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Responses by Moby Digg.

Background: The Center for Philosophical Technologies (CPT) is a strategic initiative of Arizona State University that brings together philosophers, designers, artists, scientists and critical and creative practitioners to critique the relationship between philosophical inquiry and technological development in the present and beyond. The CPT examines a broad range of technology from advancements in AI to planetary infrastructure to design to biotechnology to storytelling to ecological communication to community building and does so in order to envision practices that are more critically engaged. The site acts as a hub for ideas, opening up the center’s efforts to the general public and making philosophy in the design space more accessible.

Design core: Reflecting the center’s dynamic DIY approach, the logo builds on the acronym—CPT—and arranges letters freely within the system and are framed by parentheses. Our research into language and expression of ideas through typography led to the conceptual rediscovery of parentheses, which enable writers the freedom to provide clarification or additional information. This variable branding system can be used in both static and animated iterations, adapting to various formats and spatial contexts, but moreover can easily be typed out and used together with research texts or claims, creating and connecting streams of thought.

Process: This project started out casually, talking with CPT via video chat and exchanging ideas on philosophy in the realms of technology and design. Our task was to visually define the essence of CPT’s activities and achieve feeling through intellectual content. In handling philosophical concepts, which are per se abstract in nature, it was inevitable that the center’s identity and form should be abstract as well. We built a visual system—that plays with layers, landscapes, blurriness and movement of forms—that reflects those core ideas. We really enjoy having those small moments of interplay between text and abstract forms.

Navigation structure: Since CPT is very much about the exploration of new, challenging ideas, the site’s navigation and discovery flow were definitely important to us. There is, of course, a standard navigation system that features all the main pages, but as you dive deeper into projects and events, one piece of information leads to the next. We created an additional index that breaks up and juxtaposes all content by tags.

Technology: We built this website using Gatsby and React, a cutting-edge static site generator and JavaScript library that provides countless improvements from page load speed to user interactions and more complex functioning components. This also enabled us to maintain a headless CMS—a clear distinction between front and back end—that allows for simpler deployment and faster content delivery.

centerforphilosophicaltechnologies.org

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