Thursday, May 28, 2015

Designer Tourists

I am all for well-designed websites and boy, have I found one. There are so many travel websites kicking around the web, but none of them had ever caught my eye until I found OnTheGrid. Created by Hyperakt out of Brooklyn, the website features an in-depth designer’s look at all the hidden nooks and crannies in well-known boroughs. Each borough’s collection is curated by a different creative company, and they roll out one borough every Friday. Did did you notice the custom .city on the URL? Swanky.

You may now know of my love of getting an insider’s look at places I don’t know much about (though I am a semi-frequent visitor of the Big Apple), and this website does an amazing job of putting the city behind a lens of curation of creatives like me.

Even the borough that Hyperakt themselves curated, Gowanus, is the new location of their office. You can tell that this project was created out of a love of good food and shopping in the city, and it is a joy to peruse.

From Hyperakt's website:
On the Grid is a designer’s guide to neighborhood gems. It was created by Hyperakt, a design agency based in Brooklyn. Excited by all the new places we discovered after moving to the neighborhood of Gowanus, we decided to make a simple, user-friendly guide which would allow us to share these gems with the rest of the world. We’re asking some of our favorite creative companies to join in on the fun by representing their own neighborhoods. Please get in touch if you’d like to help us put the best places in the world’s most creative neighborhoods On the Grid!

I usually plan my NYC trips around food, trying to eat as many small bites of delicious things as I can before I burst. The guide is largely based around food, but also includes other things such as bike shops, stationery stores, and more. Probably the best category (after food) is the parks. I am always on the lookout here in Toronto for hidden greenspaces in which to spend a few minutes. It’s my little moment to stop and smell the tulips, and it’s good for the soul of people who live among buildings and smog to find a break and be among nature. I know that sounds hippy-dippy, but it’s true!

A little about Hyperakt: they are a social impact design agency based in Brooklyn, specializing in creative storytelling and – my favourite – data visualization! Too few people understand the importance of what an interactive infographic can do for your audience. People love to play around with tools and when they involve interesting little tidbits of information that you can bring to your next dinner party, what’s not to love! Another interesting project of theirs (that involves the magic of dataviz):

In collaboration with

The GOOD Wellness Project, Hyperakt has created a completely immersive web experience that shows us how important vitamins are to our well-being. As you move through the body, each important body part is a hotspot, clickable for more information.

I have bad eyesight, so it’s good to know I need more Vitamin A!

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