Healthy Planet website: play at work
We are designing a website for Healthy Planet, a group of schools in Noida and Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.
In a world where education is being increasingly commercialised, compartmentalised and regimentalised, Healthy Planet schools stand out.
The approach is unhurried and mindful. They look for the individual in each child and guide their learning using proven pedagogical research methods. With a firm belief in the power of play to build a love for learning.
So, now that the summer holidays are over, we are going back to school.
But no one’s complaining. It is play time!
We’re playing around with shapes, colours, letters and learning a thing or two on the way.
Here are our wanderings about the planet:
We’re trying to give shape to the amorphous, cloud-like concept of the philosophy of education.
We’re trying to find the school’s voice. Who does it talk to? What is its take on the world? We’re giving Healthy Planet a manifesto, a sense of mission—to change education, by building a love for learning.
What are its poetics?
There’s an African proverb, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’
It rings true to us. The community plays an important role in the development of the child, as no child grows up in isolation.
Our own view on education and schooling is encapsulated in the poem above (poet: Itu Chaudhuri) titled, ‘It takes a school to raise the world.’
Moving on from the abstract to the literal
Wireframes and content generation progressed together—structured content design. Each page had its primary message and then segued into sub-messages and connections with other sections.
From images to drawings. Connectors to clay: many modes of play
We have a set of connectors (a toy with magnetic sticks and metal balls) at our play station and we often build weird, random stuff with it—shapes, structures and letters. It’s good to let our hands do the thinking sometimes.
So, we tried to introduce that playfulness into our design too.
There are play dough inspired birds, stars, leaves, an apple, a ball, arrows—all hint at the elastic and moldable child brain, full of wonder, curiosity and possibility.
Giving shape to meaning
We inherited the Healthy Planet logo and the hexagon.
The hexagon is a unique shape. It’s found in nature—from honeycombs to snowflakes or as giant symbols on Saturn and Jupiter.
We humans have made great use of this shape too. In our telescopes and carbon nanotubes, it occupies the maximum perimeter in a given area. It is very efficient.
A fitting symbol of the Healthy Planet philosophy—a perfect mix of nature and human ingenuity.
We isolated this shape, extending, scaling and overlaying it in different colours to explore a couple of initial routes.
Site visit: understanding the Healthy Planet space
We visited the upcoming Healthy Planet campus to experience their built environment. We interacted and communed with space as an entity unto itself, from its grandest views to the fundamental building block—the humble brick.
We came back with a bagful of ideas and one red brick. This laid the foundation of something very promising.
Objects of truth
Basic geometric shapes served as the building elements for a series of objects that we couldn’t stop dreaming about. Primaeval, playful, promising.
We’re also trying to use these primary shapes with lines and fills to form meaningful compositions.
We’re also stacking and making these shapes interact with each other—with interesting results. Building through play.
Inspired by the architecture of Healthy Planet, we’re composing ‘Jalis’ (latticed concrete screens, inspired by calligraphy, letterforms and geometry).
Shapes from the basics of education: letters and numbers
We’re using the same primary shapes to construct letters and numbers with interesting results.
The right typeface transforms the experience for users and lends a certain character to the message. There are quite a few of them in the running in our design.
Photography: the seventh design element
We’re designing the website with an end image in mind, of children in their natural habitat; interacting with the space, the environment, the many situations and objects of learning.
Photography is how this will fully come to life. We’re art directing the photoshoots to ensure they capture our vision in the images.
Developing the world of Healthy Planet
Coders at work. We’re taking it all the way through—from design to development.