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Responses by MONOGRID.

Background: We built the online platform for the latest edition of the PhotoVogue Festival, the physical and virtual event by Vogue Italia dedicated to conscious fashion photography. For the site, we had to develop the festival’s entire digital location and experience, enhance its different photographic showcases, live programming, and mission to present alternative views and neglected narratives within the discipline. Thinking beyond the idea of a traditional website, we set out to create an immersive, interactive reality that would use the potential of digital solutions to educate, entertain and engage visitors while reflecting the PhotoVogue Festival’s creative values, diverse approach and responsible ethos.

Design core: The festival’s mission inspired our creative concept: to design a cohesive, immersive, multimedia narrative that highlighted the plural content of the event. We built a 360-degree homepage featuring a revolving, 3-D interactive installation of three eye-shaped photocollage sculptures, each made of images from one of the three festival exhibitions—Reframing HistoryVisions From the World and Happy Anniversary PhotoVogue!—and leading to their dedicated online sections. We also had the pleasure of curating the entire Happy Anniversary PhotoVogue! showcase for which we created a video exhibition on the decade-long history and legacy of the PhotoVogue global archive and community.

Challenges: The biggest challenge was providing a cutting-edge, engaging experience with an immersive storytelling format that would not take the focus away from the creative value of the festival’s photography work. Rather, we wanted the experience to champion it and make it accessible to a broader audience. Having worked with Vogue Italia on several different projects over the years, we were able to optimize the production process and effectively nail the brief.

Navigation structure: OUr idea was to develop a high-impact homepage environment that, by reflecting the festival’s creative value and ethos of diversity, would grab visitors’ attention and lead them to explore the different exhibitions. Each section of the platform needed to provide visitors with a coherent digital itinerary. The interactive solutions we devised also highlight the plurality of perspectives: for example, on moving across the different items of the website’s menu, the cursor releases a trail of images from the project.

Technology: For the site’s infrastructure, we used AWS Serverless systems, our in-house Lambda/GraphQL CMS and an on-demand image compressor. On the front end, we used Vue.js, JavaScript, three.js for the 3-D rendering and Blender for the 3-D asset creation. We designed the homepage with the photocollage sculptures taking into account real-life perspective rules, but translating them into virtual reality posed some unexpected challenges during the prototyping phase. Some of the images that compose the sculptures appeared in inappropriate positions, making the visualization look messy and not congruent with our vision. We solved the problem by coding an “auto-hide” function for out-of-place photos, achieving a tidy visual result and effectively representing our concept.

photovoguefestival.vogue.it

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