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A square deal followed by a little phish


It is not all that often that you come across an architectural website that makes you feel cheerful and confident.

But such is the site of architects Clare Gerrard and Mark Hewitt, who trade under the tricksy banner of d-squared - tricksy because the all-lower-case practice name (the 'd' at the end is red and attached to a small superscript '2' sitting on top of a diamond on the company logo) is at www. d2-design.

co. uk, where the confusingly nonsuperscript '2' and hyphen render the address reasonably forgettable. I know the logo looks really cool, and I also know that using all lower case means you don't have to worry about the graphics problems of dealing with capitals. But hey, solving that kind of problem is why they invented graphic design.

The basic page layout is sparse, simple and easily grasped, with a strip of five changing, square thumbnail images across the top, the contents down the left and the text in a neat block in the middle of the page. The transition from one thumbnail to another is curiously wobbly and it is only when you view the projects with their large-scale images that you realise it uses an image loadingup technique that involves starting with a heavily pixelated image, the size of whose pixels rapidly diminishes until they reach a readable resolution - hence the shimmering effect.

The text is in clear English, rather than Archispeak, and from the beginning you know it does sustainable and urban architecture, product design, video and installation art, and - here is the convincing bit - 'the practice creates work with social integrity, refreshing clarity, sensuality and playfulness'. I think it meant 'sensuousness', but who knows. Whatever, can you imagine Norm, Richard or Nick ever suggesting that they can do playful architecture?

More next week about phishers mark two, but for now there are two rules:

never ever give your bank your details over the Internet - it isn't your bank; and if a financial scheme looks too good to be

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