Caught In Limbo

↳ Client: Adobe Create Magazine
Commissioned by Adobe Stock to create a piece of design based on the theme “Caught in limbo”. More specifically, “As a designer we have two choices when it comes to design trends, either make a living riding out the current wave, or look at the evolution of trends and starting the wave ourselves.”
For the step by step process of creating this design please visit the Adobe Create Magazine "How to set trends" article.
Special Thanks To: Dinah Hillsdon, Lisa Touli, Simoneone, Terri Stone, Thanos Kagkalos

As a designer, you can either be a creator, an influencer, an innovator, and a trendsetter, or you can be one who follows the "current wave" of trends set by others.
Living in the digital age, we tend to research and design in front of our screen. Inspired by this fact, this project blends the digital world, the pages that we are non-stop scrolling, and the physical world, which we humans belong to. The glass lenses in the project represent eyes, the key to everything for a designer, staring at the screen, simply reflecting without absorbing the content. They repeat the current trends rather than create something new.
A great inspiration for this design was "Becoming Leonardo: How Great Designers Think" by the author and designer William Lidwell. In that speech, he says, "Everything in nature can be seen by other things in nature, and so, you either want to be camouflaged against your surroundings, so the things that can eat you can’t see you, or you want to broadcast your presence. You are alerting the world basically that ‘I am poisonous and if you eat me you will probably die.’"
This project, a perfect loop, shows the dilemma of whether to follow the current trends, represented by patterns inspired by classic camouflage, or evolve them and start a new wave. Do you reflect the current trend, get camouflaged and hide yourself in it, or do you broadcast your presence by creating a new pattern that the others will follow and eventually get camouflaged in?
It is important to follow the evolution of trends but find your own special way to incorporate them in your work. In this design, I used boomerangs and cinemagraphs as tools for research and investigation, rather than design outcomes. Boomerangs allow you to observe perfect loops of a moment in real and reversed time, creating a dilemma, showing the two sides of the same scheme. Cinemagraphs allow you to focus on small things that you would rarely give attention to - for instance, the way in which people stare fixedly at their screens, with the screens’ reflections on the people being the only thing that changes.
It is up to you to choose whether you want to be camouflaged and hidden within the trends or to just monitor them and broadcast your presence by creating something new.

Four patterns inspired by classic camouflage have been designed. For example, the one below has been inspired by the classic military camouflage pattern.
To add the lens, or eye, element to the patterns, I first moved a plastic magnifying glass in front of my computer screen. The distortions were engaging, so I was ready to move onto glass lenses.
To temporarily stabilise them in front of the computer screen, I positioned a frame in parallel to the monitor and secured the lenses with tape.
Using the same technique, more lenses have been added to the frame.
My final solution was to rest the lenses on the glass of an empty picture frame. Two stacks of books held the frame with its lenses a specific distance above the screen of an upside-down laptop. I connected a second keyboard and mouse to the laptop to give me better control over the animations.
I used a tripod to suspend a Fuji XT2 camera with a 10-24 f4 lens above the picture frame. It allowed me to keep in focus both the distortion on the lenses and the computer screen. I turned off the room’s lights to avoid light reflections and began filming.
The last stage was to return to digital and combine the four videos.
For the step by step process of creating this design please visit the Adobe Create Magazine "How to set trends" article.
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