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LOOP: AIGA Journal of Interaction Design Education
June 2003 Number 7

Web Site for a Scenic and Lighting Designer


Lauren Kangas
Lynn Rawden and Peter Girardi, advising faculty
School of Visual Arts
(Flash enhanced website). is a portfolio website for Thaddeus Strassberger, a New York-based scenic and lighting designer. The website features Strassberger’s creations for the opera and provides his résumé, headshot and biography for potential international collaborators. The intended audience includes local and international theatrical employers and the artist’s colleagues. The site takes advantage of its audience’s familiarity with using the Internet for communication during the challenging task of producing operas on a tight schedule and at low cost.
      Professors Rawden and Girardi gave their class a straightforward and minimally-structured assignment: “to identify a need for a website then design it.” For, Kangas looked beyond the classroom and addressed a real-life client’s need to showcase his scenic design portfolio.
      Kangas displayed Strassberger’s multiple-scene set designs through a series of documentary photographs and captions. She built the website primarily in HTML but used Macromedia’s Flash to create simple photographic sequences of operas and plays. The use of Flash is restrained, focusing on an ability to generate smooth and localized navigation while minimizing its animation effects. Captions written by Strassberger that describe the dramatic context of each shot accompany the images.
      After establishing the navigational structure, Kangas experimented with five alternative visual concepts. She finally adopted a minimalist dark blue background so that Strassberger’s set designs glowed on the screen. The overall design communicates the concept that Strassberger literally lights up the stage with his talent. successfully unites the ancient art of theatrical design with contemporary design approaches for the Internet.


LOOP June 2003 Number 7