November 2017 saw BSoAD host the International Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA) Conference: Architecture, Festival & the City, with the aim to capture ideas, knowledge, meaning, and conversation through an interactive festival involving both academics and students. As part of Edit/or an editorial team, we are faced with the challenge of exhibiting the theme of a festival online in a contemporary and interactive way to those interested in performances, speech, and images generated through architectural history, theory, cultural and urbanism.
The original website for the Architecture, Festival & the City was designed as a call for papers to allow speakers to upload their work. Since the conference, the website is now out of date and needs to be updated to adapt to document, while promoting what took place. As a group, the Edit/or team has evaluated the original website to discover both the advantages and the disadvantages of the website. In doing so it was clear that a key advantage of the website was the main background image. The image represents the themes of a conference through a carefully selected choice of colour on a grey scale image.
Overall the group concluded that the website was no longer suitable as it is flat and none interactive with itself or with the user. As the research group continues to actively push the idea of a festival and the Conference forward, it is key to develop the branding into a new template that documents the content and creates an exciting platform for publishing continued research. Our main objectives are to create a clear, informative and interactive website while building on the theme and festive nature of the Conference.
As a group, we found it very beneficial to engage in open conservation with one another about what makes not only a good website but a great website. The topics discussed were initially based on our personal opinions which generated a starting platform for design before developing further desktop research into what makes a great website. An important design feature for the new website is to elaborate on the idea of a festival. When thinking about the creation of a website it is crucial to ensure that it has been designed in such a way that makes it easier for users to navigate around. In this case, the development of the website needs to imitate the idea of festivals which are transgressive. The navigation of the new website will need to be clear but also depict the idea of getting lost on the website to allow visitors to become more immersed. This comes from the idea of the city being a place to get lost.
From our group discussions to better develop the website, we are proposing to set up a blog with the research group, along with social media accounts to keep the website and content active rather than a static archive of what took place
Prior to the interim review, we found it advantageous to discuss ideas of the new website with Professor of Architecture and researcher Christian Frost who is also apart of a prestigious team of international academics for the Editorial Team. The conversation helped the team to identify and consider how to create a website which communicates the feel of a festival and the city through the use of colour, imagery, graphics, and layout. The design needs to be consistent and work well with the existing conference brand while incorporating a wide range of festival themes.
Edit/or – Editorial Team