Self-produced entirely by students, Lunar Gala is an annual experimental fashion show that cultivates interdisciplinary creative talent within the Carnegie Mellon University community. For four years, I served as an Interaction Designer on the Executive Board of the organization, working primarily on the digital experiences for the shows including websites, digital artifacts, and motion pieces. The primary objective of all these assets is to push for expressive value as a means of communicating the annual theme, which is always inspired by that year's Chinese zodiac (lunar) animal.
Vestige (Goat) Vestige overstimulates viewers with consumerist culture imagery, instigating an information high and overloading the senses. There is no breathing room, type and image overtake the page to fully immerse the viewer, forcing them to consume more. Our imagery juxtaposes this new, shiny, consumable content with a literal vestige of computer manipulation: compression. The content becomes degraded, and viewers are left with a mere fragment of the image they originally had, though the colors and experience of Vestige’s materials remain wholly stimulating. In short, Lunar Gala: Vestige is a critique of the corrosive cycle of overconsumption in digital times.
Due to the over-consumptive nature of the theme, we wanted the website and overall identity to be saturated with information and periodic breaks to leave the audience gasping with the change of pace. The visual manifestation of this idea took on an oversaturated aesthetic of colors and elements. With the website, all the content is on the page at all times. In order to overwhelm the viewer, the page is constantly in motion and overflowing with text and images. The idea is to give the viewer a taste of what is to come at the actual show.
Elements of the website served as a foundation for much of the identity system. The technique of dynamically compressing type and image was developed for the website and then adapted to print and motion design pieces, as well as custom typefaces used throughout the show's identity, which were designed with the intent of being dramatically stretched and scaled.
Strain (Monkey) As Lunar Gala celebrates its 20th anniversary, we reflect back on the event’s continuous evolution since its conception, from which it has grown into the fully immersive experience it is today. In order to embody our adaptive growth, we present Lunar Gala: Strain. Strain is the evolution of a form over time from the application of external forces – pressure, tension, and constriction. Strain is the struggle of an organism to survive. Through the past twenty years of growth, Lunar Gala has strained to evolve beyond the usual, the accepted, the proper, and will continue to do so for years to come.
The visual manifestation of this theme took on an organic, microbiological aesthetic, embodying how this evolution has gone beyond a usual, accepted, or proper limit; we went on to communicate this through the website and motion assets. At the beginning of the identity and concept ideation process, materials such as ferrofluid, cornstarch, and ink were experimented with and filmed.
For the show, designers are chosen to create fashion collections that generally consist of 6-10 pieces. The website details the lines and designers of each year's show. For each collection in the show, designers chose audio tracks that reflect their line, for the models to walk to on the runway. To further reflect the theme of the show, these audio tracks were used to create a distinct biological wobble for each line using p5.js↗.
Sonder (Rooster) Consumed by our everyday agenda, one can pass by the same places and faces with no concern of the significance of each interaction. Lunar Gala: Sonder describes the jarring awakening through which we become aware of the parallelism between our own vivid and complex experiences and that of any passerby. No longer droning through life grey and unmoved, every person offers his or her own color, interconnected stories and new realizations. This year's show personifies this realization and aims to lead us through this transitional narrative.
The manifestation of the theme took on a kaleidoscopic visual language, exploring ideas of parallels, intersections, and ephemerality. During the concept ideation process, projections on a body were filmed to explore ideas of imprints of other timelines/lives upon your own self. These shots were edited to create a colorful visual language that was used throughout the identity. Images of each fashion collection for the show were also manipulated to create a kaleidoscopic effect.
role Interaction design, visual design, motion design, website development, experience design, event production
duration 4 years