Love Lansing: A Counter-Culture Inspired Event Site

After transitioning back to an individual contributor role, I took the opportunity to dive back into design and web development with a personal project close to my heart: creating an events site for the live music scene in Lansing, Michigan. This project was not just a technical refresher but also an exploration of design in a more relaxed, non-corporate environment, embodying the unique vibe of Lansing.

Inspiration and Concept

Lansing, with its distinct counter-culture grunge vibe, economic characteristics, and vibrant diversity, provided the perfect backdrop. Inspired by the city's essence and the resurgence of '90s fashion, I embarked on designing a site that would reflect these attributes while serving as a playground to experiment with design and development trends, both past and current.

Design Process

  • Mood Board Creation: I started off with a FigJam mood board, collecting '90s cultural artifacts like trapper keepers, concert posters, and album covers to capture the era's design ethos.
  • Aesthetic Direction: Chose a design approach that combines bright, bold colors with a bit of underground grunge aesthetic, utilizing bold gradients and embracing the amateur, experimental nature of '90s design. This aesthetic choice also pragmatically addressed challenges like the scarcity of high-quality art and the difficulty of capturing quality images in poorly lit local venues.

Development Journey

  • Web Development Refresher: It had been awhile since I'd picked up any code, so this was also an opportunity to get back into web some development, modifying WordPress theme pages, writing CSS, and refreshing my knowledge of responsive design.
  • Exploration of Flexbox and CSS Grids: I utilized this project to get hands-on experience with modern web layout techniques that were emerging right as I shifted into a leadership role, helping me grok these concepts and their influence on Figma. 
  • Use of AI Tools: From the start, part of this projects intent was to better understand AI capabilites as a technical and creative assistant. I've Employed ChatGPT extensively for troubleshooting, learning WordPress plugin development, and generating content about local artists and events.

Outcome has so far served as a great platform for learning, experimenting, and embracing the unconventional. My hope is to integrate AI capabilites into the wordpress editor itself and automate more of the event identifcation and curation process. My next steps are to clean up the many rough edges of the site in time to promote it during a upcoming film and music festivals happening this spring. Even if the site fails to get traction, it's been a great success as a personal development excercise. 

Selected Works

Improving Snagit IUEProject type

LoveLansing.comPersonal Project

Managing Through ChangeDesign Leadership

Signing in to Solve ProblemsFoundational Design

A New eCommerce PlatformeCommerce Design