Designed Space

Oh boy, where do I even start with this one. So back in November 2015 I received an email from my now friend Mike. Back then it was a random guy on the internet. He saw my work with Ale and his Visual Journal and got in touch because he needed help with the new version of Designed Space.

Just to be clear, I know nothing about the history of what was designedspace.net and wasn’t aware of its existence. I even think the domain was expired. Anyway, Mike was looking for help. He had a design and was looking for a developer.


I’m quite familiar with Wordpress and so I would love to keep the site on that platform


I still find this absolutely hilarious. Mike now hates WordPress and I almost entirely stopped using it. Needless to say, DS doesn’t run on WordPress. It uses my beloved Kirby CMS.

Tech Spec

Since we’re talking tech, here’s a quick rundown of what’s used on the site. As I said, the site runs on Kirby. It’s currently hosted on Bluehost Cloud but this will change in the not too distant future. Fonts are Classic Grotesque and Ysobel, both provided by Fonts.com. The site also uses barba.js, flickity and LazyLoad.

Probably the only time I used position: sticky on a website

A long journey starts with a single email

So after that first email I started working on the site probably a month later. That’s end of 2015. The final v1 went live in November 2017. Now you might be asking What the hell did you guys do in those two years?. Well let me tell you about those two years...

For start, Mike is an absolute pain. Yeah I said it. Never happy with the design of the site (and he's the designer), has always new ideas for things he wants me to code and add to the site. And he loves lists. Lists! Who the hell loves lists?? Anyway he kept changing ideas during those two years and I was somewhat dragged into this vortex of chaos and failed creativity and was going insane.

Ok actually, nothing of that is true. It’s my fault if the site took two years to go live. I started coding the site based on his design on WordPress. The first Alpha was almost ready when I, for some reason I don’t remember, showed Kirby to Mike. he liked it and we decided to use it (or maybe I forced him to use it, I don’t remember).

So the Alpha got trashed and I started coding a new site on a new platform. And, you see, once I get involved with a project, I really get involved. I can’t simply code a site based on a design. I feel compelled to give feedbacks and suggestions. And that’s why the site took 2 years to see the light. So yes, that's entirely my fault.

In those two years we added and removed sections, coded 3 or 4 different homepage layouts, changed the entire idea behind the site and countless other things. But at some point the site needed to go live and so we said enough is enough, let’s finish this thing and hit the publish button.

The current DS Version 1.5

Right now, the version you see live is v1.5. The goal has always been to have a site 100% focused on the spaces which is the main topic. But interviews are pretty cool and have good value so we decided to create a separate page for them. Initially we had them in a slide-in section, inside the space post page. That wasn’t ideal even though Mike loved that. I still think the current solution is way better.

The site is not really complex, Kirby is flexible enough to make it run very smoothly. Mike writes all the posts in Markdown, I coded a bunch of custom helpers to make the layout possible but other than that it’s a pretty straightforward website.

This current version will hopefully last for at least a year. Right now we’re focused on growing our audience and get studios on board. We want to share as much good content as we can. By the way, if you have a nice space, please get in touch.

And yes, I said our audience, because in those two years Mike and I have become good friends and we’re now working on this together. He’s the one who runs the show, writes everything, updates the site and the social. I’m taking care of the site and trying my best to get Mike the next headache.

Links, links, links

If you want to read something nice go browse the site designed.space. As I said earlier, if you work in a nice space get in touch. We’re always looking for spaces to feature and people to interview. Feedbacks and comments are, as always, much appreciated. You can reach out at hello@manuelmoreale.com.