Short List
CategoryA06. Overall Aesthetic Design


Name Company Position
Thomas Dohm MediaMonks Lead Producer
Dennis de Rooij MediaMonks Project Manager
Maria Biryukova MediaMonks Creative Lead
Marcio Leite MediaMonks Creative
Joseph Jackson MediaMonks Senior Copywriter
Christopher Silveira MediaMonks Concept Artist
Lennart Verhoeff MediaMonks Concept Artist
Mattyn Klaassen MediaMonks Senior Illustrator
Grace Wattimury MediaMonks Illustrator
Joana Neves MediaMonks Illustrator
Agustin Mari MediaMonks Illustrator
Artur Dias MediaMonks Lead Designer
David Fernandez MediaMonks Senior Designer
Jeroen Hol MediaMonks UX Designer
Delano Kamp MediaMonks UX Designer
Vincent Mei MediaMonks Senior Animator
Meinte van der Spiegel MediaMonks 3D Artist
Floyd Angenent MediaMonks 3D Animator
Muharrem Bayrak MediaMonks 3D Animator
Kara Leibbrandt MediaMonks 3D Generalist
Dave van Luttervelt MediaMonks Composer/Sound Designer
Vincent Jacobs MediaMonks Junior Composer
Rene Bokhorst MediaMonks Technical Director
Johan Holwerda MediaMonks Technical 3D Developer
Reinder Nijhoff MediaMonks WebGL Developer
Ricco Arntz MediaMonks Frontend Developer

Describe the creative idea

With Google Trends showing a global rise in searches for takeaways and cooking recipes, Google wanted to show people the delightful diversity of Japanese cuisine. Powered by Google Search, Umami Land is a washoku-themed-theme park that teaches about the different types of Japanese food while shining a spotlight on local establishments that serve them. We created an interactive WebGL experience that’s accessible from anywhere in the world. We knew that it had to be colourful, creative, inviting, and informative to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. With this experience we want to help expand people’s knowledge of the diverse types of Japanese food beyond popular dishes like ramen or sushi while at the same time increasing the use of Google Search. And lastly, we want to encourage people to seek out and support local takeaway restaurants

Describe the execution

We started with the park’s design, much like an architect would. Then we researched the list of dishes for each section since each had its own theme: Main Rice Street is the main lane, with its rice palace and garden full of seasonal plants. The dreamy light area is framed by a vegetable garden full of seasonal plants. Sizzle Yokocho is a bustling street-food market packed with protein-rich dishes. Followed by Long Valley, which is the adventurous land of noodles, ramen and soba. In Long Valley you can also find a ramen rollercoaster together with an untouched soba jungle. Sweet Kingdom encapsulates delightful, squishy, and fluffy Japanese desserts. Lastly, we have Savory Bay, which is the underwater zone hosting dishes with ingredients fresh from the sea. We wanted to make sure that the experience is visually rewarding and game driven. The more you search and explore the experience the more vivid the world becomes around you. Following a narrative, the goal of this experience is to give the visitor a purpose for every single search they do. We wanted to create an exciting mix of 2D and 3D objects which we can bring back to life in a WebGL experience. Focusing on soft earthy colours we wanted to provide authentic illustrations and contemporary anime motifs. Furthermore, we included fluid shapes and windy textures that elicit a mysterious but beautiful and detailed world that the visitors can explore. While the initial idea was to attract inbound visitors in Japan to the digital park, COVID made this complicated. We realised that regardless of location, people could still visit the park. Food interest crosses borders, so people internationally could still find Japanese restaurants locally.

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