Pentagram has designed an exciting and experimental, immersive, web-based 3D experience for the Atlanta-based creative agency Zoo. The agency’s projects span the worlds of fashion, advertising and product development, and they describe their work as ‘a place where different cultures mash together to form something new. We want to set new rules, speak our own language, experience with processes, find beauty in chaos. With strong individual artistic positions, we come together to create our own world.’
The team were given a very open brief – to create a website that provided such an amazing experience that potential collaborators and clients would be compelled to get in touch. While this allowed for a very experimental approach, the team were keen to make sure that functionality (albeit sometimes unjustified) was not sacrificed. While the site has the immediacy and playfulness of a campaign site, building in longevity was also an important consideration for the team.
Zoo is an immersive 3D experience, where the viewer can ‘walk’ through a surreal museum of curiosities and observe animated content, 3D visuals, photography and graphics through the perspective of someone else. By clicking arrows, you can control your route through the gallery and activate different cameras and spaces.
Each virtual room offers a unique experience, and is associated with a different soundtrack. Though what you see was recorded using a VR headset, the experience is unique every time you visit the site, as the work displayed is generative and constantly changing. While Zoo is designed to give the user an exciting experience on any device, there is an extra dimension when it’s viewed on mobile, as it utilises the device’s inbuilt rotation to great effect as you explore each different room.
Nearly two years in the making, the extent of the site grew organically as the project developed. Part game and part portfolio site, Zoo uses techniques usually used for game development, with pre-rendered elements mixing with elements that are grabbed from the custom CMS as you progress through the site (and through various Zoo projects). All of the development work was carried out in-house at Pentagram, which provided the perfect opportunity for the team to explore new technologies and ways of working.
The music was composed by Seiho, a Japanese musician, producer and DJ.