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Responses by Marc Kandalaft; art director, designer, head of strategy and founder; Kandalaft Studio.

Background: This site primarily seeks to inform and share knowledge, reflecting my journey from a traditional design agency to independent consulting. It’s built on three pillars: design and branding, visual arts, and education, highlighting my diverse expertise and the integration of creative practice with teaching philosophy.

Visitors are invited into my world through the Journal and Library sections, offering insights into my career, work, and inspirations. The Journal will be a space for experts and artists to share, making the site a living testament to my commitment to transformative design, boundless visual arts, and education as a means of progress. The Keyword Search facilitates discoveries and will further enrich visitors as the site’s content grows.

The site’s ethos is shaped by values such as freedom, culture and the democratization of knowledge, aiming for a balance between visual appeal and intellectual substance. It promotes accessibility, fostering exchanges within my communities in Montréal, Paris and the Middle East, encouraging curiosity and interdisciplinary engagement and moving beyond traditional art, design and educational boundaries. Rethink. Act. Provoke.

Design core: There are several key elements at the heart of the platform, but the most important—and those that will become increasingly useful as the site grows—are the Journal, the Library, and Keyword Search. The latter makes it possible to explore and extract content related to these keywords, offering visitors the opportunity to research, learn and discover topics based on their interests.

Favorite details: I am proud of the whole project, but what fills me with pride are the animated GIFs hidden behind certain words. I think they reflect my personality perfectly—the way I like to tackle serious, critical subjects—while incorporating a touch of lightness and humor. It is crucial to lighten the weight that big words and ideas carry to make them more accessible for reflection and discussion, among other forms of engagement. This approach also includes a touch of self-deprecation, reflecting my ability to recognize that, despite my convictions, there is still so much I do not know. For me, laughing at myself is a way to keep my feet on the ground and cultivate humility.

The 404 error page is also a detail I like particularly.

Process: This project is a fusion of strategy, design and feasibility, developing a website with bespoke features through a year-long process of exploration. It represents a blend of technology and creativity, resulting in a harmonious strategy-creativity ecosystem.

Time constraints: Time was abundant but deliberately capped at twelve months to respect the production team’s effort and tackle the challenge of balancing design innovation with technical practicality. Embracing the philosophy that perfect is the enemy of good, we launched with the knowledge that real-world feedback is important.

Navigation structure: The navigation is primarily vertical except in the Journal section, where it becomes horizontal. We also designed it to always offer clicks to another area or information, for example, to cultivate a journey always full of surprises—but also somewhat like a maze in which it can be fun to get lost.

Choosing to diverge from standard UI conventions, we aimed to craft an experience that’s unique and intriguing, targeting those who appreciate novelty over the familiar. This choice reflects our freedom from commercial constraints, inviting visitors to immerse in a deliberately complex universe.

Technology: We used a combination of pure coding and Webflow. For example, the landing page is created with pure code, drawing from a large database of images, colors and quotes and placing them in a completely random manner with each page reload.


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