Research on urban resilience is partly responsible for the urban resilience implementation gap, somehow due to a lack of agreed and integrated multidisciplinary perspectives, frameworks and metrics to support design and governance for urban resilience. Because of this, the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU), in partnership with UIC Barcelona, the Urban Resilience research Network (URNet) and the UN Habitat City Resilience profiling Program, wanted to dedicate its 11th Annual Conference to help bridge this gap between research and practice, and moving towards more integrated perspectives on urban resilience implementation.
In order to reach a global audience involved within the debates, the annual conference was framed within two interconnected international events: a first congress in Barcelona, taking place during the Barcelona Resilience Week (the week in which the city celebrate its experience in resilience with a range of public activities) and a second one, a few months later, in Jakarta, Indonesia.
As co-organizer and host of the congress held in Barcelona, UIC Barcelona School of Architecture needed a specific visual identity that was used for promotion (banners, posters) and applied to all event material (brochure, tote bag, postcards, passes, signage internal). They also needed their own website, independent from the university, to promote and communicate information about the congress.
The visual identity had to reflect the theme of the congress and be easily recognizable, while the design and structure of the website had to be flexible and scalable enough to cover the growth of the platform and adapt to the different previous phases (aim, topics, call for papers, registration for authors) and during the congress (program, venues and practical information for attendees).
As a constraint, the time frame to develop and deliver the project was very short, since they needed to announce the “call for papers” as soon as possible, and the current information scarce.
A liquid identity to reinforce the concept of constant evolution and transformation.
The visual identity is based on the association of “Reframing+Resilience” and “Urban+Implementation”, where resilience is not seen as a closed circuit, but as adaptation and growth, while urban implementation is diversity, grid, pattern, height. These ideas are reflected in a mood board that will give the necessary clues to formalize the visual identity.
The use of a liquid identity reinforces the concept of constant transformation, with a proposal that adapts in colour, shape and size to the different supports, where the changing symbol is complemented by the name of the congress. In order to do so, the chosen font had to be bold, easy to read, neutral and yet, with its own personality: Basier Circle is a neo-grotesque sans serif typeface inspired in the International Style (also known as Swiss Style), designed by the Spanish studio Atipo, that would recall one of the most used by architects, the Helvetica, with slight differences.
The combined elements form an ever-changing skyline. In addition, a palette of 7 colours (3 main and 4 complementary) and a set of patterns reflect this versatility to offer a dynamic approach that catch the eye in all communication supports.
As for the website, the initial “sprint” consisted in drawing up some basic sketches and formulating a design system. And with the content available at that time, we jump directly to putting the site into production.
Over the next seven months, and until the dates of the congress, I developed the project by iterations, both the website and the graphic material of the forum sessions.
Reinforcement of Barcelona on the global map of leading cities in urban resilience research.
The over whole result is a comprehensive and coherent project that evolved and grew over the months. The congress held in Barcelona counted with the lectures of prominent speakers with international background, with over 300 attendees and 138 approved papers submitted through SciForum, from all over the world, that were published in books and in special issues of peer review scientific journal.
By having a strong visual identity and a specific website for the event, the organisers where able to communicate and publicise the congress in a user-friendly way, that would meet their needs and reenforce the presence of Barcelona on the global map of cities leading research in urban resilience.