Design that augments, not consumes, Nature
Operating at the intersection of technology and biology, designer Neri Oxman and her team are calling for a systemic change in the way we design the built environment, evolving from consuming Nature to augmenting her. Their new digital platform, Oxman.com, explores Material Ecology: a design philosophy, research domain, and scientific approach that explores, informs, and expresses interrelationships between the built, the grown, and the augmented.
Oxman.com is made with Twill, our open-source CMS for Laravel.
Our goal was for the site to emulate the experience of walking through a curated exhibition — to tell the story of what makes the Oxman team’s work unique through enabling discovery of the works themselves. The homepage reads as a single, coherent narrative, with text that explains the philosophy of Material Ecology interspersed with project links in a variety of different ratios and media. The overall effect recalls absorbing a piece of art and then turning to its exhibit label to learn more.
We expanded the Oxman team's new visual identity — designed by Michael Bierut's team at Pentagram — into a fully-fleshed out digital design system. With such visually striking material, we honed in on a minimal aesthetic, looking to balance self-expression and self-effacement. The thin, elegant Neue Haas Grotesk complemented the baroque, organic shapes of the work; where the two overlap a subtle inversion effect can be found. This inversion is mirrored in certain hover-states, recalling the circular "O" from the typography, revealing an extra dimension to the work and nudging the viewer to engage.
Using Twill, we created a site that is constructed almost entirely out of block editors, empowering the Oxman team to craft the site and the narrative in concert. They took this flexibility and innovated, creating a page for each project that has a set number of elements: the context around the project, the resulting product, the process of creating or inventing it, and the policy recommendations that came out of it. Within this framework, each project has its own unique narrative flow, elevated with a wide variety of media elements — from still images to looping videos to embedded documentaries, in clearly-organized grids to organic masonry patterns — all interspersed with facts and statistics relating to the work.