is an enormous 3D tree that the user can observe at any height and angle. Scattered throughout the tree are small recesses, each housing a type of animal. The animal and its surroundings are presented as 2D images, within the 3D space, achieving an effect similar to a pop-up children’s book. Each animal has something to say about a different environmental issue related to everyday life (presented in a speech bubble), and the user can discover more detailed info by clicking on the bubble (bringing up an actual digital pop-up book). The creators of the site have cleverly transformed boring eco-friendly advice into an experience similar to that of a game or picture-book. The format would be much more successful at delivering its message to children, than through blocks of text.

Why it may be design related

The aspects of this website that relate it to design can be simply outlined. Attention paid to form and colour is important in all design work, and is readily on display here. The website succeeds as being an attractive environment that users would likely enjoy interacting with. Careful consideration for how the user will interact with the website, also relate it to design. In order for the site to best achieve its purpose, the mechanisms of interaction must be logical and intuitive.

These facets of design in relation to the website are all significant. However, the most important factor is the overall purpose of the website. Specifically in this case, the purpose is to educate young people about how to live environmentally friendly lives. The way and style with which it was constructed serves primarily as a means to serve this end.

Why it may be art related

The aspects of this website that relate it to art common with many that relate it design. A successful artwork must somehow be visually (or otherwise) engaging. To this end the site uses a strong visual style and appropriately themed music. Coupled with the cartoon drawings of animals within picture-books, at first glance the site may appear to be an interactive artwork. The cartoon drawings in particular may represent a specific style of an artist trying to create certain characters, in order to convey some sort of experience through narrative.


Most of the aspects I have discussed with regards to the Eco Zoo website have been equally applicable to both design and art. However it is the ultimate purpose of the website that sits it firmly in the design category. Its primary objective is to be an educational tool, therefore despite its obvious aesthetic qualities the tag of ‘art’ cannot be attached without direct reference to the design objective.

Cool Website

•August 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The website I found is one of a graphic designer. I found the starting menu fun to interact with, as you are able to control a squirrel easily with the mouse to collect acorns.

The main menu is also effective in that it makes you feel like you are in an environment, rather than a basic page displaying information or products.

Art vs Design

•August 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Art and design share many common characteristics, possibly the most obvious of these being aesthetic value. However, while they are related, the fact that there exists a word for each, is evidence enough that they are fundamentally different.

I believe that the difference lies in the purpose of each, or lack thereof, for both art and design draw on technology and creativity.

Design draws on these aspects in oder to create something that solves a problem. The problem may be obvious (eg. needing to make a chair more ergonomic) or ambiguous (eg. designing the first videogame – to satisfy peoples desire for entertainment).

Art is different in that its function is usually ambiguous. A simple explanation might be that art exists simply to create an experience for its audience. The artist may intend to convey certain emotions or themes, but its success does not depend on artists meaning being conveyed literally.

Art and design could exist separately, but for all their differences, they are both enriched by the presence of the other.