The Resilient City
The Resilient City is a contingent of the Cities For People initiative, a network with a mission to "transform public narratives and community practices through socially relevant arts." Made up of the Field Notes Collective, a group of scientists and artists in Southern Alberta, The Resilient City explores the meaning of 'resiliency' in relation to their scientific and artistic practices.
The project began in the summer of 2014 with three events lead by local experts and community leaders that aimed to shape the participants understanding of resiliency in Lethbridge. The events included topics of long-term experimentation, sustainable agricultural engineering, protecting the headwaters of the Oldman River, and Lethbridge's geological history.
Following the events, I developed a brand identity that encompassed some of the major themes we witnessed to be at play in discussions about resilience from the perspective of the Field Notes Collective:
- Ability and flexibility to adapt and/or shift focus
- Anticipating change
- Paying attention to the whole network.
- Getting out of our comfort zone
The resulting logo represents these concepts through lines and colour, set in a circular emblem to reflect many points/components of communities coming together and working in harmony as one. In the centre of it all is the complex jumble of uncertain change, depicted as both energy and chaos. The outer circles reference different responses to such change: the top waves ebbing and flowing, moving uninterrupted through highs and lows, the colour shifting through 'bleaker' grey times to climactic moments in red and then periods of regeneration and hopefulness in yellow. This layer representing 'resiliency' is set above the zig zags, which are an alternative response to change, abruptly moving through ups and downs - a harsher reality.
The wordmark is set in Museo, a typeface we felt also represents these themes through the bold, rounded serifs - a smooth transition from the stems and strokes.
thereslientcity.com is structured to direct users to two primary areas: 1) to view the series of skillfully crafted documentary videos of past events and 2) to view upcoming events and sign up participants. The landing page takes advantage of the thorough video and photographic documentation from each of the events, featuring striking images that click through to detail/video pages.
One challenge with this design was the header - the centred logo dropping down below the rest of the nav. Because of the heavy centred balance, the secondary/detail pages needed a full-width block or buffer before the left justified text content was displayed. This was easily accomplished with photo galleries, videos, or the upcoming events calendar.
Above is one of the videos produced for The Resilient City by Blake Evernden. It covers the tour lead by Lorne Fitch through the headwaters of Lethbridge's main water supply, the Oldman river, where logging practices have seriously compromised water quality and the cutthroat trout population.