Here at It’s Nice That, we’re always hoping to find a more interesting way to document web design than through the usual screenshots. So when we saw Liebermann Kiepe’s landing page, we jumped at the chance to write about how this Hamburg-based design studio are showcasing web design in a different way.
Founded in 2014 by David Liebermann and Maximilian Kiepe, the studio focuses on digital technologies with an artistic angle. Drawing on their arts education background, Liebermann Kiepe moves between art, design and technology to deliver thoughtfully designed yet innovative websites to their clients. Their interdisciplinary approach explains their quirky methods of documentation that sees MacBooks submerged in barren deserts, wedged within icebergs and slowly drowning in water.
In a recent project, the designers collaborate with Lamm & Kirch to create a website for Urbane Künste Ruhr. The site is designed for an arts festival that occurs over a five year period in Ruhr. Significantly, the designers take a conceptual approach to their design, reflecting the assortment of events that take place through variations of type and multiple hierarchies of text. The founding designers tell It’s Nice That, “If the users dives deep into the page’s content, they will recognise that there are many links and cross references” uniting the design with the festival’s themes. “This is very important for how the user roams through the site”, Maximilian and David assert. “The many events that happen around the festival need to be teased and reviewed in the same time” for maximum impact.
As an extension of this project, the designers take part in a “web residency”, developing an artistic contribution to the festival in web form for the festival. Titled checkitout, the website come original artwork features “an interactive field of checkboxes that can be activated or deactivated by the user when visiting the website.” The work explores the relationship between identity and territory through an interactive interface. It plays on the action of box ticking combined with the territorial fun of minesweeper, the designers add, “in this way, the user can define his own territory in the digital space of the internet which can then be redeemed by another user immediately after.”
In another website for the independent publishing platform Indiecon titled No more borders, Libermann Kiepe design the website to a visual concept. “We created an interactive concept where the user can scrub away CSS borders as well as other border which can be created in modern publishing tools.” In a literal and metaphorical interpretation of the platform’s theme, the immersive site can actually “get rid of the world wide web’s borders."