Intro: Are we living in the society of constant entertainment? Are we part of the stimulated crowd? Maybe this is a society of comfortable never-ending mega-joy. We are all playbourers willingly working thousands of hours for free for our invisible social media “employers”. We contribute to this terrible machine of fun and gamified payments without loudly asking why. It is our whirlpool of reality, or maybe I should rather say black hole of our hyper-reality.
In the last two weeks, I spent the time researching a trying out different designs of environments of the interactive website. How would the main menu look like? How the user would get there? Where do you want to click to see this and that? How do you go back? Why would the user continue? The site needs to be clear to navigate, pleasant and attractive so participants are willing to stay there for more than a few seconds to actually enjoy their time. One cannot forget that this website is a tool. So it should educate and simultaneously stay enjoyable.
It’s maybe a lucky coincidence that during my stay in Seoul I visited another archive. I was curious to look at how the new media and contemporary design thinking can grasp and handle so many information and present it to large groups of visitors. Koreans really like interactive stuff. It has to move, it has to shine, it has to have loud music and you have to have a constant feeling of something being very specifically customized only for you. Your personal selection, your little story. The interaction is almost becoming a family of yours. So each attraction in Korean archive was a little amusement, little interactive wonder. Also in the twisted and ridiculous way. Like a data visualization of how many people died during the Korean Civil war with poping-up graves on bloody background – totally morbid animation.
Also, the decision was made, that the landscapes I was developing for a long time didn’t make any sense. So they were taken out. Sometimes designers need to go back in their process of developing a project, especially in order to make the project understandable, to clearly communicate the main message or idea. Seeing the beautiful overlays of landscapes was confusing and raising so many questions about aesthetic, the axis of subjectivity and objectivity, the artwork vs. the design work etc. Even though I thought they were supporting my fascination and interest, I realized they were not. Instead of serving its purpose the overlays became blurring the core idea of educational tool. How could you possibly design an instrument that enables others to see what the “Dutchness” may be with some confusing colorful layers that make no sense?