Fiveblackcats is a one-person media design studio based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. More
I am Lucia Dossin. Fiveblackcats is the fantasy name under which I have been working since 2004. I currently live in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
I graduated in architecture (FAUUSP, São Paulo) and in 2015 I completed my Master in Media Design & Communication (Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam). I started my journey in ‘making websites’ in 2000, while working for web studios in São Paulo, Brazil. In the beginning, my work consisted mostly of making Flash animations for projects related to photography, visual arts, fashion and film. As time went by, my toolset shifted towards HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and Python, but my interest in art and culture remained the same (well, perhaps it is actually deeper nowadays ;) ).
The works you see here are, for the most part, a selection of websites I designed or built for clients. After 2011, more often than not, I was in charge of both front and back-end (powered by WordPress). Besides web design and development, I also do print and more experimental stuff in Hybrid Publishing. Recently, I added some experiments and self-initiated projects that I have been doing in the last few years and that reflect my personal interests and research skills.
The tasks you can hire me for are as varied as simply maintaining or fixing your WordPress website to conceptualizing, designing and implementing an interactive interface or printed matter. Please feel free to drop me a line if you think I can contribute to your project.
Collaboration project between Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Deltametropolis Association about Dutch government investments in infrastructure, to which I contributed by building an interactive map.
Official website of artist David Haines, showcasing selected works, information about current and upcoming exhibitions, and bio.
Landscapes of Trade is a PhD research project aimed at the logistic infrastructure in the Netherlands. It investigates the development of the Dutch logistic complex since 1980 and the possible / desirable outcomes in the future, from spatial planning and economic perspectives. This interactive map allows the data to be visualized through time and according to different zoom levels.
Is This Art? is an attempt of collective reflection, dressed as a provocatively simple interface.
Workshop developed as outcome of the research Object-Oriented Subject, where my colleague Lídia Pereira and I investigate the methods and strategies employed by Facebook, as well as by other parties, to build user profiles. Our attention is turned towards the inferences Facebook makes, i.e., the inclusion, in these profiles, of some properties that were not obtained through direct users’ input.
The workshop was designed for a broad audience and therefore is intended to be easily grasped. With that in mind, we translated one of the methods we investigated into a series of visual elements, so that the entire process could be followed without the use of any computers.
Beerpong or Voltaire?, the title of this workshop, refers to Facebook content which can potentially indicate, with high accuracy, whether a user is likely to be an extrovert or an introvert. This prediction is based on the trivial act of liking content on Facebook.
In the context of this workshop we use a fictional dataset composed of User Likes and psychological data which is traditionally obtained from extensive questionnaires. This fictional dataset allows us to infer the participants’ personality traits based on their choices during the workshop.
Rather than building trustworthy psychological profiles, our aim is to illustrate one of the methods deployed to infer user characteristics from available user data, by Facebook as well by many others. We wish to start a discussion around the possible consequences this process might have upon our daily lives.
Regarding the workshop material, Lídia Pereira defined the colors, typography and designed the stickers and I was in charge of designing the graphics and the booklet.
Histori Bersama is a research project created and conducted by Marjolein van Pagee: an archive of media items (newspaper and magazine articles, videos, etc) related to topics around the shared history of the Netherlands and Indonesia, translated into 3 languages: English, Dutch and Indonesian.
The website was created in 2016 and in 2018 it had grown to the point that it needed a review in the way the content was presented. My role was, thus, to re-organize the content according to a new layout and new taxonomies, providing an easier navigation through the archive.
The content was previously indexed solely by the publishing year. Now, it is possible to find content based on the author, country, media name, subject and translator, as well.
Catalogue for David Haines' exhibition 'A Fragile Membrane, an Illusive Screen', showcasing his (superb) drawings.
Prototype of an experimental project on Open Design and Social Practices at WdKA, where the idea was to build an open source device to read out loud the contents of a text book.
Excelfie is an experiment where a spreadsheet is used in a new context. It is a simple idea, both conceptually (populate a spreadsheet with numbers that do not actually mean anything but actually perform a graphical representation) and technically:
Voilà, you have an excelfie!
My original wish was to use only numbers (and the empty cell) but most numbers do not represent the variations in the gray scale so well as other characters, so I am using a mix of numbers and signs such as #, % and +.
The experiment has one derivation so far, which is a performance/installation where selfies are typed out using a typewriter. Excelfie - Derivation #1 has been featured at the Post-Digital Publishing Archive, performed at Zine Camp 2017 - WORM/UBIK Rotterdam November 11 & 12 and presented during Berlin Poetry Festival 2018, in the exhibition Types of Typewriting at Oqbo Gallery, curated by Annette Gilbert and Michael Glasmeier, between May 24 and June 23, 2018.
Addwords is a performance/tool done in collaboration with Max Dovey and Manetta Berends for the event 'The Gig is Up - Cloud Labour Night' at V2_, in Rotterdam.
The tool communicates with the API of Google Adwords - their online
advertising product. Two screens positioned next to the speakers' stage
display a ranking of the 10 most (and least) popular words according to
the data provided by Google. These words are typed live as the speakers
present their talks and are displayed using elements that resemble the
After the lectures, the Optimization Report is presented, containing
an overview of the results, title suggestions for each lecture and a
generated advert text to promote the Exhibition The Gig is Up.
The performance has been reviewed by Metropolis M: Cloudsourcen vanuit het atelier (in Dutch).
Cassandra is a voice-operated chatbot, aimed at making psychological profiles during the conversations. These profiles are shown as pie charts where every color corresponds to a personality attribute. The graphics are accompanied by a short analysis and a list of companies possibly interested in the profile. In this sense, the bot provides data that can act as a mediator in services like job-seeking and dating. The profile then becomes a digital representation of the user and can be used as a kind of 'digital key' to personalize the relationship between the user and every gadget in the near future of the Internet of Things. Make your life easier, let Cassandra make a digital copy of you.
Presented at Hofpoort as part of the exhibition Tempted by Tomorrow.
Research conducted with Arjen Suijker, at the Publication Station / WdKA, about the development of a workflow in which HTML and CSS files are used as the primary source for a publication conceived for both screen and paper.
Done in collaboration with Italian filmmaker Agnese Cornelio, Working Title is an interactive installation and performance presented during Rotterdam International Film Festival 2015. Agnese was feeding a database with clips of her film Free to Work during the festival. These clips were tagged according to terms defined by the filmmaker and displayed in an interactive interface. By navigating through the tags and clips, the festival visitors could build their own edited narrative of the film.
An exercise regarding subjective connections and databases, which served as the basis for the graduation project in my Master at PZI: a dataset of connected words.
First-year students from the Master Media Design and Communication course at Piet Zwart Institute were requested to document the Graduation Project of their second-year colleagues. This booklet documents part of the working process of Marlon Harder, called Gallery Template. It is the compilation of three short interviews done in May and June 2014 and two sets of photos made during the building up of the exhibition at TENT, in Rotterdam.
The photos were taken from two fixed cameras, so that the two photo sequences could be printed as a flipbook.
Bibliotecha is a framework to facilitate the local distribution of digital publications within a small community. It relies on a microcomputer running open-source software to serve books over a local wifi hotspot. Using the browser to connect to the library one can retrieve or donate texts. Bibliotecha proposes an alternative model of distribution of digital texts that allows specific communities to form and share their own collections.
My participation in the project consisted on workshops, research and development along with André Castro, Roel Abbing, Yoana Buzova, Michaela Lakova - among many others.
What happens when there is plenty of time to reflect on what you're doing online - more specifically, when you're buying something?
'Let me think' is as an exercise on how to critically react to interfaces that are designed to discourage users to reflect about their behavior. The bestseller titled 'Don't make me think' is a source of guidelines to such approach and the inspiration for this exercise.
The result of this exercise is a browser extension - which has to be installed in Firefox - that gives time to the shopper during their experience in Amazon. It can be enabled or disabled whenever the user desires and it can also be customized according to the user's own wishes.
Let me Think was launched during Buy Nothing Day 2014.
Verse Stad is a Dutch research initiative examining the issues involving food production and distribution in an urban environment. My job in this project was to conceive and implement the website, along with the online identity.
Print Cake is an installation/performance where cupcakes are decorated with a snippet of William Morris' News from Nowhere printed on edible paper with edible ink and sold for customers/visitors.
There are two kinds of cupcakes: the standard and the customized. The former costs less than the latter. In the customized version, customers choose a color and a word, through a simple interface (a one-page website running on full screen browser). The chosen word generates a snippet of text (taken from News from Nowhere) which is then placed onto a designed template and in combination with the chosen color. This is printed on edible paper and placed on top of the cupcake. In the standard version no choices are possible — they all have the same color and just a few variations on the text snippets.
Presented at V2_, Rotterdam, as part of the exhibition Politics of Craft.
NYC-based fashion stylist and art director Haidee Findlay-Levin asked me to improve the navigation of her website. My job was to simplify the structure and make some other adjustments in the back-end, so that the whole system would be more friendly not only for the visitor but for the one feeding the website with content.
Berlin-based Nicole Mahrenholz' website features her fashion collections as well as supplementary information, such as shop addresses, press clippings and contact info. The website was designed by Manuel Schibli - who also created the typography - and developed by Fiveblackcats.
Costa e Macedo Architects website lets visitors get to know their portfolio, the publications featuring their work, and practical information. Making use of clean and minimal visual language, the website is simple and straightforward.
Ducth NGO Abela implements projects that aim to bring more green into our cities. This website was designed by Daisy Erades and developed by Fiveblackcats.
Andrade Morettin Architects website showcases their portfolio and the publications featuring their projects as well as the prizes won by the office.
Portfolio of Berlin/London-based photographer and filmmaker Jonas Lindstroem, designed by himself and developed by Fiveblackcats.
This version of the portfolio of photographer and videomaker Marcelo Krasilcic's, from 2012, allowed the visitor to create a selection of their favorite photos and share the link.
Portfolio website for the London-based creative agency OMO Creates, founded by Olu Michael Odukoya, showcasing their work by displaying, in a single page and side by side, photos and videos of each piece. The website was designed by OMO Creates and developed by Fiveblackcats.
Website for the São Paulo-based office Hereñú Ferroni, showcasing their architectural and research projects.
Website of Brazilian fashion label Huis Clos, presenting their Autumn-Winter 2009 collection.
Autumn-Winter 2008 collection of Brazilian label Maria Garcia - inspired in the movie The Royal Tenembaums, by Wes Anderson.
Online portfolio of Politheama, a Brazilian film production company, besides showcasing the films, also presents the directors by sharing their thoughts about making films with the website audience. Fiveblackcats designed and developed the front-end, in Flash, and Marcelo Moisés was responsible for the back-end. Gabriela Maruno organized the content.
Fim da Linha is the first feature film of director Gustavo Steinberg (Bit Filmes) – corrupt politicians and easy money are the film's topic. The website, part of the film's launching campaign, was based on pyramid structures – easy money for those who introduce new members (who are also interested in easy money). When accessing the website, the visitor was given a number with which they would get a chance of winning prizes – including a money prize. If they rec, the initial visitor was given more numbers and had more chances to win the prizes. Concept and front-end development by Fiveblackcats, back-end by Marcelo Moisés.
Brazilian fashion designer Alexandre Herchcovitch’s website made by Fiveblackcats was online from 2007 until 2012. It contained a huge tag-related image database of all his looks, ever since. The website, available in English, Portuguese and Japanese, also presented the publications that feature Herchcovitch’s work and information regarding partnerships and special projects. Every collection had a different 'cover' piece.
Project design and coordination by Fiveblackcats, creation advisory by João Rodolfo Queiroz (The Carwash Studio), front-end development by Zeh Fernando, back-end programming by Marcelo Perez Moisés, and content preparation by Marcio Esquivel and Thiago Izumi.
Video production company Stickel Filmes portfolio, with a restricted area, where clients could watch and download exclusive video files.
Front-end design and development by Fiveblackcats, back-end by Marcelo Perez Moisés.
Hotsite presenting Alice's House for press and film industry. Produced by the São Paulo-based company Superfilmes, the film has been selected for Panorama Berlin 2007. Front-end design and development by Fiveblackcats, back-end by Marcelo Perez Moisés. The hotsite design was based on the graphic design and guidelines by Claudia Warrak e Raul Loureiro, from studio warrakloureiro.
As the visitors navigate through the website, they get to know a little bit about each one of the protagonist’s 12 tasks. A section of the website was dedicated to questions from the audience, answered by film director Ricardo Elias.
Design and front-end programming by Fiveblackcats, back-end by Marcelo Perez Moisés. The site has been based on the visual identity as defined by designer Carla Sarmento.
The hotsite for the movie by Lírio Ferreira was made in cooperation with PaleoTV productions, responsible for the design and art direction. Fiveblackcats created and developed the animations and programmed the front-end.
Website that presents the academic research of two Dutch architects, realized between November 2003 and September 2004. Design and development by Fiveblackcats. The layout was created with the architects’ collaboration.
Developed for Farm Rio at Grafikonstruct, this hotsite was based on graphic material developed by Farm. My participation in the project concerned the layout and the creation and development of the animations. The fireworks animation was done with a prototype made by Zeh Fernando.
While working for Grafikonstruct I created various hotsites for Triton, a Brazilian fashion label very popular among teenagers. The site for this collection was the first to publish photographs and videos of the pieces, which until that time had been published separately.
My role in this project was the conceive the layout and to create and develop the animations.
This edition of Triton hotsites included, back in 2003, an online marketing strategy for Valentine’s Day. Entering the site, the visitor could choose between templates with passionate phrases and send an e-card (signed or anonymous). This hotsite, designed while I worked at Grafikonstruct, was included in the book Taschen’s 1000 Favorite Websites, published in September 2003.
The programming was done by Marcelo Perez Moisés. My participation in this project concerned creating the concept, design and animations.
This was one of my first jobs at Grafikonstruct. The task was to re-design the website of Brazilian fashion label Triton.
Front-end programming by FRBK and Tiago Amorim. My role was to design the front-end and develop the animations.
Online version of the printed magazine 2fanzine, edited and published by Dudu Bertholini and Kleber Matheus. This site was included in the book 'Net Mode: Web Fashion Now', by Laird Borrelli, published by British publishers Thames & Hudson in October 2002.
Design and development by Fiveblackcats.