eg Magazine 04

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NO. 04, 2013

NO. 04, 2013






Society for Environmental Graphic Design A multidisciplinary community creating experiences that connect people to place

SEGD Board of Directors


Hunt Design

President Senior Vice President Vice President Treasurer


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©2010 Two Twelve/Jonathan Posnett


Amy Lukas, Infinite Scale, Salt Lake City Jill Ayers, Design360, New York Edwin Hofmann, Limited Brands, New York Mark VanderKlipp, Corbin, Traverse City, Mich.

Patrick Angelel, CREO Industrial Arts, Everett, Wash. Sander Baumann,, Amsterdam Steve Bayer, Daktronics, Brookings, S.D. Richard Bencivengo, Lexington Design + Fabrication, Pacoima, Calif. Jennifer Bressler, Hunt Design, Pasadena, Calif. Peter Dixon, Prophet, New York Oscar Fernández (Ex Officio), University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Moira Gemmill (Ex Officio), V&A Museum, London Cynthia Hall (Ex Officio), Studio SC, Seattle J. Graham Hanson, Graham Hanson Design, New York Lonny Israel, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, San Francisco Alan Jacobson, ex;it, Philadelphia John Lutz, Selbert Perkins Design, Chicago Wayne McCutcheon (Past President), Entro/G+A, Toronto Bryan Meszaros, OpenEye, South Amboy, N.J. Stephen Minning, BrandCulture Communications, Sydney Dan Moalli, Obscura Digital, Brooklyn, N.Y. Steven Stamper (Ex Officio), fd2s, Austin, Texas Gary Stemler, archetype, Minneapolis, Minn. Tucker Trotter, Dimensional Innovations, Overland Park, Kan. Julie Vogel, Kate Keating Associates, San Francisco Leslie Wolke, Leslie Wolke Consulting, Austin, Texas Alexandra Wood, Holmes Wood, London Joe Zenas, Thinkwell, Burbank, Calif.

SEGD CHAPTER CHAIRS Atlanta Lynne Bernhardt, Stephen Carlin, Boston Michele Phelan, David Spatara, Brisbane, Australia Jack Bryce, Charlotte, NC Kevin Kern, Scott Muller, Chicago Maggie Allen, Adam Cook, Cincinnati Jeff Waggoner, Cleveland Cathy Fromet, Dallas Heather Chandler, Denver George Lim, Angela Serravo, Edinburgh Lucy Richards, Kansas City Rick Smith, Minneapolis Adam Halverson, New York Rachel Einsidler, Anthony Ferrara, Anna Sharp, Philadelphia Stephen Bashore, Ian Goldberg, San Diego Chris McCampbell, San Francisco Lauren Kelly, Seattle Cynthia Hall, Toronto Cynthia Damar-Schnobb, Andrew Kuzyk, Vancouver Danielle Lindsay-Chung, Daniela Pilossof, Washington, D.C. Jeffrey Wotowiec,

Publisher Clive Roux, CEO Editor-in-Chief Pat Matson Knapp Executive Editor Ann Makowski Founding Editor Leslie Gallery Dilworth Design Wayne-William Creative Contributors Louis Brill, Delphine HIrasuna, Lauren Kelly, Tim McNeil, Naomi Pearson, Jenny Reising, Kelly Stewart Executive and Editorial Offices 1000 Vermont Ave., NW Suite 400 Washington, D.C. 20005 202.638.5555

Subscriptions: US $250/year, International $300/year. Send US funds to eg magazine, 1000 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. To charge your order, call 202.638.5555. Postmaster: Send address changes to eg magazine, 1000 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. © 2013 eg magazine SSN: 1551-4595

Whether we are planning, designing, or building wayfinding and signage systems, exhibition graphics, branded environments, or digital applications, SEGD practitioners have a common goal: creating experiences that connect people to place.


eg magazine is the international journal of the Society for Environmental Graphic Design. Opinions expressed editorially and by contributors are not necessarily those of SEGD. Advertisements appearing in eg magazine do not constitute or imply endorsement by SEGD or eg magazine. Material in this magazine is copyrighted. Photocopying for academic purposes is permissible, with appropriate credit. eg magazine is published four times a year by SEGD Services Corp. Periodical postage paid at York, Penn., USA, and additional mailing offices.

We’ll be there June 6-8 for the 2013 SEGD Conference, and this issue is packed with the stories and people you’ll meet there. We have an amazing lineup planned for you, from awe-inspiring speakers to hands-on workshops and from fun social events to get-you-there project tours. For a complete, up-to-the-minute rundown of the 2013 SEGD Conference, visit the Above the Fog website at Did you know that according to a recent global perception survey, San Francisco is the seventh happiest city on the planet? It’s not hard to imagine why. The pages of this issue guide you through this happy place, starting at the arrival gates of the new LEED-Gold Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport, where the city is actively engaging travelers in the rewards of sustainability. From there, we’ll take you to the new Golden Gate Bridge Global Pavilion and beyond to the 19 diverse sites in the Golden Design Gate National Park system—from Muir Woods to Alcatraz and the Awards Presidio. You’ll also visit the Renzo Piano-designed California Academy of Sciences, the new LEED-Platinum San Francisco Public Utilities Commission building with its digital art wall, and the Embarcadero Center, where a new wayfinding and interactive directory system re-energizes the landmark architecture. All of these projects, and many more we’ll share with you in San Francisco, underscore the new mission of SEGD and the professionals who practice environmental graphic design.

NO. 04, 2013


Editorial, Subscriptions, Reprints, Back Issues 202.638.5555

Are you going to San Francisco?

NO. 04, 2013

Advertising Sales Sara Naegelin 202.489.8977

Above the Fog





On the cover: New wayfinding for the Golden Gate National Parks lives up to San Francisco’s high design standards. See story, page 34

Changes brought by the integration of digital technologies into the built environment are already significantly impacting environmental graphic design. These changes create a new kind of conversation, one that is more dynamic and interactive, requiring design skills more commonly used in websites and digital product interfaces than in traditional wayfinding and signage solutions. In recognition of this, we have expanded the SEGD mission to include all those who will participate in these multidisciplinary teams in the future. We look forward to the new conversations these changes will inspire! Clive Roux CEO

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2 FEATURES ( 22 )

1 UP FRONT ( 10)


Issey Miyake, Nelson Mandela, and the Barnes Foundation

From the Golden Gate Bridge to sustainable architecture, a city of high design and high ideals ( 24)

Above and Beyond

( 14 )

A sleek new airport terminal exceeds LEED goals and engages passengers in the rewards of sustainable travel.

Carbone and Smolan’s Dialog

( 30 )

Review ( 16 )

Out There

FilzFelt, EcoBraille, and Surveyor mobile app

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Hello, San Francisco

(Don’t) Exit Through the Gift Shop

The new Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion is a hybrid of retail and interpretive design.

( 34 )

Signage is Golden

New wayfinding unifies the Golden Gate National Parks and lives up to San Francisco’s high design standards. ( 38 )

Museum as Metaphor

The Renzo Piano-designed California Academy of Sciences is a statement about conserving our living planet. (42)

Artfully Sustainable A new digital art wall at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (44)

A Classic Reborn

At San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center, RTKL rethinks wayfinding in the digital era.


The Sculpted City

In praise of dimensional maps: part sculpture, part wayfinding tool ( 58 )


ZEBRADOG applies its quirky brand of storytelling to new offices in an historic library. ( 60)


Jan Lorenc’s fairy tale for a Chinese luxury development ( 64 )

Up Close

Ben Davis is the creative mind behind The Bay Lights, San Francisco’s newest and brightest public art installation.

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Our sincere thanks to these companies for their support of eg magazine.

Lead Sponsors Pentagram

Patrons C&G Partners Donovan/Green Infinite Scale JACQZ Co. Kate Keating Associates Mayer/Reed Tracy Turner Design

Sponsors Robert Probst APCO Graphics Hunt Design Selbert Perkins Design

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UP FRONT ( 10)


Issey Miyake, Nelson Mandela, and the Barnes Foundation ( 14 )


Carbone and Smolan’s Dialog ( 16 )

Out There

FilzFelt, EcoBraille, and Surveyor mobile app



icon of struggle

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Nelson Mandela’s capture and 27-year incarceration by the South African apartheid police remains a powerful symbol of struggle. Fifty years after his capture, a new monument by South African artist Marco Cianfanelli marks the place where Mandela’s “long walk to freedom” began near Howick, KwaZulu-Natal. Cianfanelli rendered Mandela’s portrait on 50 steel columns that rise from 21 to 30 feet above the landscape. Laser-cut fins welded to the columns form a dynamic perspective rendering. The columns recall the bars of a jail cell, but at the same time, together suggest the idea of solidarity—the many making the whole—that ultimately set Mandela free. (Photos: Jonathan Burton)

Commissioned to create a boutique for Issey Miyake’s new BaoBao line of handbags, Tokyo studio Moment Inc. let the product itself drive the graphic solution. The long and narrow, galleylike space doesn’t exactly encourage shoppers to explore, so Moment knew they would need an incentive to move through and discover the merchandise. They appropriated the prismatic geometry of the handbags on a wall graphic that visually lures shoppers down the length of the store. The low-tech solution is a gridded white adhesive background with a composition of hand-placed black fractals that form a dynamic, gradated effect that looks like it’s moving as shoppers pass through the space. Black-and-white, fractal-inspired signage provides a sleek contrast. (Photo: Hisaaki Hirawata)


fun with fractals

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FOUND 12 — eg magazine

drawn in to the barnes


The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, established in 1922 by Dr. Alfred C. Barnes, is one of the most important collections of Post-Impressionist and early Modernist art in the world. In 2012, the Barnes moved to a new home designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, and Pentagram Partner Abbott Miller developed its identity and environmental graphics. Barnes conceived a wholly integrated environment in which the objects on display are presented in “ensembles” that create a visual dialogue among works. Miller wanted the graphics program to capture Dr. Barnes’ original vision, and he found inspiration in hand-written ensemble notes from the Barnes archive. Miller rendered one of these notes in wrought iron on a garden wall facing the museum café. His identity for The Barnes is also based on the forms found within a specific ensemble. The identity plays with positive and negative space, gaining coherence when read across the ensemble. One of its applications is a unique processional identity sign that marches along the parkway fronting the foundation. Here, parts of the wordmark are superimposed on images of iconic artworks shown hung in their frames. (Photos: © Jeffrey Totaro)

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Fame, Fortune, Fun, and Freedom Dialog: What Makes a Great Design Partnership. By Ken Carbone and Leslie Smolan Pointed Leaf Press, 2012 Ken Carbone and Leslie Smolan have been working together for more than 35 years, first as colleagues at the New York satellite office of Gottschalk + Ash International and later when they bought and renamed the practice. They’ve left their graphic mark around the world—from wayfinding for the Louvre to their iconic gateway sign for Flatbush, Brooklyn—and on an amazingly diverse range of project types—from huge investment banks to tiny nonprofits. But no matter the client or setting, the hallmark of their work can be summed up in one word: smart. Smolan and Carbone’s new book Dialog: What Makes a Great Design Partnership celebrates their longstanding collaboration with a beautiful portfolio and thoughtful essays on the nature of their design partnership (by the likes of Massimo Vignelli, Steven Heller, and Raul Barreneche). They spoke with eg magazine about the book and building a design business from the ground up.

Leslie Smolan and Ken Carbone

What’s been the key to your success? Our partnership is solidly built on two things: aligned ambitions and trust. Over the years each of us has taken sabbaticals and at no time did the “non-working” partner need to worry about the business. We have our differences as well as complementary strengths and after more than 35 years we are still learning from each other. Why did you decide to write a book about it? Things are moving really fast and the business is changing. The timing seemed right to pause and put together the stories behind the work. As we add new partners to the agency we wanted to capsulize what work the two of us would really call ours under our leadership. We’ve been tossing this idea around for quite some time. At our 30th year we wanted to title a book “XXX” but that deadline came and went. We gave ourselves a new deadline, 35 years sounds a lot better than 36. When we found Suzie Slesin, our publisher at Pointed Leaf Press, she really pushed us to consider shaping the book as 35 stories, to create a “dialog.” Did you start out with a design philosophy for your studio, or make it up as you went along? (KC) I found a phrase in a fortune cookie once that now hangs in our studio: “The Road to Success is Always Under Construction.” That captures our approach to work. We don’t have a signature style, but we agree on an approach, which integrates smart content, beautiful design, and the right technology.

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Ideas for a book, website, exhibit, or space review? Contact

We’ve always been creatively restless. We love when a client hires us because we have NO prior experience in a specific category. With this we are learning new things and they are gaining a lot from our objectivity. Much of our business was built this way. You’re a lot different as designers: As you say, Leslie is more strategic and editorial, while Ken is more visual. Ken looks for simple, Leslie for nuance. Does this recipe always work? At times we wish there was a recipe but that would have been a boring way to build the business. zWe make the most of a “fast and deep” blend of our complimentary skills. I tend to be fast at nailing visual concepts and Leslie makes sure it is built to last. We really hit our stride after the first seven years. At that point we finally realized we both wanted the same things, we just had different ways of getting there.

Can you tell us about a particular project, a challenging client, or other circumstance that really tested your partnership? (KC) It was 1980 when we had one of our more explosive confrontations, revolving around whether we should purchase a computer during the age of IBM Selectric typewriters. We sat in a Chinese restaurant debating about whether investing in Apple’s first computers was the right move for us. I was against spending the money and got so angry that I stormed out of the restaurant and didn’t speak to Leslie for three days. Leslie ultimately won that argument, thank God, and shortly thereafter, we had an Apple 3 computer in our office. How do you resolve creative differences between the two of you? Whoever cares more wins.

From Dialog: What Makes a Great Design Partnership, by Ken Carbone and Leslie Smolan

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Innovative materials, products & technology

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eco braille


surveyor mobile app


EcoBraille ADA-compliant signs are made out of 100% post-consumer e-waste and produced using thermoforming technology. The one-piece signs are suitable for interior or exterior applications, unlike photopolymer or applied tactile graphic methods, says the company. The material is comprised of ABS plastics from e-waste items such as computer towers, monitors, desktop scanners, and printers. The finished sign can be produced without paint for a unique organic look, or can be finished using Matthews low-VOC paint to match any color requested.

Surveyor is a new iPhonebased application that streamlines the process of auditing signage systems in existing environments such as hospitals, health-care campuses, and universities. While the process usually requires at least two people to photo, measure, and document sign conditions, with Surveyor just one person can connect photos, data, and location information while in the field. An online sign management system is also available. Once the survey data is imported into the system, users assign sign types, add copy and notes, and then export the data as both client review and fabrication-ready documentation.

FilzFelt offers Germanmilled 100% wool design felt in 58 PMS colors and five thicknesses. A biodegradable and renewable material, wool felt is water-resistant, self-extinguishing, and known for its thermal and acoustic insulation properties and its highly saturated and lightfast colors. In the elevator lobby of a market research company, Spagnolo Gisness & Associates used 3mmthick FilzFelt as covering for a feature wall including a recessed logo combined with pin-mounted signage.

filzFelt Green acrylic Gemini Incorporated introduced a new cast green acrylic designed for laser-engraved wayfinding and identification applications. 3030 Green Acrylic is available in gauges ranging from 1/4-in. to 3/4-in. sheets with dimensions up to 4 and 8 feet. It provides a smooth, glass-like appearance ideal for laser engraving.

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June 6 | Thursday

June 8 | Saturday

AM Practice & Purpose Leadership Summit Led by Kyle Davy, Kyle Davy Consulting

Excellent and Fellow Awards Luncheon Global Design Awards Presentation & Reception

Tours Presidio of San Francisco The Cathedral of Christ the Light Exploratorium at Pier 15 California Academy of Sciences PM Fifth Annual Academic Summit Process Learning Series: Accessibility / Revit / Technology Design Improv President’s Reception June 7 | Friday

NEXPO Reception & Auction for Education Sessions

Moderated by David Meckel, FAIA, CCA

Urban Metadata Culture, Context, Constructs Transformative Space Tim Kobe, Eight Inc. Better Market Street Jeff Risom, Gehl Architects


Moderated by David Meckel, FAIA, CCA

Global Impact Into the Blue Sky: Global Design Visions Defrosting Australia Vince Frost, Frost* Design Evolving Germany Sascha Lobe, L2M3 Emerging in Peru Claudia Boggio & Alfredo Burga, infinito Connecting Contexts Natasha Jen, Pentagram

Trending the Future Above and Beyond Shifting Practice: Transmedia & Global Culture Anne Burdick, Office of Anne Burdick, Art Center College of Design Nik Hafermaas, UEBERSEE, Art Center College of Design Moderated by Moira Gemmil, V&A Design for Change John Bielenberg, Future

Local Informing Global / Global Informing Local Simon Ewings, Snøhetta Innovating and Interacting with Public Space Christian Moeller, UCLA, Christian Moeller Studio

Urban Experience Ephemera, Exploration, Empathy Above the Bay: Bridge-scape as Stage Ben Davis, The Bay Lights Maintaining our Soul: Moving the Exploratorium Tom Rockwell, Exploratorium Designing for Others / Designing with Empathy Tim Smith, FAIGA, Tim Smith Design Chris Downey, RA, Architecture for the Blind Moderated by Justin Molloy, SEGD Game Changers in EGD History Richard Poulin, Poulin+Morris

The 2013 SEGD Conference will provoke participants to look above and beyond, be inspired, and connect with designers, artists, planners, makers, and global thinkers from around the world.



Communicate… B R A N D I N G

Commemorate… T R I B U T E S

Celebrate! A W A R D S






Hello, San Francisco City of high design and high ideals ( 24)

Above and Beyond

A sleek and sustainable airport terminal ( 30 )

(Don’t) Exit Through the Gift Shop The new Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion ( 34 )

Signage is Golden Wayfinding for the Golden Gate National Parks ( 38 )

Museum as Metaphor The Renzo Piano-designed California Academy of Sciences (42)

Artfully Sustainable A digital art wall at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (44)

A Classic Reborn

At the landmark Embarcadero Center, wayfinding in the digital era



The Fairmont San Francisco Hotel From atop Nob Hill, the storied Fairmont San Francisco Hotel presents an awe-inspiring picture of the city. Headquarters for the 2013 SEGD Conference, it’s a quick cable car trip from Downtown, the Financial District, Union Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

2 Golden Gate Bridge & Pavilion

You can’t miss it from the city’s many vantage points, but plan for a close-up of this engineering marvel, and visit the new Bridge Pavilion, designed by Jensen Architects and Project Frog. It was constructed from an innovative pre-engineered green building kit. Inside, retail/interpretive design by Macchiatto brings the bridge’s history to life. Story, page 30

3 Palace of Fine Arts

, HELLO SAN FRANCISCO From the Golden Gate Bridge to world-class museums and sustainable architecture, San Francisco is a city of high design and high ideals. We’ll meet you there June 6–8 for the 2013 SEGD Conference! By Lauren Kelly Map artwork by Kelly Stewart

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Originally constructed to exhibit works of art for the 1915 PanamaPacific Exposition, this gorgeous monument is built around a small artificial lagoon. It is one of just a few remaining structures from the exhibition, and the only one still on its original site.

4 Alcatraz

Take a short ferry ride to Alcatraz Island to visit the infamous federal penitentiary and site of the first lighthouse and U.S.-built fort on the West Coast. Discover some little-known secrets of Alcatraz via your smartphone, or take a guided tour of the Civil War fortress.

5 Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39

One of the busiest tourist attractions in the U.S., Fisherman’s Wharf is home to numerous attractions, including Ghirardelli Square, Pier 39, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, and the Musee Mecanique. Grab a bite at one of the many restaurants and stands that serve fresh seafood, most notably Dungeness crab and clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl.

6 Exploratorium

Visit the just-opened new home of the Exploratorium, an all-ages science museum with hundreds of hands-on activities that deftly illustrate the concepts behind sound, light, biology, physics, and more.

7 Ferry Building

This Beaux-Arts “crown jewel of the Embarcadero” is a terminal for ferries that travel across the bay and also contains a bustling gourmet marketplace selling everything from caviar to gelato to mollusks. There are also upscale restaurants, a Saturday farmers market, and an amazing view of the Bay Bridge in back.

8 AT&T Park

Check out the home of the MLB World Series Champion Giants! AT&T Park has been hailed as one of the finest ballparks in America. The Giants are away during the conference, but take a guided tour of the 42,000-seat stadium to get in the dugout and walk on the field! EGD is by Debra Nichols Associates.

11 Union Square

If you’re in the mood for shopping, step down the hill to Union Square, a 2.6-acre public plaza surrounded by department stores, up-scale boutiques, gift shops, art galleries, and beauty salons.

Another Beaux-Arts beauty, City Hall is home to the fifth largest dome in the world. Designed by Arthur Brown Jr., the building’s vast open space is over 500,000 square feet, but Brown’s attention to details extended down to the doorknobs and the typeface used in signage.

10 San Francisco Museum of

Across from the de Young is the Renzo Piano-designed California Academy of Sciences, called the greenest museum in the world. It includes EGD by Kate Keating Associates and identity work by Kit Hinrichs Studio. Story, page 38

To show up its glamorous younger sister (if only for a while), the Bay Bridge is adorned with a Leo Villareal light installation that incorporates 25,000 LEDs. Its western span will provide a nightly light show through March 2015 as the eastern span is built. Story, page 64

Commission The new 13-story, 275,000-sq.ft. building designed by KMD Architects is considered the greenest office building in North America. Its lobby features a 58-ft.long, panoramic digital art wall created by Obscura Digital. Story, page 42

SFJAZZ is now the largest jazz presenter on the West Coast. Its premiere season of programming debuted in January to rave reviews.

If you’re looking to get a bit steamy, check out this (familyfriendly!) Victorian-era woodand-glass botanical garden and greenhouse. Opened in 1878, the oldest building in Golden Gate Park features five galleries and 2,000+ species of plants.

20 The Bay Lights

17 San Francisco Public Utilities

13 San Francisco Jazz Center

14 Conservatory of Flowers

Modern Art There’s always something to spark the mind at SFMOMA! Unfortunately the Mario Bottadesigned building is closed for construction, but the museum is partnering on events with other local organizations.

The new Gensler-designed terminal gives air travelers a taste of sustainable travel, San Francisco style. Gensler’s EGD studio created an in-sync signage system that guides and also interprets the terminal’s green features. Story, page 24

16 California Academy of Sciences

12 San Francisco City Hall

9 Contemporary Jewish Museum

Recently relocated across from the Yerba Buena Gardens, this museum offers contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas. The Yud is Daniel Libeskind’s tilted, dark-blue stainless steel cube that slices into the old architecture, illustrating the relationship between the new and the old. EGD is by Debra Nichols Associates.

19 SFO Terminal 2


Lauren Kelly is a San Franciscobased user experience designer and developer of the Surveyor mobile app for auditing sign systems. Kelly Stewart is a designer with the GNU Group.

Embarcadero Center This John C. Portman-designed architectural landmark, completed in the early 1980s, was recently given a refresh with a new wayfinding and interactive directory program designed by RTKL. Story, page 44

15 de Young Museum


Renovated in 2005, the undulating, copper-clad building holds a vast collection of fine and decorative arts. It also features gorgeous views from its 144-ft.-tall observation tower. Debra Nichols Design did the award-winning EGD.

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Client San Francisco International Airport Client Team John Martin director; Ray Quesada, Judi Mosqueda project managers; Vicki Sundstrom sign coordinator Project Area 640,000 sq. ft. Opened April 2011 Design Firm Gensler Gensler Brand Design Team Tom Horton design director; Robert Cardozo project manager; Tim Huey, Melissa Santos designers Design Consultants KTD Keilani Tom, John Gachione Ilium Associates Don Sellars Fabrication Fluoresco Lighting and Signs primary fabricator, AccuBraille room identification and code signage Photos Bruce Damonte, Nick Lehoux

ABOVE & BEYOND 24 — eg magazine

A sleek new San Francisco International Airport terminal exceeds LEED goals and engages passengers in the joys of sustainable travel. By Naomi Pearson

San Francisco International Airport’s new Terminal 2, designed by Gensler, is the first LEED Gold U.S. airport terminal.

SFO is also the only U.S. airport that’s an accredited museum. Gensler’s design of T2 highlights unique art installations by worldrenowned artists, including Topography by Kendall Buster.


assengers making their way through SFO’s new Terminal 2 have become participants in modern sustainability, San Francisco style. Opened in April 2011, the renovated terminal goes beyond LEED requirements while offering “a different kind of travel experience”—what the design team at Gensler calls an “epicurean” experience of pleasure, living modestly, and treading lightly. Style and sustainability SFO wanted a “stylish” terminal design and signage “one-half focused on hospitality and one-half focused on sustainability,” says Judi Mosqueda, SFO’s Project Manager of Design & Construction. SFO sought out Gensler for a design solution that is “sleek, modern, and a little more.” “Our desire was not just to earn LEED points, but to be truly sustainable,” adds Mosqueda. The result is an environment that is an extension of the Bay Area’s culture and aesthetic. Travelers are immersed in San Francisco’s point of view on sustainability, a point of view that inspires travelers to participate in traveling green. Mosqueda cites the terminal’s 14 glowing gate cubes as “especially stylish,” setting the SFO’s traveler experience apart from the typically generic standard. More than gate markers, “...the cubes are wayfinding lanterns that are adaptable with changeable films on inner surfaces for flexibility over time,” says Tom Horton, Gensler’s

Design Director for Brand Design. Not only do changeable films allow the airport to easily adjust to new airlines’ branding color schemes, but materials and energy are saved by not having to replace entire cubes. The cubes also incorporate energy-saving LEDs. The highly visible glowing cubes are key wayfinding beacons in a space the architectural team at Gensler designed to be “open, not cluttered,” says Horton. “When the project began, the city of San Francisco’s mandate was for the airport to meet LEED Silver standards. But SFO’s Director wanted LEED Gold, and to achieve more than was required,” says Mosqueda. With this directive in mind, SFO brought on design/build partnership Turner Construction and Gensler to help them reach beyond LEED Silver. As a result, SFO T2 is the first LEED Gold-certified airport terminal in the U.S. “SFO was committed to sustainability from the get-go,” says Horton, and the airport encouraged Gensler to not only use sustainable materials and processes whenever possible, but to look for ways to inspire travelers with sustainable thinking. A prime example is the Gensler team’s treatment of a glass wall that looks out onto a dumpster. Designers created a series of graphics on “Lessons in Lifestreams Impacts.” In one sense, the graphics hide what’s going on behind the glass, explains Horton. “In another sense, it’s an opportunity to engage people graphically by explaining how to reduce the waste stream.”

eg magazine — 25


In one sense, the graphics hide what’s going on behind the glass, explains Horton. “In another sense, it’s an opportunity to engage people graphically by explaining how to reduce the waste stream.”

26 — eg magazine

In its material selections, Gensler balanced durability against sustainability. For the hydration stations, they selected Corian countertops and digitally printed vinyl graphics applied to the back of glass panels.

The “Lessons in Lifestreams Impacts” vinyl graphic wall acknowledges the trash and recycling area hidden behind it. “The messaging aim is to be funny and engaging,” says Horton.

SFO asked Gensler to look for ways to inspire travelers with sustainable thinking.

Treading lightly Amenities in the new terminal are also designed to inspire sustainable action in travelers. T2’s Dehydration and Hydration Stations enable flyers to empty and fill re-usable water bottles before and after passing through security. Flying with reusable water bottles reduces the significant volume of waste created by single-use water bottles. “While native San Francisco travelers will soon adapt to this amenity, travelers from other cities will see these stations too, triggering their awareness of the possibility of traveling with reusable water bottles,” explains Mosqueda. “SFO is educating the public to become savvy travelers who carry re-usable water bottles with them. We want this to become the norm.” The stations earned T2 a LEED education signage credit. Hungry passengers also find “anti-chain” local food options and no trash bins—only receptacles for composting and recycling. Mosqueda says the local food program is going well, with the second-highest spend rate per customer among U.S. airports. Material selection and integration In its materials selection, Gensler faced the challenge of balancing durability, beauty, and sustainability. Its architectural role and close collaboration with contractor Turner Construction and primary fabricator Fluoresco Lighting and Signs helped ensure that signage and graphics were well integrated. “The collaboration can really inform the architectural design process,” Horton notes. “EGD can become integrated into the overall environment.” One example of this integration is that the restroom symbols became part of a restroom entry wall, not just applied to it. Gensler’s materials palette consists primarily of acrylic, glass, aluminum, and stainless steel. Fluoresco helped support the project’s sustainability goals by using recycled aluminum and stainless steel when possible, says Greg Chavez, Project Manager. And, he notes, “Everything was LED illuminated for energy savings.”

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Black-and-white wayfinding signage, a nod to the color scheme used in the rest of the airport, uses Univers type and messaging and symbol standards developed by Ilium Associates.

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Restroom graphics were coordinated with the architecture and fabricated using a 3Form resin panel with a back-printed symbol.

LED-illuminated gate cubes are wayfinding lanterns in Gensler’s open, uncluttered interiors. They glow purple for Virgin gates and white for American Airlines, but changeable vinyl films make them flexible elements over time.

T2 features extensive public art installations. Walter Kitundes’s wooden bench can be played like an instrument to recreate the calls of Bay Area birds— instilling an appreciation of area wildlife in keeping with San Francisco’s zeitgeist around sustainability.

Naomi Pearson is a designer, illustrator, and consultant living in Brooklyn, NY. She also works for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Exhibit and Graphic Arts Department at the Bronx Zoo. She is a member of the SEGD Sustainability Forum.

Wayfinding: removing complexity SFO had not been known for having a strong wayfinding program. When Gensler came on board, the airport’s primary goal was “clear wayfinding for passengers,” recalls Mosqueda. “They recognized that knowing one’s way is a major stress factor for a lot of people, especially infrequent flyers.” Gensler responded by analyzing the existing system and designing a wayfinding program that balances the connection to the existing standards with a stronger, simplified program. “The airport was very interested in consistency,” explains Horton, but consistency wasn’t typical within the visually chaotic airport, as their Design Review Commission had commented. “Black and white is the predominant color scheme that already existed,” says Horton. “There was a heritage nod to the rest of the airport that does play to an advantage. This allowed the number of new signs to be reduced because the black and white signs were much more visible.” The Gensler team built mock-ups to test the starkness of the black and white signs. The black Sintra and vinyl signs overhead are easily adaptable over time and can be updated quickly in-house, reducing transportation (and saving energy) needed for repairs. Messaging and symbol standards developed by Ilium Associates already in use at the airport were folded into the new wayfinding program. From an architectural design standpoint, Gensler removed complexity by adding expansive, naturally-illuminated spaces that intuitively guide passengers at key decision-making points, such as post-security, pre-baggage claim, and the departure lounge. Natural daylight makes the terminal easier for travelers to navigate, creates a more healthy environment in which to travel, and helps save electricity used for lighting during the day. The wayfinding program augmented by Horton’s team went through additional finetuning when various members of the public were invited into the building and observed while they attempted to find their gates, baggage claim, and other key amenities.

The difference SFO saw the renovation of T2 as an opportunity to “change the traveler’s experience, and make the terminal feel very different,” says Mosqueda. “Natural light, a warm energy” as Horton describes it, now floods strategically selected stretches of the terminal. Local culture—from food to art—helps define T2 as a unique destination in and of itself. Along with simplified, stylish wayfinding signage using typographic classic Univers and international symbology, “T2 is now becoming the standard for SFO wayfinding,” says Horton. Through passenger participation, Mosqueda also wanted to “make progressive sustainability measures meaningful,” especially among demographics she sees most apt to participate: 20to 30-year-olds and families. With 640,000 square feet of terminal space for 5.5 million enplaned passengers, T2 has indeed become a different kind of space through which millions of passengers can find themselves inspired participants in living more sustainably.

eg magazine — 29

At the back of the store, a laminate feature wall in the signature International Orange is studded with rivets like those found on the bridge. A large media display on axis with the entrance helps pull visitors to the rear of the space and then back out to the cash wrap near the exit.

Client Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Open Date May 2012

Design Team Jeremy Regenbogen, Michelle Regenbogen designers

Building System Design Project Frog

Fabrication Cinnabar exhibits and retail fixtures, Thomas Swan Sign Company signage, iZone Imaging digital high pressure laminate

Retail/Interpretive Design Macchiatto

Photos Mariko Reed

Architecture Jensen Architects

(DON’T) EXIT THROUGH 30 — eg magazine

The new Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion is a 3,500-sq.-ft. visitor center and gift shop made from a pre-engineered kit designed by Jensen Architects and Project Frog. Exterior signage (designed by Macchiatto and fabricated by Thomas Swan Sign Company) consists of dimensional metal letters in Gotham typeface.

The new Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion is an engaging hybrid of retail and interpretive experiences. By Pat Matson Knapp



an Francisco’s most famous landmark turned 75 last year and in honor of the occasion, and in anticipation of the rush of visitors it would inspire, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District (the bridge operator) partnered with the Golden Gate Bridge National Parks Conservancy to rethink the entire visitor experience. The most dramatic outcome is the new Bridge Pavilion, a 3,500-square-foot retail store and visitor center. Designed by Jensen Architects in collaboration with Project Frog, the pavilion is painted the famous International Orange of the bridge and constructed from an innovative preengineered green building kit of standardized structural elements, wall panels, and glazing units. The components were fabricated off-site and installed on-site in advance of the anniversary celebrations. Like the building itself, the interior was designed to seem like a natural extension of the bridge, bringing its signature color, industrial materials, and architectural features into a natural light-filled space. Within this new space, the Conservancy and design partner Macchiatto (San Francisco) were looking to create something more than the typical “exit through the gift shop” store, and they knew that infusing just the right balance of storytelling into the space would make for a richer, more compelling experience than just trinket shopping. eg magazine — 31


“What we had before was a very basic gift shop selling tee-shirts,” says Robert Lieber, Vice President of Interpretive Sales for the Conservancy, which operates seven shops in the Golden Gate Parks. “My vision was to tell a story with interior design, interpretive graphics, and product development.” Lieber, formerly with the Guggenheim, the Whitney, and SFMoMA, knew that linking merchandise to the stories behind it could activate the retail space, engage shoppers, and lend credibility to the products it offers— ultimately boosting sales. He and Macchiatto Principal Jeremy Regenbogen had already seen this work in the gift shop at another San Francisco tourist attraction—Alcatraz prison. Lieber says he had an “a-ha” moment during the Alcatraz project, when he appropriated one of the prison’s fascinating stories—this one about a missing cell key used in a failed escape attempt— and designed a replica of an actual skeleton cell key to sell in the store. His design team created a large-scale wall graphic and designed free postcards to support the merchandise, and the keys flew off the shelves. “We put that big graphic up with the story and the keys below it, and sales increased 30 percent,” he recalls. “After that, I realized this is the way to really tell a story.” 32 — eg magazine

Since interpretive information and merchandise compete for the same space in the “magic band” two to six feet off the floor, Macchiatto placed high-impact graphics above the retail offerings, adding a quickread history of the bridge construction.

Regenbogen, who is working on his third visitor center for the Conservancy, says the retail/ interpretive hybrid is an unusual approach that can be confusing to visitors if the balance is off. “But we’ve discovered that, done right, it helps visitors make a deeper connection with the site by learning about its rich history, while being able to take home a product that represents that history.” So merchandise sits alongside historical artifacts and interpretive elements. And far from the tchotchke shot glasses and tee-shirts found in most gift shops, each piece of merchandise is carefully selected—and many are developed specifically for the store—to support the interpretive goals. At the Golden Gate Pavilion, for example, a 12-foot-tall test model of the bridge tower, built in the 1930s and gone missing for more than 30 years, was pulled out of a storage shed, cleaned up, and put on display. Regenbogen elevated it to hero status by designing a base for it and creating graphics to tell its story. It sits alongside bridge replicas and books that interest shoppers even more once they’ve gotten the backstory. Acknowledging that the space must perform well as a store, the team carefully balanced the retail/interpretive mix to ensure it wouldn’t disrupt the natural visitor flow. Interpretive elements must be a quick read, so the team opted

A 12-ft.-tall test model bridge support— made in the 1930s and missing for more than three decades—was pulled out of a storage shed and elevated to hero status in the store. Macchiatto designed a base and interpretive graphics and the Conservancy’s interpretive staff developed merchandise to help tell its story.

for large-scale historic images that quickly tell the story of the bridge’s construction. They leveraged the natural architectural rhythm of the space—multiple structural columns and trusses— by establishing a repeating visual of product display and interpretive graphics. And because retail and interpretive elements naturally compete for the “magic band” two feet to six feet off the floor, Macchiatto developed a graphic hierarchy that allows large-scale interpretive information to exist higher than usual, but with smaller interpretive elements embedded alongside product. The building’s unique construction created some fabrication and installation challenges, particularly in securing retail/interpretive components, as well as the exterior signage system. The wall panels are essentially solid foam, with structural members integrated in the panel fabrication process. The exterior is clad in cementitious panels that float off the foam panels. Macchiatto worked closely with Frog/ Jensen to devise unique attachment methods for displays and shelving and to find alternative design solutions that shaved weight from the interpretive/retail/signage elements. Materiality extends the store’s feeling of being a part of the bridge itself. Plastic laminate in the signature orange is augmented with faux rivets echoing bridge details. Other fixtures were designed to mimic the bridge’s faceted Art Deco concrete structural anchors. When set on the concrete slab, these fixtures seem to rise from the slab itself, providing a neutral backdrop for the product. Regenbogen was also responsible for signage, and he nodded to heritage elements on the site by choosing dimensional metal letters pinned off the façade and atop the roof. He chose Gotham (in all caps for primary identity) as “appropriate but not overly figurative in an Art Deco way. It’s a nice hybrid of the Deco look with a modern twist.” Lieber and Regenbogen say the store has been a big success, efficiently moving a lot of visitors through the space while extending their experience at Golden Gate Bridge. They credit the store’s unique retail/interpretive mixture. “Each on its own has the power to engage a visitor,” says Regenbogen. ”Together, they truly take on a life of their own.” eg magazine — 33

Trail signs feature simple white linework maps that indicate where the next trail is. Throughout the system, simple mapping enhances accessibility where bike and pedestrian trails intersect.

High-pressure laminate interpretive panels mounted onto a Corten steel base provide historic information about the Golden Gate Bridge.

Typical trail signage contains an informational hierarchy separated by bands of color: the location in green, directional information in black, and regulatory messaging in rust. The 4-by-4-in. posts help visually signal the type of site; in this case, recycled redwood is used to denote a natural area. 34 — eg magazine


Signage is

Golden In the Golden Gate National Parks, a new wayfinding system unifies a vast system of urban and rural sites, informs and guides visitors­—and lives up to San Francisco’s high design standards. By Jenny S. Reising

or San Franciscans, visiting a national park is not something you have to drive hours to do. Here, the Golden Gate National Parks—a system of 19 sites spanning 80,000 acres in three counties— are very much a part of the urban experience. In addition to tourist attractions such as Alcatraz, Muir Woods, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Presidio, the system includes beaches, forests, meadows, and city neighborhoods as well as bike and pedestrian trails used by thousands of San Franciscans daily. An estimated 17 million people visit the parks year-round to swim, hike, bike, explore nature, and learn about history. So when it came time to overhaul signage for the system, it was clear to designers and clients alike that the ubiquitous “brown signs” standardized by the National Park Service might not work well across this park system’s wildly diverse settings. And some of the system’s more popular attractions called for unique approaches to identity and complex information hierarchy. “San Franciscans are passionate about their national park lands. The parks are not something you go to; they’re all around you,” explains Wayne Hunt, Principal of Hunt Design, which has worked on the parks’ signage for a decade. “There is a pull to do unique things, and the funding and attention they get is above and beyond many other parks.” Signage that had been installed in the parks over time was inconsistent and in a multitude of design styles. “There was a hodge-podge, with no consistent messaging or hierarchy,” says Kate Bickert, Director of Park Initiatives and Stewardship at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the nonprofit development arm of the Golden Gate National Parks. “Many signs hadn’t been maintained, some had graffiti, and others had been taken down and not replaced.” Updating and unifying the park system signage was top of mind when the Parks Conservancy launched a new initiative in 2003 called Trails Forever, which sought to bring trails up to a national park standard, make them sustainable, engage people in their stewardship, and encourage people to use them. “We needed to approach wayfinding in a new way and create a system that would visually connect the urban, rural, and historic areas of the park to create consistency, identity, readability, and functionality,” says Howard Levitt, the National Park Service’s Director of Communications & Partnerships for Golden Gate National Recreation Area. His agency, the Conservancy, and the park’s governmental arm, the Presidio Trust, enlisted Hunt Design to create guidelines for a new signage and wayfinding system. Bridges and balances From the outset, the Hunt Design team knew it had many bridges to build in the project, including finding the common ground between three clients with different cultures and ideas about what the signage should look like. The GGNPC has its own graphic identity with Michael Schwab-designed logos. The National Park Service (NPS) has its UniGuide, the sign design standards for all national parks in the U.S. And The Presidio Trust wanted a seamless system with design cues that would clearly identify to users which part of the park system they have entered. eg magazine — 35

Signage is Golden Another layer of challenge was applying the NPS UniGuide standards—which are oriented toward more traditional parks in natural, relatively isolated settings with clear entrances and exits. And finally, the Hunt Design team knew its solution would have to live up to San Francisco’s design-driven self-image—without hogging the spotlight. As the mediator in these disparate and sometimes conflicting design issues, Hunt’s team had to balance the clients’ individual interests with the need for a consistent, succinct, and well-designed signage system that, according to Hunt Design Principal Jen Bressler, “would satisfy everyone’s shared goal of making the parks better and more accessible for people.” Banding together Hunt Design’s system is a kit of parts that allows park needs to drive elements used in specific sign types. The system takes primary cues from the UniGuide but departs from it to allow the signage to blend into a wide array of settings without being too obtrusive. Trail and vehicular signage follows the UniGuide more closely, while signage for pedestrians, cyclists, and historic sites is more distinctive. The Hunt team developed a colored banding concept that creates hierarchies of information. Signs can display up to four distinct bands: trail name in green, destination information in black, a large high-pressure laminate map (in multiple colors), and regulatory information in rust. Location information in the green band is always in white all-caps Frutiger, directional messaging is in white upper- and lowercase lettering, and regulatory messaging (i.e., no cycling, stairs ahead, steep grade) employs standard NPS recreation symbols. Some trail signs feature simple white linework maps that help park visitors understand the nearby trail network. Secondary trail markers give terrain and sightseeing information. And, where appropriate, regional trail corridors are identified by the addition of unique trail emblems or logos. Three different signpost materials—recycled redwood for natural areas, painted wood for historic sites, and galvanized steel for urban sites—also visually distinguish the different areas of the park system. Most signs are constructed of iZone high-pressure laminate, which is impervious to moisture and resistant to graffiti and fading. Levitt describes the system as “an adaptation of UniGuide for consistency’s sake parkwide. Our requirement was that the new signs reflect some of the key characteristics of National Park signs, in particular the use of a band on top of the signs. Hunt Design was tasked with reflecting those key design characteristics, and we feel they did that quite well.“

Special circumstances Where needed, the sign system flexes to accommodate the uniqueness of individual park sites. Signs at the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza include an illustration of the bridge and the color banding features green, black, and International Orange, the color of the bridge. The Presidio Trust hired Kate Keating Associates to develop vehicular, trail, and wayside signage for the Presidio. The parkwide design guidelines were modified so that the signs were able to convey the Presidio’s unique identity and history but still be experienced by park users as part of a seamless system. Presidio signs use a deep red that is reflective of its history. To help visitors plan their outings, trailhead signs display terrain data. TFN Architectural Signage faced some unique challenges in fabricating and installing the 125 signs on Alcatraz. For one, signage is constructed of scruffed aluminum with two clear coats to withstand the island’s harsh environmental conditions, including strong winds, salt air, and birds. Additionally, TFN had to use existing holes or create straps or special tension-mounted brackets for signs mounted on walls or existing poles to minimize damage to historic structures. But the biggest hurdle was getting the signs to the island. According to Rick Wojcicki, TFN Principal, larger signs had to be transported by barge— which travels only once a month—but installation was delayed another month until after the nesting season for the island’s bird colonies. Signs of success Since the first signs were installed in 2006, signage has been added incrementally as needed and as funding becomes available. To date, more than 1,000 signs have been installed throughout the park system, and the sign design is considered a success with park users and the clients. “Everyone who has seen the signs finds them useful, clear, and functional,” says Levitt. “One of the things that’s exciting to us is that other parks are looking at our designs for inspiration.” Hunt Design’s work with the Golden Gate National Parks is far from over. “We’re called back regularly to work on projects,” Bressler says. Last year, they designed signage for the festival celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. More recently, they designed the vehicle graphics for a visitor center on wheels, called the Roving Ranger. And currently, they are developing a donor recognition program for the Golden Gate Bridge. “The most amazing thing about this project was consensus-building,” says Bressler. “At the same table you have the Parks Conservancy, which is incredibly design conscious, and the NPS rangers, who are aware of their responsibility to make sure the National Park Service’s strong history and positive image are well represented. In the end, they’re all hikers and cyclists who are passionate about their parks. It’s been incredibly rewarding to find that middle ground.” Jenny Reising is a Cincinnati-based writer and editor.

36 — eg magazine

Client Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Open Date 2006-present Design Hunt Design Design Team Wayne Hunt art director; Jennifer Bressler project director/lead designer; In Sung Kim, Heather Watson, Kris Helmick designers; Eileen Hiraike production designer; Perry Shimoji, Dinnis Lee, Steve Hernandez technical drawings Fabrication iZone Imaging highpressure laminate panels; TFN Architectural Signage Alcatraz signage; Martinelli Environmental Graphics Fort Baker, Marin Headlands, Bridge Plaza signage; National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Trails Forever signage Photos Mason Cummings/Parks Conservancy

Bike trail signage at the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza features galvanized metal posts and color banding in green, black, and International orange (the color of the bridge). The signs provide information specific to bicyclists, including mileage, trail etiquette, maps, and trail icons that indicate regional trail intersections.

All signage at the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza includes a bridge icon. Trail icons mounted onto the recycled redwood post indicate the convergence of various regional trails.

The new signage program incorporates a kit of parts that allows more or less information to be displayed depending on the location. At the Battery East trail, a foursided sign features Corten steel posts with maps and interpretive information.

Blade signs measuring between 8.5 and 10.5 feet tall use bridge icons to indicate the way to the Golden Gate Bridge, rust-colored signs for bus travelers, and black panels for all other directional information.

eg magazine — 37

The Renzo Piano-designed California Academy of Sciences is a statement about sustaining and conserving a living planet. Its identity and environmental graphics needed to speak the same language. By Delphine Hirasuna

38 — eg magazine

he California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is considered a shining example of what natural history museums should be in the 21st century. Opened in 2008 on the site of its old earthquake-ravaged home, at 410,000-square-foot space it is the largest public building to attain a LEED Platinum rating, and is hailed as the greenest museum in the world. It is the only museum to house a planetarium, aquarium, national history museum, four-story rainforest, and world-class research and education programs for 11 fields of scientific study all under one living roof. And it is a sun-filled, airy place that joyfully invites visitors to experience the excitement of the natural world. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano in collaboration with Bay Area-based Stantec Architecture, the new building is an expression of the Academy’s mission to explore, explain, and protect the natural world. Its design is a metaphor for the living planet and the organizing idea behind the museum’s new identity. “Our goal is to create a new facility that will not only hold powerful exhibits but serve as one itself, inspiring visitors to conserve natural resources and help sustain the diversity of life on earth,” explains Academy Executive Director Dr. Gregory Farrington. Piano’s bold architecture makes it clear that the museum has embarked on a new chapter in its long history. A fixture in Golden Gate Park since 1916, the Academy had expanded over the decades into a cluster of 11 buildings. When the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 forced the closure of one building and required major repairs to others, the Academy weighed how to rebuild and asked itself what it should be in the 21st century. The new construction gave the Academy an opportunity to create a more relevant museum experience for visitors by focusing greater attention on issues like sustainability, conservation, and science education. Sharing this goal, Renzo Piano envisioned a structure with a living roof that would blend harmoniously into the park setting. His concept was to “slice out a rectangular portion of the park, lift it up 36 feet and slide a building underneath it.” To accommodate the 70- to 90-foot height of the planetarium and a new four-story rainforest exhibit, he added rolling “hills”—seven of them, like the hills of San Francisco. Carpeted with nine native California plant species, the roof insulates the building, reduces low-frequency noise levels inside, and absorbs storm water runoff. From ground level, Piano wanted the landscape to appear just as continuous, so exterior walls are transparent, allowing views clear through the building to the Golden Gate Park on the other side. Inside, exhibits are arranged to give visitors a sense of the interconnectivity of the biosphere. The glassroofed central piazza is flanked by two giant orbs that house the planetarium and living rainforest, with glimpses of the aquarium exhibits one level below.

Just outside the entrance, a 21-foot-diameter rendition of the Academy’s logo appears in three colors of granite inlayed into the concrete.

Client California Academy of Sciences Open Date September 2008 Architecture Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Stantec Architecture Identity, Branding, and Environmental Graphics Studio Hinrichs Design Team Kit Hinrichs creative director Laura Scott designer, Jon Schleuing project manager Wayfinding and Signage Design Kate Keating Associates Design Team Kate Keating principal in charge, Julie Vogel senior designer/project manager, Justin Lawrance, designer Fabrication Weidner Architectural Signs exterior signs; Thomas Swan Sign Company interior wayfinding and regulatory signs; Martinelli Environmental Graphics donor program; Ostrom Glass & Metal Works architectural glass for specimen wall; Winsor Fireform porcelain enamel

Kate Keating Associates designed the 24-foot-tall fabricated-aluminum entrance totem, painted International Orange with Whitney type cast in aluminum, painted white, then pin-mounted to the totem. Fabrication was by Weidner Architectural Signage. (Photo: © Tim Griffith)

eg magazine — 39


Sustainable identity Revitalized by Piano’s design, the Academy asked then-Pentagram Partner Kit Hinrichs to create a new identity that would reflect its commitment to sustainability and encompass its major offerings: the Kimball Natural History Museum, Steinhart Aquarium, and Morrison Planetarium, which previously each had their own logo. From the start, Hinrichs and his lead designer, Laura Scott, concluded that the Academy’s living roof was its most recognizable visual signature, and wanted to allude to it in the new symbol. The answer appeared while Scott was viewing Piano’s original sketches, which used simple indented curves to indicate placement of the hills. “The indented curve was the inspiration,” Scott says. “By rotating and interweaving the curves and introducing three colors to represent the aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, a flower-like symbol emerged.” Radiating out from a center circle, the overlapping curves weave into an image the museum describes as “the fabric of life.“ The color palette also serves as a visual metaphor. Green represents nature. International Orange reflects the color of San Francisco’s famed Golden Gate Bridge and echoes Piano’s color selection for the light fixtures in the piazza. Gray celebrates the poet George Sterling’s description of San Francisco as “the cool grey city of love.” Whitney, an unpretentious sans-serif typeface by Hoefler & Frere-Jones, was adopted as the logotype. Implementing the brand in 3D Hinrichs integrated these brand elements into the Academy’s development campaign materials, including brochures, quarterly newsletters, and a stationery system. But when it came to graphically branding the building itself, Hinrichs encountered resistance because etching or stenciling the logo on the glass exterior walls would alter the perception of transparency. In the end, everyone agreed on creating a 21-foot diameter logo at the entrance, inset in the concrete using three different colors of granite. Kate Keating Associates, contracted to implement a wayfinding system and identification and regulatory signage, encountered the same issues when designing the building’s exterior signage. Keating’s solution was to create a dramatic entrance totem, a 24-foot-tall fabricated aluminum pylon painted International Orange to match the light fixtures in the piazza, with the logo and Whitney lettering cast in aluminum, painted white, then pinmounted to the totem. 40 — eg magazine

Interior wayfinding The building’s transparency presented challenges inside as well. To maintain the clean and open aesthetic and encourage the Academy’s philosophy of exploration, Keating’s wayfinding system intervenes only minimally. Keating’s first proposal called for square pylons with directions on all four sides, but was ultimately changed to a narrow twosided pylon, braced by slender metal posts that do not block the views. The pylons are made of durable, easy-to-clean porcelain enamel with vinyl graphics that can be changed as needed. In keeping with the branding system, text was set flush left in Whitney in International Orange. “The way we think of signs is that they should be there when people need them, and not be noticed when they don’t,” explains Keating Principal Julie Vogel. Even so, the museum’s open space plan and Vogel says the minimal wayfinding approach is appropriate for a museum like the Academy. “You don’t want to upstage the content. There’s a balance between assisting people and interfering with their experience. In museums, it’s okay if people don’t always know where they are because they’re likely to discover something new.”

Inside, wayfinding is minimal in the open, transparent space, encouraging a sense of exploration. Kate Keating Associates designed slim freestanding signs of white porcelain enamel with vinyl type in International Orange. Fabrication was by Thomas Swan Sign Company.

To thank the museum’s top donors—those who contributed at least $50,000—Hinrichs conceived a specimen wall that connects the Academy’s research and collections with those who make them possible. Giving categories are represented by different species of butterflies, starfish, beetles, and poppies, but the specimens were mounted randomly, not according to giving levels. (Photo: © Tim Griffith)

Donor walls: linking content and givers Publicly acknowledging donors is a critical part of every museum capital campaign. The drive to raise $488 million for the new museum drew in contributions from literally thousands of supporters. The list was too large for a single donor display, so it was divided into three: a community donor wall, an annual donor wall, and a major donor wall for those who contributed more than $50,000. Hinrichs saved his most ambitious design for the major donor display, which he wanted to take beyond a list of names. His idea was to simultaneously raise awareness of the Academy’s renowned science research arm and collection of 20 million specimens. “My original plan was to treat this wall as a real exhibit, by making it appear like a specimen drawer turned on its side,” explains Hinrichs. “Each donor would be listed by a cube that contained a real specimen with a magnifying glass attached to the display so visitors could examine it up close.” But he soon learned that prolonged UV exposure would cause real specimens to disintegrate. The Keating team, collaborating with Hinrichs to realize his vision, researched alternatives and finally recommended using photographs. They brought in Ostrom Glass & Metal Works, a Portland, Ore., studio capable of creating high-quality laminated glass. For each “specimen,” Ostrom made two pieces of 6- by 6-inch glass and a printer in Vancouver, Wash., printed images of the specimens in four-color process on clear film. Martinelli

Environmental Graphics was then charged with a challenging fabrication and installation project. For each of the 288 specimens, Martinelli painted the backs of the glass opaque white to give the objects a three-dimensional effect, etched the names of the donors into the glass and filled the letters with paint (a few were left blank to accommodate future donors), then sandwiched the clear film between the two pieces of glass and attached bracket-hanging VHB tape to the backs. The final, harrowing task, says President Jack Martinelli, was drilling two holes in the concrete wall for each bracket without causing the concrete to crumble. “We tested repeatedly on another wall to make sure it would work.” The installation went flawlessly, and has been viewed as a feat by everyone involved. “It’s a beautiful solution that makes a connection between the museum’s collections—the actual content of the museum—and the people who make the museum possible,” notes Vogel. That could be said of the entire architectural and environmental graphics programs. In museums, it is rare to see visitors gazing happily at a donor wall, but at the California Academy of Sciences, every detail is a fascinating exhibit that reveals stories about the natural world and the innovative possibilities of science in action. Delphine Hirasuna is a San Francisco-based writer and editor of @Issue: Journal of Business and Design. She is also the author of several books, including The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946. eg magazine — 41

The Digital Arts Wall is a 4-ft.-tall, 58-ft.-long digital canvas integrated into the building’s curved lobby walls.


The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is a new model for civic buildings: transparent, sustainable, and art-filled. A new digital display wall invites the public in to experience it. By Louis M. Brill

42 — eg magazine

The new headquarters of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, a 13-story Class A office building, is one of the greenest buildings in North America. (Image: KMD Architects)

Snowfall To Outfall explains with animation, photographs, video, and pop-up text how the public utility system delivers water and hydroelectric power to the Bay area.

he new 13-story, 275,000-square-foot headquarters of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is considered the greenest office building in North America. The LEED Platinum-designed building by KMD Architects consumes 32% less energy and 60% less water than a traditional building of its size, thanks to natural light harvesting, a solar array, wind turbines, and a rainwater harvesting system. Artwork also sets the building apart. In a model that seeks to engage stakeholders by immersing them in local art, it houses more than 350 illustrations, paintings, and photographs by Bay Area artists. In the lobby, a dramatic interactive display bridges the two experiences—inviting the public to engage with its sustainable features as well as its art. Four feet tall and more than 58 feet long with a resolution 24,000 pixels wide, the seamless, curved “Digital Arts Wall” is a realtime dashboard for building performance, an interactive educational tool, and a digital canvas for interactive art. Obscura Digital was tasked with creating something that would be beautiful as well as sustainable in terms of energy use, resolution, and technology, says Marta SalasPorras, Creative Director. Obscura designed and engineered four custom interactive experiences with high-resolution data, graphic visualizations, an interactive platform, and ambient music. Media Stream creates the effect of water flowing across the screen, telling the story of SFPUC’s history, staff, and natural resources. An interactive art mode provides a revolving showcase of digital artwork. Snowfall to Outfall uses animation, photos, video, and pop-up text to explain how the public utility system delivers water and hydroelectric power to the Bay area.


“And Dashboard is a real-time control panel showing the building’s water, wastewater, and power performance as well as data on local weather, mass transit, and other news,” says Salas-Porras. The content is displayed on a four-units-tall by 40-units-wide array from Christie MicroTiles, chosen because of the minimal seams between tiles, ease of installation on the lobby’s curved wall, and image contrast and brightness. A custom content management system allows SFPUC to upload new content easily. The display’s sheer size, as well as the intricacy of the data, posed some technical challenges, says Maria Walcutt, Obscura’s Project Manager. Among them were its unusual aspect ratio, calibrating the motiontracking system to adjust to varying daylight conditions, positioning motion-tracking sensors to meet ADA height requirements, and collecting and formatting a wide range of datasets for the Dashboard module. “These live datasets come from a variety of sensors around the Bay Area. The challenge was to collect them all and translate them into key, meaningful facts that viewers could understand quickly,” explains Walcutt. SFPUC couldn’t be happier with the result, a living and flexible display that allows it to tell multiple, richly layered stories about the agency and its Bay Area resources. “It’s a major focal point and always leaves our visitors amazed,” says Tyrone Jue, Director of Communications. “They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is worth at least 10,000 words on a bad day.” Louis M. Brill is a journalist and consultant for high-tech entertainment and media communications. He can be reached at

eg magazine — 43

A Classic Reborn

At San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center, RTKL rethinks wayfinding in the digital era, but respects the landmark architecture. By Pat Matson Knapp

44 — eg magazine


uch has changed since the concrete towers of the John C. Portmandesigned Embarcadero Center began to rise in San Francisco’s Financial District in the late 1960s, and were finally completed in the early 1980s. An example of progressive urban development then and an iconic piece of architecture now, the Embarcadero Center was lately in need of a clarified user experience, a new wayfinding and information program, and an overall rejuvenation. Owner Boston Properties had engaged several design firms for the project, but was discouraged by their recommendations to either tear out the existing architecture or cover it. But when they invited RTKL’s Los Angeles-based environmental graphic design team in to survey the project, they got a nice surprise: a design team that wanted to work with the architecture, not against it. “It’s poured-in-place concrete: it’s not going anywhere,” says Cody Clark, RTKL Principal in Charge of the project. “It has some challenges from a circulation standpoint, but our approach was to embrace it and create a symbiotic relationship between the navigation and this landmark architecture.” For the client, integrating technology was key. Getting ahead of digital signage and media trends would not only pull the Embarcadero Center into the 21st century, but would streamline its advertising and event promotions, create a linked digital wayfinding system, and give customers access to more information about retail offerings. A primary goal was to retire old static retail directories and replace them with interactive touchscreens supported by phone and tablet apps. Embracing the architecture The Embarcadero Center sits on four city blocks, its four main towers atop connected concrete decks. The center is configured with amenitybased retail on the ground floor, office lobbies, restaurants, and retail on the second floor, and restaurants Thousands of people use the Embarcadero Center as a thoroughfare each day. New signage designed by RTKL meshes with the existing environment and provides clarified wayfinding to major destinations within the four-block site.

and office tenants on the third (deck) level. The office towers and hotel rise above these levels, forming a strong, simple profile that has become a classic “brand” in the San Francisco skyline. But from the ground, things aren’t so simple. While many people working in the area use the Embarcadero as a thoroughfare, the pedestrian experience has always been considered cold and confusing. Drop-offs for retail and office spaces are on opposite sides of the buildings, and while office space is still the economic engine of the center, it is not at all clear from the street how to get to the office lobbies. At the retail level, where most people enter, huge concrete pillars obstruct sightlines and impede circulation, making orientation difficult. The retail podium is partially exposed to the rain, wind, and fog, sometimes creating the effect of a wind tunnel. And all that concrete sucks up the light. “It’s a rather brutal environment,” explains Clark. “So in addition to creating a clear wayfinding system, one of the things we wanted to do was provide a lighter approach, making sure that the majority of signs were lit. And we saw bright pops of color as a way to make the retail environment warmer and more friendly.” Existing signage was confusing—Clark describes it as a “Frankensteined” system consisting of vestiges of the original ‘80s scheme with bandaids added over the years. To the RTKL team’s relief, the client agreed to start from scratch. Project fabricator Corporate Sign Systems coordinated the removal of more than 15 tons of signage from the four buildings. The replacement signage weighed in at just 5 tons. Most of the old signage was broken down and the various parts recycled under San Francisco’s Green Halo Program. Some of the aluminum plate material was reused as structural reinforcements internal to the new Embarcadero signage.

Strategically placed column-mounted signs replaced a confusing proliferation of freestanding directionals. Fabricator Corporate Sign Systems coordinated the removal of more than 15 tons of old signage. Replacement signage was just 5 tons.

The new wayfinding program includes static directional signs wrapped around the center’s imposing concrete pillars, as well as freestanding interactive directories designed to help enliven the retail experience. eg magazine — 45

A Classic Reborn

Striking a balance The new wayfinding program needed to deliver two major improvements: direct people to the office lobbies and towers above, and re-energize the retail podium, which exists primarily for the convenience of the office workers. The system also needed to balance traditional static wayfinding signage with new technology that would engage shoppers and help enliven the retail component. At the entries, RTKL’s program begins with slim, internally lit monoliths that identify major destinations, define circulation paths according to street, lobby, and promenade levels, and often provide simplified site maps. Inside, the RTKL team decided that mounting signage on the center’s behemoth concrete pillars was an obvious integrated solution. “We knew we wanted to put signs only at critical points, so we studied the entrances to see how people enter and traverse the buildings,” says Clark. The main circulation pattern is a cross shape—people walk in from the four sides of the building and toward the middle to the vertical access points. So we knew we really only had to get people to the center core, where they would get on escalators.” Oriented toward the escalators, static directional signage is wrapped around the columns, mounted flush to the surface. Painted, fabricated aluminum panels hold screenprinted directional text with stainless steel arrows that add tactile interest, while stainlesssteel-framed glass panels carry level numbers and the name of the center in painted and stainless steel dimensional letters. The buildings’ concrete construction, as well as the open-air, high-traffic conditions, posed the greatest challenges for fabrication, says Danny Moran, President of Corporate Sign Systems. “Bringing the signage concepts to life technologically while maintaining design intent and high longevity were major challenges.” 46 — eg magazine

The interactive directories link shoppers and office workers with local stores, restaurants, entertainment, and transit information. For now, the directories can interact with smart phones via QR codes that go to the center’s website.

Interactive directories were a must for client Boston Properties, which wanted to make the retail experience more compelling while also helping office users find the corporate lobbies above. The system uses touch foil, a capacitive film second-surface mounted behind ½-inch-thick glass and connected via sensors to an LCD display.

RTKL also developed conceptual design and basic architecture for iPhone and iPad apps, which are planned to go live in the future.

Client Boston Properties Open Date December 2012 Design RTKL Design Team Nate Cherry vice president in charge; Cody Clark principal in charge; Benny Chu lead designer; Josh Petty, Megan Cerda designers Fabrication Corporate Sign Systems Consultants Array Interactive media; KMG lighting Photos Dave Whitcomb/RTKL

Entering the digital era Boston Properties wanted interactive retail directories that would make wayfinding easier and the shopping experience more engaging. They also wanted the ability to connect the directories with mobile apps for phones and tablets. And the directories had to serve the needs of the center’s office users as well. “For office users, it was a pretty pragmatic solution: they just need to figure out how to get up to the lobbies,” says Clark. “For the retail user, though, each building looks the same, and it can be a very disorienting experience to walk from one building to another if you’re trying to shop. So we did a lot to help that shopper find their way and stay longer, and made retail tenants more visible.” Since many San Franciscans use the center as a commuter hub, the directories also integrate local transit information. Array Interactive worked with the client and design/fabrication team to develop basic system architecture and content, and RTKL consulted with the fabricator on materiality and how the wayfinding elements should work with the static signage system.

To create a seamless appearance, Corporate Sign Systems recommended touchfoil technology rather than conventional touchscreens. “Since the glass could not be cut as one piece with an opening for the touchscreens, we chose to use one contiguous glass panel, touch foil technology, and a separate LCD monitor,” explains Moran. The clear touch foil is mounted second surface to the glass face, and surrounded by a translucent digital print that is also mounted secondsurface to the glass. The LCD monitor is mounted to the internal sign structure, independent of the glass and a quarter-inch behind the touch foil. “Even though there is a half-inch of glass between the user and the touch foil, the electromagnetic field created by the user’s touch is transferred through the glass to the touch foil sensor, which sends the signal through a connected, non-visible circuit ‘whip’ to the display and mini-PC inside,” he adds. For now, the directories can interact with smart phones via QR codes that go to the center’s website. RTKL also developed conceptual design and basic

architecture for iPhone and iPad apps that will go live in the future. Boston Properties—and the people who use the Embarcadero Center—are happy with a new information system that makes it easier to navigate the site, and especially the interactive elements that bring retail, transportation, and entertainment offerings to life. Clark shares his client’s sentiment that today’s customers want information at their fingertips. “The challenge is to give them the latest and greatest in product, technology, and leisure offerings, and interactive directories are the first step toward that.” “We know that ‘Smart Environments’ will be ubiquitous, intuitive, integrated, and personally accessed,” he continues. “For now, personal devices will be the wayfinding walking sticks to navigate the complex environments of the future. Smartphones will be the personal access portal to embedded informational and navigational layers of hidden content in our environments. Only time will tell the future of the ‘stick in the ground’ wayfinding.”

eg magazine — 47

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48 — eg magazine

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eg magazine — 49

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Inspiration ( 52 )

The Sculpted City

In praise of dimensional maps: part sculpture, part wayfinding tool ( 58 )


ZEBRADOG applies its quirky brand of storytelling to new offices in an historic library. ( 60)


Jan Lorenc’s fairy tale for a Chinese luxury development ( 64 )

Up Close

Ben Davis is the creative mind behind The Bay Lights, San Francisco’s newest and brightest public art installation.

THE SCULPTED In praise of the CITY dimensional map By Tim McNeil

A map does not just chart, it unlocks and formulates meaning; it forms bridges between here and there, between disparate ideas that we did not know were previously connected.

—Reif Larsen, The Collected Works of T.S. Spivet

1 The City of Glasgow has many dimensional maps. This one details the area surrounding the cathedral. Combined with the bronze patina, it is beautifully expressive and sculptural.

52 — eg magazine



ike many of you, I love maps. They embody everything dear to the environmental graphic designer: symbolic graphic representation, information hierarchy and organization, the basics of orientation and navigation. Maps have been produced and consulted for thousands of years but only within the past 20 years have they transitioned to a new medium—one that is dynamic rather than static. But advances in digital hand-held devices and GPS navigation

systems have not dented our basic need for dependable and accurate illustrated maps. Case in point: the recent controversy over Apple versus Google maps—inaccuracies in map content meant that towns were misplaced and information was missing on Apple’s first version. All over the world we are reliant on maps—both analog and digital— as an integral component of the wayfinding toolkit. The scope of mapping has advanced exponentially and found new uses as we visualize data, create mind maps, and navigate through computer games.

eg magazine — 53

The Sculpted City


The anticipated ramping up of augmented reality powered by personal wrist-worn computers that interface with your contact lenses, glasses, or “goggles” will usher in a new era of mapping in which, rather than the user following a printed or screen-based map, virtual cues superimposed in the environment will guide the user. Despite my anticipation and glee at what technology will allow us to do in the future, I want to sing the praises of what could be considered a rather antiquated wayfinding form: the tactile or dimensional tabletop-style map. I’m concerned about the loss of an appreciation for our physical environment and for tangible things that you can touch, smell, and even lick! That’s why I gravitate to dimensional maps—not only are they objects of beauty, but they work! Part sculpture, part wayfinding tool Now, besides my obsession with maps, I’m also gaga for outdoor sculpture. I’m drawn to the responsiveness of materials in the landscape, the way sculpture can alter the perception of an environment and at the same time be altered by that environment. This must resonate with many environmental graphic designers—since outdoor sculpture is the ultimate expression of an artistic form intervening as a marker in the landscape. I consider myself a sculptor of information, striving for effective methods to communicate objects, stories, and messages in the dimensional realm. What I find so compelling about dimensional maps is that they strike a balance between beauty, form, and function, as they are part sculpture and part orientation tool. The dimensional map is informational and inherently sculptural. What’s wonderful about these maps is they become polished and tarnished where people have been touching and caressing their forms the most—creating a legacy of the most popular landmarks and buildings—the equivalent of webpage hits, or Facebook likes. I’m on a quest to document dimensional maps on my travels, noting their differences and wayfinding failures and successes. The majority of examples are found in Europe, where pedestrianoriented environments are the norm. Similar to the statues of dignitaries posed on pedestals, placing the map in the town center fosters a sense of civic pride and highlights the city’s main attractions. These maps range in materials from anodized aluminum, Corten steel, stainless steel, and cast bronze (often with a beautiful patina) to cast concrete, carved

54 — eg magazine

2 Elevated on a platform 18 inches from the ground, this map of Edinburgh serves as a congregation point for visitors to the city.


3 Tabletop maps at the Getty Museum provide the opportunity to actively engage visitors in the wayfinding experience. They were fabricated by Carlson Arts LLC of stainless steel pieces, milled and joined like a jigsaw puzzle. 4 Dimensional maps of Milan, Italy, are polished where people have touched them the most, creating a visual legacy of the most popular landmarks and buildings— the tactile equivalent of Facebook likes.


5 Vacuum-formed topographical maps like this one at the Capitol Reef National Park (Utah) visitor center are common in U.S. national parks. 6 The dominant Minster in the City of York in England is the key landmark on this map. The polished (non-patina) parts of the building signify how visitors have used the map for orientation.

5 6

7 Combining Braille and interpretive information, this map of Helmsley Castle in England is modeled in exquisite detail.


wood, translucent acrylic, and molded plastic. Some, like rolling maps, purposefully seek to capture neighborhoods, while others tackle larger areas or entire downtown districts and changes in topography. Dimensional maps accurately model a city through a tactile representation of its thoroughfares, waterways, buildings, landmarks, and other defining characteristics. There’s something about the tactility, the sense of place, and ease of use that even those of us stymied by two-dimensional maps can understand. Aligned geographically with their environment, they represent an incredibly intuitive and user-friendly orientation tool, perhaps the oldest and the most quintessential of wayfinding devices. Playing dollhouse My personal journey into this dimensional mapping obsession has three inspirational paths. As a child I would assist my architect father with balsa wood scale models of the housing developments he worked on. Throughout my travels, the vacuum-formed topographic maps found in national and state park visitor centers mesmerized me. And finally, while working at the Getty Museum, I was part of the team that designed a system of dimensional tabletop maps to augment the signage and wayfinding system there. The Getty table maps are highly successful, allowing people to interact around them. Docents use them to actively engage first-time visitors and invite them to participate in the wayfinding experience. And several other factors make these and other dimensional map experiences particularly user centric: • Meet me at the map As a natural gathering spot, these maps create an orientation landmark, a focal point for people to gather and collaboratively seek assistance in navigation. • 3D is just better Just as we may illustrate buildings or landmarks on a 2D map in perspective or provide an axonometric view for ease of recognition, a dimensional map does that in reality and conveys information quickly and easily, especially for those not as visually literate. • Materials matter Changes in material, texture, and finish can help tell the story. Bronze will patina, blending into and becoming evocative of its landscape. Milled stainless steel is more exacting and clean, representing a crisp delineation of its environment.

eg magazine — 55

The Sculpted City

These miniaturized urban landscapes convey a sense of permanence and longevity, like a city captured in time.

“ • Power of touch Never underestimate the power of tactility, an inherently human disposition and a sense we rarely get to use to feel our way through our surroundings. Dimensional maps also lend themselves to the inclusion of Braille and raised information, and epitomize universal design.


• Heads-up orientation Oriented to mirror their surroundings and in the same horizontal plane of sight, dimensional maps are intuitively reflective of what’s around you.


• Dollhouse effect Dimensional maps reduce all of us to playing dollhouse with our immediate surroundings. What could be more fun? Heirloom maps These miniaturized urban landscapes convey a sense of permanence and longevity, like a city captured in time. And dimensional maps are extremely durable and somewhat vandal resistant. So what’s the future of this art form? Is the cost associated with fabricating a dimensional map worth it? Is the inability to change information just too arcane? Will the current epidemic of public metal sculpture theft mean cast bronze maps are targets for the smelter? Likely, we will continue to witness a technology blend wherein physical and virtual mapping are seamlessly integrated. If the predictions are correct, the 3D printing revolution is set to switch product development away from cookie-cutter mass production, returning us to a form of cottage industry. 3D printers will soon be common in the average home, allowing us to create anything from a missing shirt button to dimensional street numbers for our house to, well, dare I say it, a dimensional wayfinding map for our neighborhood. I see a bright future for 3D maps. Tim McNeil is Chair of the Department of Design at the University of California Davis, and a Principal with the design firm Muniz/McNeil in Los Angeles.

56 — eg magazine

8 Evocative of the Tower of Babel, this map of the center of Newcastle, England, uses a threetiered structure to imply the steep topography of the city. Note the columns that don’t exist in reality, but are probably there to reduce the material weight and quantity. 9 Following a rain shower, the deliberate absence of weep holes adds to the drama of the River Thames on this map of London.

• Distortion of scale As with other mapping media, the ability to artificially reduce or exaggerate features can emphasize or downplay different aspects of the environment. • Sculptural communication There is a graphic purity to the seamless integration of physical representational form, with descriptive names and information in one complete unit.


10 Cast in sections of concrete that seem to hover over the pavement, this dimensional map depicts Medieval London and serves as an historical counterpoint to the urban renewal in the Liverpool Street district.

!"#$%&'( ( !"#$%#&'()#$*"+'*#,


Design Firm: Two-Twelve

!"#$%&$'()'*"+',"(+'-"&%-'.,)$/&0'1/%-/+ 23%4-'4#*"5),)$/&06)47#%7/8&"3'!%--'9::'9:;'<=>< 666,141!#*"71'23/2#,*+5

eg magazine — 57



Madison, Wis.

Environmental graphic design firm ZEBRADOG specializes in facility storytelling, infusing an organization’s brand culture into their built environments. So when they renovated the historic Sixth Ward Carnegie Library in Madison, the studio wanted to tell its own story in a fun and original way. A Dr. Seuss quote suspended in a cloud in the foyer sets the tone: “Think and Wonder, Wonder and Think.” “These words fully reflect what we do each day at ZD,” says studio Founder and Creative Director Mark Schmitz. References to the office’s original use are everywhere. At the top of the entry stairs, a 100-year-old bookcase original to the library is filled with items from the ZD archives. An 8-foottall reproduction of an historic library photo (circa 1915) includes a Photoshopped Schmitz sitting at a reading table. But the main event is the Reading Room, with its original 25-foot barrel-vaulted ceiling. A 25-foot-tall by 10-foot-wide graphic collage in the stairwell features more than 20 years of ZD’s design solutions printed on sheets of plywood and barn lumber, cut into planks and hand-distressed, then reassembled randomly on the wall. “Throughout our building, visitors find unique storytelling elements that tie our company to the environment we inhabit,” says Schmitz. “We do it for clients every day. Why not do it for us?”

58 — eg magazine

Want to show off your Workspace? Contact

eg magazine — 59

Jan Lorenc Lorenc + Yoo Design For the Chinese developer Vanke, we created the immersive brand experience for OPALUS, an urban development in Guangzhou. The scope included storyline and branding strategy, and we even wrote a fairy tale to set the tone for the project. Our visionary story and conceptual design led the way for other design disciplines to follow, and together we realized the logo, signage, sculptures, entry sequence, lighting, fountains, pavilions, and other public spaces. We always start by exploring many alternatives in hand sketch form, nearly always to scale. We conceive the space that our sculptures live in, so that even the perspectives are close to the final installation result. Sharing sketches with clients involves them in the process as well. We also use high-resolution computer modeling, some of which is then used in the manufacturing of the objects we design. We use Sketch-Up to add our modifications and additions to this model. These are helpful tools, but it all starts with hand sketches.

We wrote a fairy tale around Opalus, a mythical cave where fairies hide stores of precious opals and take counsel from a wise dragon.

Saturday, August 20, 11 y, August 20, 11

60 — eg magazine


雕像姿态 A: 立姿 平面图,主街角雕塑底座与喷泉




Hand-drawn concept sketches, always done in perspective, often translate very close to the built project.

eg magazine — 61

These drawings are for the sole purpose of expressing visual design intent only and are not intended for actual fabrication purposes.



雕塑底座 - 主街角


Sculpture Base @ Corner

PROJECT NO: 11.120

ELEVATION, Sculpture Base @ Corner 1:50 立面图,主街角雕塑底座



10mm deep recess 凹入10毫米深



Alternate copy in Chinese 替选用中文项目名称

109 Vickery Street . Roswell, GA 30075-4926 . Phone 770.645.2828 . Fax 770.998.2452





2011-9-28 DATE:



250 250


These drawings are for the sole purpose of expressing visual design intent only and are not intended for actual fabrication purposes.

雕像姿态 A: 立姿

Sculpture Pose A: Standing

雕像尺寸大约为中国女性平均身材的200% ( 1586 毫米身高之 2.0 倍), 外加突出翅膀高


PLAN, Sculpture Bases & Fountain @ Corner

Statue size is approximately 200% of average adult Chinese female (1586mm x 2), plus wings


1 7.1b-1


LYD 的最终提案






Statue faces this direction 雕像面向此方位


109 Vickery Street . Roswell, GA 30075-4926 . Phone 770.645.2828 . Fax 770.998.2452

PROJECT NO: 11.120


Statue faces this direction 雕像面向此方位

1 SCULPTURE POSE A: STANDING 2.3a-1 no scale



ELEVATION, Corner Fountain & Building Behind 1:200 立面图,主街角雕塑底座与喷泉


4 7.1b-1


We use high-resolution computer modeling to create small-scale models and Sketch Up to add our modifications to the model. This is a helpful design process that works alongside hand sketches to realize the final sculpture.

PLAN, Sculpture Base @ Corner 1:50 平面图,主街角雕塑底座




2500 2000 1500 2 7.1b-1

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62 — eg magazine

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eg magazine — 63


Ben Davis Whether he’s skywriting the first 1,000 numbers in Pi’s infinite sequence or running a creative services agency, Ben Davis thinks Big. The founder of Words Pictures Ideas is also the public artist ISHKY and the creative mind behind The Bay Lights project, the $8 million light sculpture on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. The Bay Lights Project was definitely a Very Big Idea. What inspired you? On a beautiful Saturday morning in 2010, I was sitting on a bench at the Ferry Building looking at the bridge, trying to find a way to bring back peoples’ sense of wonder about it. I had recently been at Burning Man, and had been delighted by this great social experiment out in the desert, where 50,000 people live cooperatively for two weeks. But then everybody goes home and all that generosity and awe and spectacle dissipate. I wanted to bring that spirit of generosity and awe to the bridge. And it struck me as I was sitting there that the bridge could be a huge canvas for light.

64 — eg magazine

Your agency has been branding the Bay Bridge as its new eastern span is built. Did it need some dazzle to set it apart from its glamorous little sister, the Golden Gate Bridge? They are essentially twins, born in the same period of gestation, the Great Depression. They were both transformative. The Golden Gate Bridge is undeniably beautiful and I have a near-religious experience every time I cross it. But the Bay Bridge is an engineering marvel and a testament to American fortitude. It’s a hermaphrodite of a bridge, with too many parts to be called beautiful, but it’s an incredibly hard-working structure. I wanted to celebrate that and play on the sibling rivalry to create some energy. What does the city gain from The Bay Lights? Very conservative estimates place the economic impact at $97 million, from increased hotel stays alone. I think we’ll thoroughly smash that mark. But even if there was zero economic impact, the project would be worthwhile. We’re touching 50 million people by giving them this beautiful experience with public art and reminding them of the beauty of their city.

The Bay Lights, created by internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal, is 25,000 LEDs (1.8 miles of lights) programmed individually to create a never-repeating display. It was lit March 5, 2012, and will stay up for two years. (Photo: Lucas Saugen)

What was the biggest hurdle—raising $8 million or getting all the necessary permits to get the job done? There were three levels of impossibility: procuring permits, raising the money, and technically making it happen. Arriving at elegance is always an arduous journey, so what looks beautiful is really complicated. Each one had to happen or the project wouldn’t come to be. The trick was getting people to believe and to act, with no assurances that it would come to be. The first gate it had to pass was love, and it had to inspire generosity from the community. It was a long shot, but people were willing to believe.

NO. 04, 2013

NO. 04, 2013






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