Micah Boswell explains, ‘Why Conscious Shell’?

The joining of unity and diversity in the discipline of proportional limitations is an expression of nature in the nautilus shell, and also in human endeavors such as new media design, where the essence of good web design packages the mathematical vastness of code. It also involves the essential importance of content, and finding ways to present it as simply, yet as aesthetically as possible. In both instances of nature and new media design, we see polar opposites that seem to fight against each other, but in the end, nature seems to find a way to make chaos meaningful and mathematics almost spiritual.

With Web Design, those that craft the front end should do so using the timeless principles of color theory, brand awareness and gaze motion theory, but should always keep in mind that way they are building is a means, not an end. It is a package, and what is being packaged is a distribution tool, which may be HTML or Cold Fusion, or a combination of both – and both of these elements exist to distribute the essential element of a web site – content. In the end, design is not the master. Design is married to Code to serve as one complete delivery mechanism. The unity of diversity, and the appropriate proportions are deemed by the content.

So often, that which governs our reality seems to do so with such quiet and understated delicacy and balance that it takes a second look to see through what seems to be a chaotic world. So it is with web design, where so many opposites reside they seem to constantly rip at one another – one must be a master at understanding the limitations, and understand the source of the conflicts to conquer them – an artist has to be intimately familiar with how the code and content will be driven to match its temper and pace with a front end, while balancing the visual needs of the brand and the content. Nature seems to seek, and achieves the union of complementary opposites; by the same token, good web design is design that complements good code and the distribution of content therein.

The complexity of code must be balanced with the depth of content, and the user interface must bring all polarities into a balanced presentation that is both usable and visually palatable, without submitting to the predictable layout of a database sheet

[the infamous rectangle], and without drowning out the content – the real star of the show. My portfolio extends back to the early 1980’s, and much of it reflects the growth and evolution of my philosophy in design and direction. So, why conscious shell? Natural growth is planned. It is deliberate almost to the point of conscious. Design, as any other craft or field, has its elements – its influencing factors that motivate it to move and grow. A nautilus shell grows in direct proportion to where it has been. Web Design should be molded proportionally to the back end, and to the content, thereby existing in a manner that defines itself as ‘appropriate’ design.

CS in 2000
CS in 2002
CS in 2003
CS in 2006