I have spent the morning reviewing Team Cerulean’s Future Gallery presentation and have just uploaded my critique to the forum. I approached this task by reading over the presentation, taking some time to digest the contents and then re-reading and making notes on points I thought were good or things that did not work so well. I tried to be as objective as possible and review the submission aesthetically and on the merits of its content. By referring to the support materials for guidance on methods of constructive criticism, I attempted to remove any personal bias of design style and preference.
Even though I did my utmost to ensure an objective response I was concerned that I may have come across as being too negative. I therefore decided to seek the advice and opinion of a number of my creative colleagues. I was reassured by all that I had given a balanced and effective critique which was structured with improvement in mind. I hope that this is the way it is received. I’ll now begin the process for Team Cadmium.
Below is my critique:
The overall future gallery theme is engaging and certainly demonstrates a clearly thought out and strategic approach to the gallery concept, which is evidenced at many junctures throughout the presentation.
The individual definitions of future gallery, shown at the offset of the proposal, serve to set the tone and personalise the experience for the viewer. The idea of Exhibit 3015 to house the exhibition inside, ‘pods’ also contributes to a personalised feel and user experience has obviously been a main focus of Team Cerulean’s vision.
From an aesthetic point of view the presentation uses a calm, appropriate colour palette and a legible, easy to read typeface however I do feel there could be more consistency in layout, as each team member’s section looked distinctly separate rather than following the same structured grid or template. The readability of the text was also an issue for me on some slides. According to many typographic scholars, in particular, the renowned Canadian typographer and author of the ‘Elements of Typographic Style’, Robert Bringhurst, (n.d.) the optimal line length for readability is between 47-57 characters. Anything longer and the readers eyes have difficulty focussing on the text. This is where I found myself.
Moving through the slides, the exhibit logo is strong, bold and geometric; really representative of a modern, futuristic design approach. The pod interior visualisations are also visually beautiful but follow a more organic, soft and almost cave like structure. I believe both are excellent examples of futuristic design but somehow look disjointed when placed together.
The pods are beautifully presented, well thought out and wonderfully inclusive. Pods 1, 2 and 4 really spark my enthusiasm; the combination of the digital and analogue technology and overall sensory experience are really impressive, well considered solutions to ensure all users are catered for. Again, it is clear that user experience has been at the forefront of the team’s considerations.
With pod 3, however I am a little confused. Some of the animations presented are very abstract and I’m not sure how these relate to the gallery; without a detailed explanation I’m afraid I’m left guessing! Perhaps a rationale behind the thinking would serve to transfer the message to the viewer? The animations themselves are technically well done and visually appealing. I would just like some clarification on their relevance to the gallery concept.
Overall, the future gallery is a very successful presentation, demonstrating a strong team alliance. It is clear that user experience and inclusion have elevated a forward thinking, innovative and detailed outcome, which purposefully considered how technology and hands on experiences could synthesise to produce an exciting, inclusive and creative environment.
Winstanley.L. (2015) Team Cerulean critique