“It manages to beautifully capitalize on the current vogue of audio storytelling while also being unlike any other site this year. A strange and powerful work of interactive art.” —juror Ben Hughes
“An intuitive tool for actually listening to the children’s stories—the visual design and interface amplified the power of voice.” —juror Keri Elmsly
Overview: How do you measure the condition of our planet? By the dreams of our children, the next generation. Conceived by multidisciplinary creative studio Plains of Yonder, RadioEight presents a collection of children’s dreams from Africa, Asia and the Americas. Seattle-based design firm Belle & Wissell, Co. led the collaborative design, development and production of the site. The main page’s visual experience centers on a swirling cloud of node elements that evaporate, float and materialize in a surreal 3-D environment, enticing viewers to explore its content by selecting the nodes or clicking on a color-coded strip of threads located at the bottom of the page. On this site, dreams are everywhere.
•The site initially featured nearly 200 dream recordings and will continue to grow as children submit more.
•WebGL was used to implement 3-D simulation and particle systems.
•From concept development to content collection to launch, the project took six months.
Comments by Gabe Kean:
What was the thinking behind the navigation structure? “We felt like it needed to be unconventional and exploratory in nature to reflect the content it presented. We took several steps to simplify it so the visitor could focus on selecting and listening to each dream. The podcast and mobile version present the dreams in a preassembled digest format in which they are grouped together by theme.”
Were there any specific demands that made the project easier or harder? “The fact that the core website content needed to be collected firsthand made it particularly challenging. It required team members to travel and make field recordings and also to find partners around the globe to facilitate content collection in places we weren’t able to visit in person. From an audio standpoint, it’s very challenging to make recordings in a variety of settings and have consistent sound quality. Comprehensive audio adjustments and the introduction of a layered music soundtrack aided in stitching together the audio-visual into a cohesive experience.”
Did you meet with any out-of-the-ordinary obstacles during development? “While recording in Nepal, Katrina Crawford captured several accounts just hours before the Gorkha earthquake hit in April 2015. It was a very dangerous situation.”