Laurel in 10 Links

January 25, 2022

1. Favorite thing I created this past year — I made a tutorial on how to make a bird kite using materials you can find at most hardware stores. But if you start it, you'll realize it's also a meditation on the metaphor of "wind" and how dynamic forces are part of everything. If you watch the whole story-format video, it's a 50-minute-long-film and includes some "deep cuts." I was commissioned by my friend and designer Tracy Ma (who worked at the New York Times).

2. Probably my most widely-seen website design — I was the Creative Director at The Creative Independent, "TCI" (published by Kickstarter) from 2016-17. This website houses hundreds of interviews and other wisdom with creative people. I created the visual langauge, deciding on the sprial logo, the fonts, the website structure, etc. I posted a long list of links for my birthday once. I also wrote this essay about metaphors for websites. My friend Elliott Cost works on refining and expanding to a lot of the design of TCI since then.

3. A favorite client web design project — I co-designed and developed this website for two disabled artists & activists, Shannon Finnegan & Bojana Coklyat. Basically, it's an online home for their project about how web accessibility (making websites accessible to people who are blind, low-vision, other disabilities that prevent them from understanding images) can learn from creative aspects of poetry. You can learn more about the process for creating this site in this video. I made this site with Taichi Wi.

4. A smartphone app I concepted & designed — It's essentially a game. One of my favorite things about it is that it's helped generate a handful of other projects, including this booklet and this theoretical airplane entertainment system. I co-created Flight Simulator with my friend Dan Brewster (who developed and published it), and we commissioned Aarati Akkapeddi for the in-game generative artwork.

5. How I got into creating websites in the first place: horses — This is an essay about how I made my first HTML pages in the late 90s because I was playing a sim horse game — Neopets but for horses. I also designed this website. This project happened because the very first time I taught, I invited curator Gene McHugh to my class, and while riding the train together, we talked about our early internet experiences.

6. Something I wrote about colors on the web — I think colors are one of the most underutilized aspects of web design. Even I forget to use them sometimes! (We just have to make sure that the color combinations we choose are accessible to low-vision people.)

7. A favorite collaborative project — I co-wrote these perfume reviews and published a book. I wrote these with my friend, artist Sydney Shen.

8. I have a podcast — I interview artists, technologists, etc. about the raw power of HTML. I am also currently writing a book called "IMAGINE HTML." The other parts of the HTML Energy project are done by Elliott Cost.

9. A calm video I made about HTML — I like making instructional videos that have multiple layers, kind of like my bird kite project. I also did a follow-up video about CSS. Should I do one about JavaScript too?

10. Self portrait in two found images — It can be nice to make simple websites, like one with just two images. The image on the right is the largets venn diagram possible. Small sites like this are inspired by Sunday Sites, a project where people get together on Sundays and make simple sites together.