Vasilis van Gemert

Lecturer, artist

Vasilis van Gemert

Lecturer, artist

Vasilis van Gemert

Exclusive Web Design

This talk is about the fantastic things that can be done with CSS nowadays. And it is also about what can be achieved when you take a more artistic approach towards designing accessibility.

I teach two courses in a minor called Web Design & Development. The one course is about CSS. In this course my students explore what can be done with CSS nowadays. It is a CSS only course. No JavaScript and no visual design tools are allowed. At first my students think this "limits their creativity", but in the end they are amazed by what can be done with CSS today. They are also amazed that we never see all this incredibly cool stuff in the wild.

The other course I teach is called Exclusive Design. In this course my students design and create tailor made web interfaces for a real person with a disability. They test their prototypes regularly with the person they design for. In the first week they are amazed by the fact that their assumptions don’t seem to be correct. And in the end they are depressed by the realization that the web is a horrible place for so many people.

In this talk I will explain why the web needs an artistic renaissance, and why we need to critically explore our current best practices.

About

Vasilis van Gemert is a lecturer at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Here he teaches the next generation of digital product designers about working with the web as a material.

In recent years his focus has shifted from creating websites based on industry best practices, to creating tailor made experiences for real individuals with disabilities. Together with his students he takes a critical and artistic approach to designing things because he really believes we haven’t explored halve of the possibilities, while at the same time we have ignored halve of the people.

In his spare time he turns old rotary phones into interfaces for Spotify playlists, and he writes scripts for his drawing robot.