University of Gothenburg

SEA CREATURES AND BEACH FINDINGS – Q & A with Baptiste Guesnon

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SEA CREATURES AND BEACH FINDINGS –  Q & A with Baptiste Guesnon

BYGGSTUDIO –  how to make a project website?

Our first though was to make a printed publication as a project documentation, as we are usually (until now) quite analogue-thinking in Byggstudio. Then we decided that it will be much easier to show all our different research and sketches if we make a website instead and to spread the material. Going digital! To help us we asked Baptiste Guenon who is a skilled graphic designer and programmer. After our start-up meeting, we asked him if he could share some thoughts related to the process on making such a website.

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Q & A WITH BAPTISTE GUESNON

BYGGSTUDIO: TELL US A FEW LINES ABOUT YOURSELF: INTERESTS, PROFESSION, BACKGROUND WEBSITE.

BAPTISTE GUESNON: I’m a french designer. I do type design, graphic design and I code all those things. I love to experiment with different things. Print, digital, drawing, coding. And I’m also interested in a lot of things. Architecture, art, science, economy, sociology, technology, history, politic. I think that the thing which drives me the most is to try to link all that together. I studied graphic design in France in Paris (Estienne) and Valence (ESAD Valence).

➤ My website is baptisteguesnon.eu

B: IN WHAT WAY IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO PRESENT AN UNFINISHED PROJECT PROTOTYPE AS A WEBSITE – WHAT POSSIBILITIES ARE THERE IN COMPARISON TO PRINTED MEDIA? THE PROS AND CONS.

BG: I think that an unfinished project is full of different ideas, intuitions and research and its strength is in the relation between all those things. Therefore I think it’s very important to give the ability to the reader to have access to it and make his/her own point of view and to give the ‘speaker’ the opportunity of telling a story in an organic way, with interaction, various medias (sounds/motions/pictures).

The idea at the origin of the web (as thought Berners Lee) is to make links (hyperlinks) between things (pages). Traveling from a page to an other, from an idea to an other with a simple interaction (a click). A kind of mind teleportation. It’s a very simple concept, but it opens an all new world that can’t be reached in any other way. That makes the web the ideal place to present complex things in all there subtlety without imposing a definitive point of view to the reader.

B: WE HAD AN IDEA ABOUT MAKING AN ILLUSTRATED MAP OF OUR PROTOTYPE/PARK PROPOSAL AS AN INDEX/STARK PAGE, AND YOU GAVE US A FEW REFERENCE EXAMPLES THAT YOU FIND INTERESTING. CAN WE SHARE THEM, WHAY ARE THEY INTERESTING?

BG: Spatialisation and relation between things.  ➤ http://typojanchi.org/2015/    Floating/Interacting/Sorting/Describing elements ➤ http://colorplanpapers.com/50colours The interaction with the different elements and the way to explore the data in a playful and minimal way is really great.Interesting interactions (hover shapes/click panel)                             ➤ http://www.wonderwhygraduation.com/ 

Playing with the responsiveness/framing of the window to change the visual experience of the viewer is a smart idea ➤ https://leviathan-cycle.com/ By displaying a digital table/floor this website introduce a 2D constraint of the physical world in the digital world. It makes me thing to the Atlas Mnémosyne of Aby Warburg. Something has to be next to something else, and this positions will define the narration/relation between the elements.     ➤ http://www.microtyp.org/ 

The infinite scroll allows the use of a mass of content. It gives the filling of an infinite flow, and that flow becomes something in itself. ➤ http://www.ahead.website/

B: DO PEOPLE REALLY READ LONG TEXTS/ESSAYS ON WEBSITES? IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO MAKE DOWNLOADABLE PDFs OUT OF LONG TEXTS?

BG: It depends on what we call a long text. I think that the average limit is around 15 mn of continuous reading. To me screens are not good for very long and static texts, but they are great to link things together and display new perspective on things. They are not a substitute of the printed matter, but a complement. About the question of giving the possibility to the user to print, I thing that it should always be possible anyway.

It’s not a very big effort to prepare a web page to be nicely displayed when printed with a CSS print. A printed page can be thought as a very static linear modular screen. A website with a lot of text should be « print ready ». To me it’s worth the effort.

B: WHAT ABOUT PRESENTING ARCHITECTURE ON WEBSITES, ANY THOUGHTS ON HOW IT CAN BE CHALLENGED AND DEVELOPED? WHAT POSSIBILITIES ARE THERE TO INVESTIGATE? ANY REFERENCES, GOOD EXAMPLES?

BG: The web navigators are windows. The challenge with architecture projects is to restitute the complexity of a 3D space, its organisation, its scale, through a small window with a variable format and scale itself. I think that one way of doing it could be to use/play with different ideas & technologies available (text, pictures, sound, interactive, maps, video/3D, virtual reality), to putt them in relation and play through a narration or a spatialisation.

B: ANYTING ELS YOU WANT TO ADD ABOUT WHAT WE DISCUSSED, OR YOUR IDEAS? YOU SAID SOMETHING ABOUT SWEDE´S OBSESSION WITH SMARTPHONES…

BG: Ahah, yes! Swede love their phones! But that’s maybe a global thing. It can be a good opportunity to play with it. Smartphone are very crazy tools when you start thinking about it. They are nothing less but a small pocket physical lab. We can now build very advanced interactive experience with users. The GPS, gyroscopes, microphone, cameras, speakers, are tools that allows spatialisation, interaction with the body, the different senses, the time/space of the user. I think that a lot could be done in term of architectural experience with smartphones.

BYGGSTUDIO is a Swedish-Norwegian design studio founded in 2006 by graphic designers Hanna Nilsson & Sofia Østerhus. Byggstudio works with both commissioned and self-initiated projects focusing on three-dimensional graphic design in public space and environments. ➤ Website

❐ Header Image: Photo collage (photo by Tobias Dahlin, photo of Baptiste Guesnon)

❐ Image: Tobias Dahlin

❐ Image: Baptiste Guesnon

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