Responses by Cyril Makhoul, graphic designer and Olivier Jonvaux, design/developer
Background: SILO is a French artist collective based in the south of France in an ancient type-foundry, near an empty grain silo. The collective not only produces both books (with all the materials from the foundry) and music (a label was created by exploring the sounds produced in this silo), but also events, exhibitions and concerts. The goal of the website is to provide a collective tool that users can update, opening SILO to artists who want to know more about this space and what it produces.
Highlights: The website had to reflect this collective spirit, a kind of information flux from many different types of data. Like a wall painting, the pages are saturated and users don’t expect to find what they were looking for, losing themselves in a homogeneous environment that helps them generate new ideas.
Challenges: Incorporating every participant from SILO’s ideas about how the website could look like. We decided to mix every proposal, adding other things on top of that so it looks like a big space full of information. This is SILO’s identity: abundant and diverse with different centers of interest that come together in one space.
Favorite details: We used many Json external calls from free APIs. We created the weather, stock exchanges, news feed, lunar phases and even a “one bird a day” function. The caches from the CMS are stocking data once a day or twelve hours a day to avoid long loading time.
Navigational structure: The navigation is inspired by social media websites like Facebook or Reddit that have an arch architecture. The centered content looks like an infinite wall, sorted by the most recent date. Not all the features are necessary to read on the website, which is why we don’t display everything on small devices. The features “dress” the website and add other kinds of information—linked or not—to SILO. Users can play with different types of settings, easily change to day/night styles or experience three different reading modes.
Technical features: We used Kirby CMS, a file-based content management system. When we are designing websites, we never use databases. We also never ask to work with a mockup, because mockups are not interesting to deal with when it comes to fluid content, and it slow the process down. We’re always focusing the work on talks and ideas, which is a better way to find the design that reflects the project’s purpose. During this process, we’re building things with the code editor Brackets, which supports every type of languages including JS, PHP, HTML and CSS.