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Posted on: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Site explores Web-design visualization

By Burt Lum

Back in the 1400s, a fellow by the name of Johannes Gutenberg invented what was to become the printing press. It was an invention that would revolutionize the delivery of information and ushered in the concept of mass communication. But in those days the means for mass communications were limited to those who owned or controlled the technology. The first notable publication to roll off the press was the Gutenberg Bible.

In the age of the Internet, virtually everyone has access to mass communication. During one of my frequent forays into the cyber-landscape, I came across a Gutenberg namesake at www.cybergutenberg.com. It’s a collaborative experiment in information, technology and art and the brainchild of Jose Figueroa and Geraldine Sarmiento. Both graduates of Coopers Union in New York, they created CyberGutenberg as an exploration into the display of information.

The site contains an interesting use of frames, or Web-page sections, but it functions primarily as a portal to other design sites. One of these is another Figueroa/Sarmiento collaboration, www.sensescape.com.

It is here where more of their creative ideas are showcased. One such effort is Manila Fiction. This link leads to a montage of photos of Manila that hint at the organized chaos of life in the city. From the One+One link you will find more use of images and frames as a minimalist display of information. I found the simple use of frames and Java scripting somewhat refreshing.

I was most intrigued by a section called Information Landscapes. They continued their exploration of multiple frame manipulation as well as providing links to other experiments in information visualization. In particular pay close attention to Nif Elastic Catalog out of MIT. It is certainly eye candy worth further thought. ;-)

E-mail Burt Lum at burt@brouhaha.net.

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