California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) graphic design major Letizia Margo swept the top awards in the interactive category at the 2011 CSU Media Arts Festival on Saturday, Nov. 12, at CSU Fullerton’s Steven G. Mihaylo Hall.
Margo had two submissions selected among three finalists in the competition’s interactive category and came away with both first- and second-place honors, earning $500 and a Rosebud Award for her top finish, which also earned the campus’ Art Department a $250 cash prize. She won the top award for her Lifetime Watches website design, www.lifetime-watches.com.
“I couldn’t attend the awards ceremony on Saturday night so all Sunday I was waiting for the announcement, which of course didn't come. I thought that I probably didn’t win, but when I received the notice (Monday) morning that I won the award, I was happy, ecstatic even,” said Margo, who expects to finish her BFA degree at CSULB in spring 2013. “I’m honored that the judges chose Lifetime as the winner.”
Her second finalist entry, “T2 Tea Flash Intro to Website,” earned the second-place award.
“I think what makes this entry so special is that it’s completely built on HTML, CSS, and Jquery with very little flash involved. As the web environment makes a transition towards tablets and mobile, FLASH is slowly moving out of the picture,” she explained. “Lifetime Watches was my experiment that attempts to show that you can make something interactive, fun and animated without FLASH. I think the entry might be completely new to the judges because most of the entries for this category, including my T2Tea website submission, was FLASH, but Lifetime Watches brings a new definition to interactive media.”
Margo noted that Lifetime Watches is a real company, and her contest entry is a real functioning website that can be visited at www.lifetime-watches.com. The concept of Lifetime Watches, she said, is basically a piece of art that you can carry with you, and the watch serves as the canvas and frame for the paintings, as well as adding the functionality as a timepiece to the art.
“As the watches pride themselves in details and textures in the mini paintings, I find that ‘zooming in’ to see the details, read the text, open the link, etc., is an interesting concept, and this concept is repeated throughout the website,” Margo pointed out. “The website also is fun to play with. In different sections of the website the interaction is different. For example, while you can zoom in to the watch in the Watches section, in the Survival section instead you get the compass arrow following your cursor. There’s even hidden message that you can click to zoom in to.”
Margo said she first came up with the idea and the concept of zooming in after she saw the iPad app “Glo Bible,” and she thought the idea would be perfect for Lifetime. She also said she was lucky when she found zoomooz.js—a plugin for making any web page element zoom—which matched what she was planning to do perfectly.
Originally from Indonesia where she graduated from high school in 2007, Margo designed the website for and with her boyfriend, Paulus Sugialam, who in 2008 founded Lifetime Design, which features watches, apparel and furniture.
“My boyfriend/boss/client, who is studying product design at Art Center, told me what he wanted to do with the website, and we basically worked at it relentlessly until it became what we have today,” Margo said. “Overall we take great pride in this project and we’re happy that it’s getting recognition from the public.”
Two other CSULB students came away from the CSU Media Arts Festival with awards. Film and electronic arts (FEA) major Carla Dauden, who was a finalist in two different categories, won second place for both of her entries, including her short screenplay submission titled “Mr. Polman Wants to Fit In” and her music video entry called “Jesus Came to my Birthday Party-The Middle East.”
Fellow FEA student Todd Grilli also picked up a second-place award, which he received in the documentary category for his entry “The Life and Times of Ziggy.”
A panel of CSU faculty and industry professionals reviewed 162 entries before selecting the 39 finalists. The finalists represented 10 CSU campuses, including Channel Islands, Fullerton, Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge, San Diego, San Francisco, San José and San Marcos.
The 10 entry categories included animation, documentary, experimental, interactive, music video, narrative, television, video games, feature screenplay and short screenplay.