The School of Architecture website represents the combined efforts of many talented students, faculty, staff, and contractors (designers, Information architects, and developers).
Omnivore, the School’s graphic designers since around 2002, created initial concepts with Stan Allen in 2010-11. The chronological, tag-based, archival grid design emerged in summer 2012 from conversations between Dean Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Axel Kilian, and Dan Claro, and was drawn first with wireframes produced by developers working with Omnivore.
Working with Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Omnivore changed the SoA logo from the multi-line Carbon font logo to a two-line version in Akzidenz-Grotesk that references the Architecture School's sans-serif logo from the 1960s through the 1980s.
Key to the design concept was an an image-based interface to visualize the School. A grid, composed of "cells," would provide some order and symmetry to an otherwise egalitarian approach to authorship that allowed SoA students, faculty and staff to freely add/edit content. Eschewing a tree-like menu struture, we situated content using filters: subject zones, author tags, theme tags, and chronology. This database-heavy design was meant to illustrate connections between faculty, students, work, events, staff. Over time, as new content populated the grid, the archive would deepen. We were inspired by the Space Collective website's approach to the grid, with content expanding and contracting, filters, and comments.
In summer 2012 Dan Claro began managing all aspects of the website. The SoA hired Spanish firm La Colaborativa (with Drupal developers E-Datta Sistemas Informáticos) to build the new website. They provided new design mockups informed by conversations up to that point, creating the building blocks of the site. In fall 2012 and spring 2013, MArch students Loren Yu *14 and Cyrus Penarroyo *13 refined the La Colaborativa mockups’ into version 1, which launched in April 2013.
In fall 2013 and spring 2014, Phi Van Phan *14, worked with Dan (with ongoing feedback from Alejandro and Axel) to refine the design. This redesign had as its primary goal a faster, cleaner interface that required less bandwidth and responded to different-sized screens. Phi utilized Aktiv Grotesk to establish a typographical coherence, adopted the two-line logo created by Omnivore, and refined all aspects of the site design. To highlight content more effectively, we replaced the concept of one “featured” content (sized 1x4 in the grid) with a selection of available sizes. Version 2 launched in July 2014. In summer 2015, Sasha Urano *16 designed a new, grid-based "Directory" menu, reconfigured the smartphone view of the site, and added more than 30 audio recordings from the SoA Archive to the site.