33 Clifford Selbert and Robin Perkins, 2011 SEGD Fellows + Dream Cube + MAXXI National Museum + Forgotten Cities
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NUMBER 33, 2011 www.segd.org
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2011 SEGD Design Awards
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Monumental Achievements 2011 SEGD Fellows Clifford Selbert and Robin Perkins add dramatic scale, emotion, and stories to the urban landscape.
Honor Award: Universal Code P-06 Atelier creates a shimmery acoustical skin for Lisbon’s Pavilion of Knowledge. Honor Award: From Here to There A conceptual shadow typography project combines ancient timekeeping with information-age social networking.
Honor Award: Designing the Dream Cube ESI Design’s digital dreamscape delighted visitors to Shanghai’s World Expo 2010.
Honor Award: Clear Connections A Sydney bank uses architecture and wayfinding to support a radical new work model.
Honor Award: Waiting for the Rain A unique land art installation at a Croatian sculpture park waits to receive the gifts of nature.
Honor Award: Minimalism at MAXXI At Rome’s Zaha Hadid-designed art museum, ma:design choreographs an interplay between architecture and environmental graphics. Honor Award: Forgotten Cities A new wayfinding system makes the cultural treasures of northern Syria’s Forgotten Cities more accessible.
Columns 8 From the Editor by Jessica W. London 78 Design Marketplace
On the cover: At Lisbon’s interactive science museum, P-06 Atelier designed an environmental skin that is inspirational as well as functional. Full story, page 48. (Photo: Ricardo Gonçalves)
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segdDESIGN is the international journal of environmental graphic design and the Society for Environmental Graphic Design. Opinions expressed editorially and by contributors are not necessarily those of SEGD. Advertisements appearing in segdDESIGN do not constitute or imply endorsement by SEGD or segdDESIGN. Material in this magazine is copyrighted. Photocopying for academic purposes is permissible, with appropriate credit. segdDESIGN is published four times a year by the Society for Environmental Graphic Design. Periodical postage paid at York, PA, and additional mailing offices. Subscriptions: US $200/year, Canada and Intâ€™l $275/year. Send US funds to segdDESIGN, 1000 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. To charge your order, call 202.638.5555. Postmaster: Send address changes to segdDESIGN, 1000 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. ÂŠ segdDESIGN 2011 SSN: 1551-4595
2011 SEGD Program Partners Thank you to our 2011 SEGD Partners for helping make our educational programming possible. 360 Architecture 1220 Exhibits 2/90 Sign Systems AD/S Companies Advance Corp. AGI APCO Graphics Archetype Arlon ASI Signage Innovations Avery Dennison Big Apple Visual Group Color-Ad Signs & Exhibits Creative Realities CREO Industrial Arts Daktronics Design Communications ISA iZone Jarob Jibestream Interactive Jones Sign Company KING Architectural Products Lexington Design + Fabrication Matthews Paint Neiman & Company Nova Polymers Pattison Sign Group Principle Group Signalex Inc. SignComp Sign Media Canada Sign Works Signs of Perfection Systeme Huntingdon The Taylor Group TFN Architectural Signage Urban Sign Company Zip Signs
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LEAD SPONSORS PATRONS • Pentagram • Jonathan Alger, C&G Partners • Ralph Appelbaum Associates • Calori & Vanden-Eynden • Donovan/Green SPONSORS • FMG Design • APCO Graphics • Cloud Gehshan Associates • Gallagher & Associates For information about • Hunt Design sponsorship, email • Kate Keating Associates email@example.com SEGD BOARD OF DIRECTORS Officers President: Wayne McCutcheon, Entro Communications, Toronto Senior Vice President: Amy Lukas, Infinite Scale Design Group, Salt Lake City Vice President Jill Ayers, Design360, New York Treasurer: Gary Stemler, Archetype Signmakers, Eagan, Minn. Steve Bayer, Daktronics, Brookings, S.D. Jennifer Bressler, Hunt Design, Pasadena, Calif. Teresa Cox, APCO Graphics, Atlanta Peter Dixon, Prophet, New York Oscar Fernández, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Michael Gericke, Pentagram, New York Sue Gould, Lebowitz | Gould | Design, New York Mary Grems, FMG Design, Houston Edwin L. Hofmann, Limited Brands, New York Lonny Israel, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, San Francisco Cybelle Jones, Gallagher & Associates, Bethesda Tali Krakowsky, Apologue, Los Angeles Phil Lenger, Show+Tell, New York John Lutz, Selbert Perkins Design, Chicago Tucker Trotter, Dimensional Innovations, Overland Park, Kan. Mark VanderKlipp, Corbin Design, Traverse City, Mich. Alexandra Wood, The Holmes Wood Consultancy, London Ex Officio Gary Anzalone, Precision Signs, New York Kelly Kolar, Kolar Design, Cincinnati David Middleton, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio Steven Stamper, fd2s, Austin, Texas (Past President)
CHAPTER CHAIRS Lynne Bernhardt, Steve Carlin – Atlanta Michele Phelan, Amy Files – Boston Jack Bryce – Brisbane, Australia Kevin Kern – Charlotte, N.C. Justin Molloy – Cincinnati Cathy Fromet – Cleveland George Lim, Jon Mischke – Denver Lucy Richards – Edinburgh Leslie Garvis, Duane Farthing – Houston Steve Williams – Jacksonville, Fla. Rick Smith – Kansas City Cody Clark, Steve Reinisch – Los Angeles Michael Clarizio – Montreal Gary Anzalone – New York John Bosio, Barbara Schwarzenbach – Philadelphia Sarah Katsikas, Lauren Kelly – San Francisco Cynthia Hall – Seattle Andrew Kuzyk – Toronto Danielle Lindsay-Chung – Vancouver
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From the Editor
Educate. Inspire. Connect.
ince 1987, SEGD has honored the highest standards of excellence in environmental graphic design through the SEGD Design Awards program. In this issue, we’re proud to present the 2011 SEGD Design Award winners, representing our most international and diverse group of projects to date. For the past 24 years, the SEGD Design Awards have reflected the depth and breadth of environmental graphic design, demonstrating its increasingly important role in how people perceive, navigate, and use public spaces. Our 2011 winners—from a parking garage in New York City to remote hiking trails in Northern Syria—exemplify how human-centered visual communications can help users and, indeed, make our world a better place. Charting this progress and defining excellence in our field are key to SEGD’s mission. Recently, our Board of Directors embarked on an exercise designed to further refine the organization’s mission and values. During this process, three words emerged that speak to the essence of SEGD: Educate. Inspire. Connect. SEGD exists to create educational and professional development resources for a diverse, multidisciplinary community of people who practice environmental graphic design. We are also here to inspire our community by continually refining standards of practice and providing examples of excellence. Our mission is to connect members of this community through educational resources, venues for knowledge sharing, and other opportunities to network and learn from one another. Our Board of Directors emerged from this exercise inspired and energized. And the Board and SEGD staff pledge to continue providing excellent resources for our community, including new programs that address emerging trends. A few of these new initiatives are already on the horizon. In October, SEGD will take its mission and message to Europe. We’ll hold informational programs in four cities—Amsterdam, London, Berlin, and Lisbon—with the goal of expanding our international membership and further enriching the SEGD community. On November 3, 2011, we’ll launch SEGD’s new innovation event, XLab SEGD. Coming Attractions This program is designed to highlight technology innovations within the context of environmental graphic design. Our premiere XLab will focus on “Design of October 12-19 SEGD on Tour —Europe Location,” exploring the location-based navigation technologies that are radically Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Lisbon changing how people experience physical spaces. We look forward to your participation in SEGD’s expanding global community, November 3 and trust that you will continue to be inspired by our offerings and the new XLab SEGD: Design of Location initiatives ahead. New York
Jessica W. London
Chief Executive Officer, SEGD
December 1-3 sign11 Vienna
Monumental Achievements 2011 SEGD Fellows Clifford Selbert and Robin Perkins add dramatic scale, emotion—— and most of all, stories——to the urban landscape.
andscape architect/graphic designer Clifford Selbert and graphic designer/sculptor Robin Perkins teamed up in the late 1980s and, in the ensuing 25 years, they have collaborated with a wide range of municipalities, public agencies, owners, developers, and architects to create landmark projects that connect stories to places using art, communications, and environments. With offices in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Dubai, Selbert Perkins Design is an international practice founded on multidisciplinary collaboration. They may be best known for monumental projects such as the luminous gateways at Los Angeles International Airport, Brobdingnagian furniture at the Pacific Design Center, and iconic identity and wayfinding programs for clients including the World of Coca Cola in Atlanta and East Fremont Street in Las Vegas. Their large-scale sculptural work—beginning with Seven Hills Park (Somerville, Mass.) in 1990 and continuing with LAX and other projects around the world—has changed the notion of what environmental graphic design can do for public spaces, says Virginia Gehshan, FSEGD 2010. “Original. Bold. Joyful. The depth and breadth of Selbert Perkins’ work is remarkable,” says Gehshan, principal of Cloud Gehshan Associates (Philadelphia). “They have entertained us with cows in the air at Seven Hills Park and giant chairs at the Pacific Design Center. They produce both landmark projects and quiet gems. Their accomplishments have greatly stretched the field of environmental graphic design.” Selbert and Perkins were named SEGD Fellows during a celebration at the 2011 SEGD Conference+Expo+Awards in Montreal June 1-4. They join the ranks of EGD laureates Massimo Vignelli, David Gibson, Deborah Sussman, and others recognized for promoting the highest standards in EGD and significantly contributing to the direction and growth of the field. The partners spoke with segdDESIGN recently about their inspirations, their individual paths to EGD, and how they view their monumental work. 10 segdDESIGN
Clifford Selbert and Robin Perkins
Los Angeles World Airports, Los Angeles (1995–present) Opposite: SPD created the name, identity, signage, and wayfinding for the Los Angeles World Airports, including the landmark LAX Gateway, the largest lighting display in the world. The celebrated gateway communicates the timeless energy and diversity of Los Angeles, and provides a dramatic experience for visitors arriving in the U.S. (All photos courtesy Selbert Perkins Design)
Seven Hills Park, Somerville, Mass. (1990) Below: On the site of a former parking lot, SPD provided landscape architecture, sculpture, and environmental graphic design services to create this landmark, award-winning urban park. Seven sculptures represent the historic activities on each of the original Seven Hills of Somerville.
World Cup USA (1994) Middle: Collaborating with an internationally recognized team, SPD created the “Look of the Games” as well as an environmental communications system and applied the modular kit of parts program to venues in nine U.S. cities and stadiums.
Canal City Hakata, Fukuoka, Japan (1996) Bottom: With the Jerde Partnership, SPD developed a comprehensive brand identity program and environmental communications master plan for this 2-million-sq.-ft. mixed-use project. Architecture, public art, graphics, landscape, water features, and lighting unite in “a walk through the universe” integrating exterior and interior identification and wayfinding.
Q What was the first thing you ever designed? Robin Perkins: In kindergarten I made a doll over the weekend, cut out of sheets and sewn together with red thread. Tim Burton would have loved it. I adored this crazy little zombie thing, and that’s when I fell in love with the idea of making things. Clifford Selbert: The first thing I got paid to design was a sign system for Roger Williams Park in Providence, Rhode Island. I wasn’t trained to do that kind of work, but my first job was landscape architect for the city of Providence. Designing a sign system was a revelation for me, a great combination of communications and landscape design.
Q You both attended the Rhode Island School of Design, at different times and in different disciplines. But your paths finally crossed in environmental graphic design, right? Selbert: I started at Colgate University as a pre-med student and eventually transferred to RISD, where I got my degree in landscape architecture. After my first job in Providence, I started Clifford Selbert Design in Boston in 1980, based on the concept of integrating communications and environment. Perkins: I studied graphic design at RISD, but I kept coming back to making things. After college, I began studying sculpture at the Massachusetts College of Art. I had my own sculpture studio for many years. Then I worked at an architectural firm and learned how to create architectural plans and drawings. When I began working with Cliff, it seemed like my love of sculpture, making things, and graphic design came together in EGD.
Q Tell us how Selbert Perkins Design got started. Selbert: Robin joined in the late 80s and that was a true turning point for the company. The name was officially changed to Selbert Perkins Design Collaborative in 1997, but the actual partnership goes back 10 years before that. From 1988 on, the work coming out of our studio was heavily influenced by our partnership. Seven Hills Park was our first major project together, and in it we saw the opportunity to develop landmark elements that could be integrated with the design of the park and also tell a story about the city of Somerville. Robin’s sculptural expertise meant that we could truly integrate these sculptural elements into the environment. segdDESIGN 11
Universal Studios, Orlando/Hollywood/Osaka (1996) SPD developed the environmental communications master plan and standards for Universal Studios landmark theme parks and offices. Comprehensive master plans included roadways, gateways, the world’s largest parking structures, pedestrian and bicycle pathways, waterway systems, construction phase graphics, and back-of-house systems.
Port of Los Angeles Waterfront Promenade, San Pedro, Calif. (2005-present) SPD collaborated with EDAW and Moffatt & Nichol to develop an environmental communications master plan that would enhance the Port of Los Angeles’ 12-mile waterfront promenade and make it more enticing as a visitor destination.
University Park at MIT, Cambridge, Mass. (1999) Working with developers, the community, planners, architects, historians, and artists, SPD created a signage and wayfinding master plan for University Park, the 20acre “neighborhood” that includes retail, office, hospitality, recreation, and residential components. Public art and interpretive elements honor the site’s natural, cultural, and manufacturing history.
Q So this became the model for future SPD projects?
Q What have been the major influences on your work?
Perkins: We found that integrating landscape architecture, sculpture, and communications was an incredibly effective framework for investigating the history of a place and telling its stories through a three-dimensional experience. That piece of property (Seven Hills Park) used to be a parking lot in a very blighted area. It was so powerful for us to see that design could transform it into a community space for learning, relaxation, and inspiration. Selbert: It really changed things not just for our firm, but for many others. We began to ask the question: What is special about this place? We discovered we could find something very unique and tell the stories in the environment. That was a big moment in our work together, and also in the field of EGD. Perkins: Out of that project evolved a phrase we still use a lot: Every place has a story, and every story has a place.
Perkins: Cliff is my greatest influence and my mentor. Our daughter is my greatest inspiration. Selbert: And Robin is my greatest influence. We’ve invented a lot of what we do together. But we’ve also been heavily influenced by the notion of multidisciplinary design, so we’ve learned a lot from Bauhaus and other early designers who did everything. Massimo Vignelli said a good designer can design everything from spoons to cities, and we believe that. Perkins: Because our work has always been in the public realm, we’ve also been influenced by artists and urban planners and architects: Alexander Calder, Frederick Law Olmsted, [abstract expressionist sculptor] David Smith, [landscape architect and artist] Isamu Noguchi, and other artists who integrate landscape and communication and art.
Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, Calif. (2006) Below: The landmark Pacific Design Center and MOCA satellite is Los Angeles’ premiere designer showcase center. SPD’s 25-ft.-tall chair and lamp reflect the nature of the home furnishings industry and the center’s function in a dramatic and universal way, and create community landmarks.
East Fremont Street, Las Vegas (2007) SPD collaborated with the City of Las Vegas to revitalize East Fremont Street into a lively music and entertainment district. The dramatic entry gateway, evocative large-scale neon sculptures, and other elements were inspired by 1950s Las Vegas and “Googie” style.
“Cliff and Robin’s work makes me smile. They have shown that thinking big and simply can be pulled off. There is nothing complicated about a big chair. Its message is simple and obvious. Its uniqueness lies in its reduction of message emphasized by its increase in scale. Cliff and Robin have shown us that if we just lighten up a bit and have fun we can produce great work, make the planet a little more enjoyable, and make ourselves happier in the process.” —DAVID VANDEN-EYNDEN, FSEGD, CALORI & VANDEN-EYNDEN/DESIGN CONSULTANTS
Q And you also share a fascination with Egypt, right? Perkins: I’ve been mesmerized since fourth grade, and Cliff has always shared that fascination with me. We were finally able to make a trip there as tourists in 1999, right after we finished design work on LAX. It was the trip of a lifetime. Standing in the midst of these temples and experiencing the monumental scale has had a huge and pretty obvious impact on our work. Selbert: Nobody really knows how old they are. The scale is otherworldly. And when a culture like that designs something with great meaning, it becomes timeless. I think that’s at the core of our work, too. We imbue our work with meaning, and it’s meaning based in reality (as opposed to a theme park), the reality of the place or the people or the history.
Q So it’s really no surprise that people often use the words “landmarks” and “monuments” to describe your work? Selbert: We’re interested in telling stories in monumental ways, and creating landmarks that help orient people. The Statue of Liberty, the St. Louis Arch, the Eiffel Tower, and the monuments of Egypt have been inspirations for us. People still orient by the biggest thing in the landscape. We want to create these landmarks and give them meaning and story. Perkins: A project like LAX has universal meaning to a global audience. LAX is the gateway into the United States for the West Coast, much like the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast. Someone once said to me, “Seeing the light columns makes me happy.” That was the best compliment I’ve ever received.
World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta (2007) SPD created the main façade graphics and iconic identity tower—an internally illuminated sculpture of a Coke bottle in ice—for the World of Coca Cola museum in Atlanta. Collaborating with Jerde Partnership, Jack Rouse Associates, Design Communications Ltd., and the Coca Cola Company, SPD also designed interior and exterior signage and wayfinding for the site.
Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas (2009) At 2.3 million sq. ft., the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium is the largest NFL stadium in the world. SPD collaborated with HKS Architects and the Dallas Cowboys to create a comprehensive program of exterior and interior signage and amenities, facilitating the movement of 80,000 to 100,000 spectators on game days.
“The work of Selbert Perkins has always possessed a visual vitality and drama combined with meaning, function, and pure joy. Their being recognized as Fellows is well deserved and long overdue.” —RICHARD POULIN, FSEGD, POULIN + MORRIS
Q What other projects do you see as major benchmarks for
Selbert: The second turning point was Canal City Hakata, a mixedused development in Fukuoka, Japan. We approached this project as a truly collaborative process with architects, landscape architects, water feature designers, and lighting designers. It was another opportunity to integrate stories and landmark elements and sculpture into the environment. It really informed our collaborative approach to our work moving forward, and also was our introduction to the international market. Perkins: That approach of co-creativity (a term that Jon Jerde coined) has influenced the way we relate to our colleagues in other professions. We see a very gray line between our disciplines and this has allowed the outcomes to become seamless. So signage isn’t separate from the lighting or the architecture. Selbert: LAX was also a pivotal project for us, in that it changed how people look at monuments, art, and storytelling in the environment. We know that project has inspired many people around the world and luckily, has inspired new clients to find us. 14 segdDESIGN
Q Your peers also often mention your skills in managing a
multidisciplinary design practice. To what do you attribute the success of your business? Perkins: International work has been key to our practice. Since Canal City, we haven’t stopped. We’ve worked all over Asia—including Japan, Indonesia, China, and Thailand—and now we’re working in the Middle East. This has meshed well with our personal passion for travel and our desire to see the world and learn through different cultures. This has always affected our design in a positive way. As the United States has gone through a lot of economic changes, our geographical diversity has been what has sustained us emotionally and intellectually, as well as financially. When 9/11 happened and work stopped for several months, our international work helped us to ride that wave. It’s been a deliberate approach.
The Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino, Las Vegas (2010) The new 6.6-million-sq.-ft., 2,995room Cosmopolitan embodies high style and elegance. Collaborating with Friedmutter Group, Arquitectonica, the Rockwell Group, Jeffrey Beers, Adam Tihany, and Bentel & Bentel, SFD created the visual communications master plan for the resort. The system includes dynamic exterior and interior signage, wayfinding, tenant signs, and animated billboards.
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, Calif. (2010) Crocker Art Museum is the Sacramento Valley’s leading arts institution. Collaborating with Gwathmey Siegel Architects, SPD created a comprehensive communication program including exterior building signage, exterior monuments, interior signage and wayfinding, and brand identity.
“Robin and Cliff exemplify how EGD makes a significant, material difference in how places are both used and perceived by people. Their work consistently manages to embody both the rational, functional aspects of wayfinding with the emotional qualities that engage people and capture the spirit of a place.” —HENRY BEER, FSEGD, COMMARTS/STANTEC
Q What would you change about the contemporary field of
environmental graphic design?
Perkins: We would like to see environmental graphic design be more about design in the urban context. There should be a focus on enhancing and beautifying our cities and communities. Selbert: What annoys us is the big focus on typography. We emphasize symbols and monuments over typography, because people understand symbols universally.
Q When SPD's work comes up in conversation, people often
talk about scale, endurance, emotional qualities, and conscience. What do you think have been your most significant contributions to SEGD? Selbert: Our core mission is to do work for the public good. As opposed to promoting products, our work tends to promote places— destinations where people want to be. I believe the way we’ve brought monuments and art and sculpture and symbols together has added a lot to the field. Perkins: We believe design has the power to create a better world. We want to enhance our communities and make our cities more beautiful. There is so much urban blight in our communities and around the world. Design has the power to enhance and beautify our cities and environments and, ultimately, to elevate the human spirit.
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2011 SEGD Design Awards Honor Award Merit Award Jury Award
Global Village The 2011 SEGD Design Awards map the global reach of environmental graphic design.
high-tech pavilion for Shanghai’s World Expo, a sculpture park installation in Croatia, wayfinding for Rome’s new Zaha Hadid-designed contemporary art museum, and hiking trail signage for Northern Syria’s Forgotten Cities were all winners in the 2011 SEGD Design Awards program. The 28 winners—including seven Honor, 19 Merit, and two Jury awards—not only demonstrate the global reach of environmental graphic design, but also show how EGD can enrich user experiences in a wide range of public spaces, says John Lutz, chair of the 2011 program. “In a field of more than 450 excellent entries, the Design Awards program showed us how far the reach of EGD has extended,” says Lutz, principal of Selbert Perkins Design. “In addition to projects from expected venues—museums, sports facilities, corporate environments, and hospitals—we saw innovative graphics for parking garages, parks, schools, and even churches.”
“Itwasn’tenough tobeafunctional objectinspace;we recognizedprojects thatfoundinnovative waystoactivatethe environment.”
The 2011 SEGD Design Awards jury (from left): Tim Fendley, principal, AIG; John Lutz, principal, Selbert Perkins Design; Sarah Kirchoff, 2010 Design Award winner; Steve Henri, director of design and development, The Taubman Company; Douglas Morris, principal, Poulin + Morris; Kate Keating, principal, Kate Keating Associates; Edwin Hofmann, associate vice president of design, Limited Brands; Robert Probst, dean, University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.
The winning projects were not only highly functional as signage, wayfinding, or exhibition design systems, but were often fully integrated into the environment, adds Lutz. “The jury gravitated toward projects that used the entire environment to communicate. It wasn’t enough to be a functional object in space; we recognized projects that found innovative ways to activate the environment.” The 28 winning projects were recognized in an awards celebration during the 2011 SEGD Conference+Expo+ Awards; the event was sponsored by Avery Dennison. The 2011 program was juried by a multidisciplinary team representing architecture, environmental and experience design, exhibition design, interaction design, graphic design, and retail and healthcare environment planning and design. For more information on the award-winning projects, including photos, project descriptions, and jury comments, visit the SEGD Design Awards archive at www.segd.org/design-awards/index.html. segdDESIGN 21
DREAM CUBE Client Shanghai Corporate Community Location Shanghai, China Design Firm ESI Design Design Team Edwin Schlossberg (principal designer), Frank Migliorelli (interactive design director), James Tu (interactive designer), Clay Gish (writing / research director), Chris Muller
(physical designer), Angela Greene (art director), Laura Gunther (graphic designer), Michael Luck Schneider (interactive systems designer), Trip Kyle (production director), Kris Haberman (project executive)
Consultants Atelier FCIZ Architects/ Yung Ho Chang (architects), Spinifex Group (media producer), Full Flood (lighting), Production Resource Group (systems integrator) Photos Basil Childers
Fabrication Shanghai Pico Exhibition Services Co. (fabrication), Shanghai Guosheng Company Limited (construction)
Designing the Dream Cube ESI Designâ€™s digital dreamscape delighted visitors to Shanghaiâ€™s World Expo 2010.
By Leslie Wolke
Opposite: The animated exterior of the Dream Cube, made of a structure of recycled CD cases and thousands of LEDs, pulses with the movements and sounds of the visitors within it.
Below: From the queue, visitors ascend on an escalator, surrounded by bluish light and soft music, into the heart of the Dream Cube.
Jury comments “A truly engaging interactive experience, with the actions of the audience changing the look and feel of the entire exhibit hall. A dynamic environment that holds together cohesively at every turn.”
“Every project has the
same set of challenges: How can we design and build a fresh, imagined world?” Ed Schlossberg, founder and president of ESI Design (New York), has imagined immersive, engaging worlds in Times Square, Ellis Island, and Sony’s New York headquarters. When his firm was asked to design the 2010 World Expo pavilion for the host city’s corporate community, Schlossberg and his team conceived a groundbreaking concept that is equal parts ethereal and high-tech: Dream Cube, a multimedia journey through dreamlike physical environments and collaborative social spaces in which visitors shape their collective experience.
Simple mission, tight deadline
Sixteen months before the opening of the World Expo, Schlossberg and ESI received the commission to design a pavilion to represent the Shanghai corporate community at the global event. Dr. Shi Derong, Chairman of Shanghai Guo Sheng Group, led the group of more than 40 of the
largest corporations in China that were to sponsor the experience and the building that housed it. Given this group of powerhouses at the table, the mission that ESI received was a surprisingly simple and gracious one: Express the companies’ gratitude to the people of Shanghai. Schlossberg describes the breadth and humility of this creative brief as “a gift, both daunting and amazing.” The schedule was more than daunting; it verged on
the impossible. But with one of China’s most accomplished architects, Yung Ho Chang (founder of Atelier FCIZ Architects) joining the team to design the pavilion’s innovative skeleton and skin, the team was fortified for the design marathon. Together, they designed the experience from the inside out, starting with the visitor experience and defining the architecture to support and embrace it. In the earliest phases of ideation, Schlossberg recalled
his love of traditional Chinese literature while a student at Columbia University. One story in particular came to mind as inspiration for the project: the fourthcentury Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi’s dream of being a butterfly, in which he ponders whether he himself is a butterfly dreaming that he is Zhuangzi. The transformative, ethereal, and captivating nature of this story became the name of the building and the experience inside it: The Dream Cube. segdDESIGN 23
Below: The transformation of Shanghai from its origins to today was told with the help of thousands of images that ESI Design solicited from Shanghai citizens.
Realizing the dream
With the design of the building and its contents proceeding in tandem to meet the openingday deadline, the ESI team and Yung Ho Chang worked together in an iterative and collaborative process. The scale and composition of the building is remarkable in itself: the 40,000-sq.-ft. pavilion is enveloped by 40 miles of polycarbonate tubes encasing LEDs. The LED tubes are set in a three-dimensional scaffoldlike framework, creating a depth and subtlety when activated in vibrant animations
that sweep over the expansive digital canvas. The tubes were manufactured from used CD cases and cover 53,000 sq. ft. of area on the cube. “We think of it as a truss that suspends the modules of experience,” notes Schlossberg—similar to organs cradled in the skeleton of a body. Shanghai’s self portrait
To thank the people of Shanghai as Dr. Shi had prescribed, ESI invited the citizens of the city to participate in the design process. On the Expo website, the project
team asked visitors to capture their vision of the city. To help contributors know what types of images they were looking for, ESI commissioned professional photographers to take on some initial assignments. “It is our responsibility as professionals to make amateurs great,” Schlossberg explains. These examples amplified the quality and content of the public submissions “because they knew what ‘good’ looked like,” he adds. More than 80,000 photos were submitted. The team cataloged them by subject
Below: A meadow of LED rods responded to visitors as they approached and waved.
and color palette, and created immense digital landscapes to display the photos along the Dreamer’s Path, a vibrant visual history of the city and its inhabitants. Layered highresolution OLED monitors and scrims with projected shadows and animations enlivened the path through the stories of Shanghai. This project to crowd-source the varied perspectives of a city of 28 million transformed the Dream Cube from a temporary
Jury comments “An amazing experiential space. Children and adults can interact with this living structure. The use of color and light set the tone for each room. It could easily have been overdone, yet the controlled graphic quality actually makes the spaces understandable and exciting at the same time.”
exhibit to a participatory multimedia experience from the web, to the pavilion, to a book celebrating the contributed images. Along the Dreamer’s Path, the interactive nature of the adventure continued. Thousands of LED rods of differing heights formed an ephemeral meadow. Visitors waved their hands over the digital grass, and colors changed in response.
Below: In Professor Butterfly’s Control Room, the audience interacted in unison, creating a light show on the building’s exterior.
Visitors as collaborators
The Dreamer’s Path ended near a nondescript alley, where, as the audience approached, the walls parted to reveal a massive circular theater: the Dream Cube Control Room. Eighteen HD projectors washed the seamless circular screen above the audience with an interactive 20-minute film starring Chinese actress and director Xu Jinglei as Professor Butterfly. The professor rallied the audience to take part in building the future of Shanghai and taught them that they
could interact with the digital exterior of the pavilion— the largest real-time interactive screen ever built—by waving and clapping in pattern and in unison. The exterior pulsed with the movements of the audience, transforming the individuals who entered the Dream Cube into a community of active participants, collaborating to enlighten and illuminate the Dream Cube pavilion, a state-of-the-art symbol of Shanghai itself. Orchestrating a vast system of digital technologies to enact such an immersive and
composed experience required intense collaboration across a range of disciplines and continents: Spinifex Group of Sydney produced all the media, most notably the Control Room experience. Production Resource Group (Hamburg) managed the technology integration, network, and system controls. Near the end of design development, ESI and its partners built the entire experience in Berlin for testing and client approval.
Tuning the visitor experience
Below: A layered landscape of digital screens and projected images engaged visitors as they walked along the Dreamers Path, showing the change of seasons.
In order to give all the pavilion teams time to hone their exhibits and performances, World Expo 2010 launched with a soft opening, welcoming 500,000 people the first day and 750,000 the next. Schlossberg and his team watched groups of visitors closely to see what interactions should warrant revisions. The media, lighting, and interactive systems were all built to be adjustable so that timing and presentation changes could be made as needed on site.
The design team learned a lot by watching the first groups of visitors during the interactive finale in the Control Room. Schlossberg remembered that Dr. Shi wondered aloud whether his Chinese compatriots would indeed follow Professor Butterfly’s instructions to clap and wave. Would they be too reserved to play along? If so, the collaborative exuberance of the entire experience was in jeopardy. The answer came quickly and loudly—the audiences erupted on each cue and left the theater in a cheerful clamor. From his vantage point in the theater on those early days
of the World Expo, Schlossberg discovered clues about the visitors’ level of engagement with the interactive film. When he saw people reach for the phone—to text or call—he knew their attention was waning. The glint of cellphones illuminated spots in the experience that were slow or lacking. His team assimilated that immediate feedback and tightened up the show. “All focus groups should carry cellphones— it’s a great indicator,” he marvels. World Expo 2010 welcomed 73 million visitors over the course of its brief six-month run. The Dream Cube remained a favorite with visitors and
critics. Schlossberg notes, “It’s bizarre to have something so good last for such a short time.” Experiences may be fleeting, but our memories of unique and ephemeral environments such as the Dream Cube stay with us, just as Zhuangzi’s dream stayed with him. Every day, from May to October 2010, audiences dispersed from the Dream Cube sharing its secret: that they had been the source of its shimmering radiance. Leslie Wolke, SEGD (leslie. firstname.lastname@example.org) is a consultant who specializes in wayfinding technology and interactive donor recognition systems. segdDESIGN 27
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MACQUARIE GROUP HEADQUARTERS Client Macquarie Group Ltd. Location Sydney, Australia Architecture Clive Wilkinson Architects (interior), Fitzpatrick & Partners (exterior) Environmental Graphic Design EGG Office
Design Team Christian Daniels (principal), Jonathan Mark (design director), Jane Bogart (copywriter), Kate Tews (project manager and copywriter) Fabrication Wizardry Imaging & Signs (primary fabricator), Cunneen Signs (exterior digital totem signs) Photos Christian Daniels/EGG Office, Shannon McGrath
This page: EGG Office’s environmental graphics for the Macquarie Group Ltd.—Australia’s largest investment banking company—include a custom crosshatch font inspired by the diagrid framework over the building’s glass facade. LED totems at the entrance to the building point visitors toward the second-level lobby and introduce the crosshatch pattern.
Clear Connections A Sydney bank uses architecture and wayfinding to support a radical new work model.
Transparency is a
big buzzword these days. Politicians and corporations, psychologists and members of the media all strive for it or, at the very least, toss around the word as some sort of ideal practice. But what does it really mean? And more importantly, what does it look like? Ironically, an example may be found in the type of place that prompted the largescale application of this word in the first place: a financial institution. Macquarie Group Limited has always been a forwardthinking company. In creating its new Sydney headquarters, the bank sought to showcase its brand attributes—an open business model, a global outlook, and collaborative work behavior—within the physical setting. So the interior expanses of the 10-story, 330,000-sq.ft. headquarters designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects (Los Angeles) look more like an advertising agency than the base for Australia’s largest investment bank.
By Jennifer Volland
This page: To emphasize Macquarie’s core values of transparency and connectedness, Clive Wilkinson Architects created a vertical village of conference rooms and lounges that rises through the atrium and spreads out amongst the floors. Superscaled vinyl numbers make them easy to find.
You won’t find hierarchy of space, private offices, or even very many solid or opaque walls. Instead, the bank’s employees—among them, private investors, attorneys, financial planners, sales associates, and support staff—conduct business in mobile work environments and, when meeting with each other or clients, congregate in a vertical village of conference rooms and lounges that rises through the atrium and spreads out amongst the floors. Helping to visually clarify the new workspace, and providing wayfinding cues in
“Wonderful application of the ‘transparency’ concept. Excellent balance of color, graphics, and materials application.”
this unconventional corporate environment, was the job of EGG Office (Los Angeles). Transforming the workplace
In planning for the new building, the Macquarie team knew they wanted a creative banking space. They visited the head office of the Tilburg, Netherlands-based insurance company Interpolis, and it completely opened their eyes. Interpolis is known for its activity-based working (ABW) model, an alternative work style developed by Veldhoen + Company. Based on the
philosophy that working in different places can increase productivity, ABW allows employees to take technology with them and select the locations that suit the task at hand. “We were doing a fitout project and then it really became a business transformation,” explains Anthony Henry, Macquarie’s director of design. “We used this model as our goal and broadened our vision to include a change-management component. We looked seriously at technology, reducing paper, and opening
the lines of communication. The whole program fit well within a broader work culture that empowered the employee.” To facilitate this new way of working, Clive Wilkinson Architects divided each floor into five neighborhoods of approximately 100 people. Within the office floors, themed plazas were designed based on familiar collaboration typologies: the dining table, the library, the garden, the tree house, the playroom, and the coffee house.
Below: In the reception area, Macquarie’s logo is rendered in black 3M vinyl wrapped around steel cylindrical tubes.
Without typical wayfinding cues, the workplace required a strong navigation system to orient and facilitate the movement of approximately 2,800 employees. While the architects fostered connectivity with a generous use of glass and clear sight lines, the EGG Office team, led by principal Christian Daniels, supplemented the interior design with graphics designed to help visually clarify the transformation of Macquarie’s business model and its workspace. “The biggest challenge was developing a graphic language that emphasized the brand attributes and site-specific location and, at the same time, tied in all the different types of spaces,” explains Daniels. His team chose to integrate the vernacular of the building’s 32 segdDESIGN
Below and opposite: Universally recognized icons are rendered heroically throughout the space.
exterior, a steel diagonal pattern over a glass façade, to create an identity that unifies the outside and inside. This diagrid pattern became the inspiration for the custom font and pictograms that appear throughout the space. EGG Office first reintroduced it in the entry plaza, where tall, slim totems with animated LED screens greet visitors and guide them to the second-floor lobby. In the lobby, the overarching graphic language is fully revealed. Glass-walled meeting pods, inspired by shipping containers from neighboring Sydney harbor, cantilever dramatically over the atrium. They appear at varying levels, seemingly random in placement, like branches of a tree. Locating one might prove disorienting if not for the large-scale vinyl numbers in a
crosshatch pattern suggestive of the exterior diagrid. But these supergraphics do much more than address wayfinding. Each room’s activities are either partially or fully revealed through the open patterns, reinforcing the concept of transparency so intrinsic to the company philosophy. The building’s occupants navigate this unconventional space by following its distinct visual language. “Traditionally, it’s about a room number and a letter. Here, when you get to a floor it’s about finding a zone but no specific desk,” explains Daniels. “Once you get the strategy, it’s almost easier to execute because it is not about redundancy and repetition. In the planning phase, we calculated the design very specifically, but in practice, it is experienced very organically.”
A common visual language reinforces intuitive wayfinding. On individual floors, locker storage banks with corresponding numbers and letters in the familiar crosshatch pattern provide anchor points. The pattern also appears in universal icons: the shape of a paperclip to signify a supply room or the shape of a body to denote a bathroom area. EGG Office also supplemented the interior architectural scheme with unique graphic elements and corresponding color palettes that provide workspaces with their own unique identities. An interlocking structure of birch plywood and wall coverings of abstracted bark and leaf patterns define the tree house. A table-height ribbon of glossy white Corian, punctuated by
Right: Superscaled neighborhood identifiers—cut vinyl on the side surfaces of a bank of employee lockers—delineate the level and neighborhood location. Lockers help employees move freely among the workspaces.
passages decaled with oversized candelabra and silverware, snakes through the dining area. Workstations wrapped with images of book spines and magazine stacks populate the library. And expanses of bright-colored flooring and circular meeting areas draped in diaphanous panels of orange, purple, and gold delineate the playroom. Making the cuts
As simple as they look in situ, the crosshatch patterns were not so simple to execute. Kelly Wallace, project manager at Wizardry Imaging and Signs (Sydney), coordinated the fabrication of the computer cut, digitally printed vinyl. “When you computer cut something, it is like a regular sticker,” Wallace explains. “You have to pull off the backing
Bottom: EGG Office rendered floor directories in vinyl directly on the glass elevator banks. Rather than providing an exhaustive list of rooms, the simplified maps use colors and shapes to denote room functions.
Jury comments “These designers have helped to create a work environment that appears to be an enjoyable place filled with unexpected, light-hearted surprises. This shows that even the typically mundane restroom or office supply closet can be an individual expression and an extension of an architectural palette.”
and, because we had to cut out by hand all the little squares between the crisscross pattern, it was time consuming. If the vinyl flipped over during application and stuck together, we had to do it all again. It was quite intense.” And that’s just the beginning. The tricky placement of the pods presented further obstacles. EGG Office’s design specified that the vinyl numbers go on the outside of the glass versus the inside, where they would be susceptible to reflection and lack of definition. Because the pods essentially hang in the atrium space, there is no easy access. To apply the graphics, the fabricators ended up using the same rail tracking system and ropes used by window washers.
Below: Liberated from their cubicles, Macquarie employees can choose their work locations to suit the task at hand. Clive Wilkinson Architects divided each floor into five neighborhoods and designed themed plazas based on familiar
collaboration typologies: the dining table, the library, the garden, the tree house, the playroom, and the coffee house. EGG Design added unique graphic elements and corresponding color palettes.
zones; white represents the bookable meeting areas. This handy reference tool, however, often plays second fiddle to chance encounters. Many employees opt to travel up and down the monumental staircase and actively engage themselves in the building’s dynamic environment. When a company takes a leap of faith and says goodbye to the cubicle, the role of environmental graphic
A successful wayfinding and environmental graphics system meant conventional signage could be reduced. EGG Office minimized directional signs. Simplified maps for each floor appear as vinyl graphics on the elevator bank, where again, glass is used to reinforce transparency. The team reduced the map details to major areas: pods appear as chartreuse cubes; blue denotes the anchor 34 segdDESIGN
Bottom: To reinforce the theme on the treehouse floor, EGG Office designed cut-vinyl wall graphics that abstractly suggest bark and leaves.
design becomes all the more relevant. “The environmental graphics created a much richer landscape,” says Henry. “It was important that wayfinding was clear because this was such a new way of working for us.” And more than just orienting people in the new space, environmental graphics became a tool for communicating a singular vision, creating a meaningful workplace, and cultivating an atmosphere
where collaboration can occur. Of course, with transparency, proof of success ultimately lies within practice. All the innovations don’t mean a thing unless there has been a fundamental shift in the work environment. Henry assuredly rattles off a number of impressive statistics that put to rest any remaining doubts: 97% of employees didn’t want to go back to the old building; 93% of employees didn’t want
Below: Pop-art inspired garden graphics enliven other public spaces.
to go back to the old way of working; and 70% of employees brought their families into the new workspace in the first three months after it opened. In short, the Macquarie headquarters is not a place where employees have to be, but rather where employees want to be. “We see the building as an extension of who we are as an organization,” says Henry. “One of our core values is integrity.
Below: Throughout the space, colorful graphics surprise and delight, reinforcing the themes of collaborative workspaces. A table-height ribbon of glossy white Corian, punctuated by passages decaled with oversized candelabras and silverware, snakes through the dining area.
This design puts us on show. We don’t hide behind barriers.” The result is a virtual theater, where employees and clients alike partake in intersecting narratives and animate the workplace. Jennifer M. Volland is a freelance writer and curator based in Long Beach, Calif. She co-authored the book Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis. segdDESIGN 35
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MAXXI NATIONAL MUSEUM OF XXI CENTURY ARTS Client Fondazione MAXXI Location Rome Architecture Zaha Hadid Architects
Fabrication Arpa pubblicità srl (wayfinding structures, videowall), G2 (gate painting) Photos Rossano Ronci/Cesare Querci (except as noted)
Design ma:design SRL Design Team Massimiliano Patrignani, Monica Zaffini (principals in charge); Doretta Rinaldi (designer); Giovanni Salerno (production coordination/material research)
Minimalism at MAXXI At Rome’s newest museum, ma:design interprets Zaha Hadid’s vision and choreographs an interplay between architecture and environmental graphics. By Leslie Wolke
Below: For the museum’s signage program, ma:design responded to the sinuous lines and stark black and while palette of Zaha Hadid’s architectural vision. (Photo: Iwan Baan) Bottom: As visitors wander through the exhibition galleries, they can refer to wall-mounted maps that show the galleries as a black plane layered on top of an abstracted white floor map.
What is the relationship
between art and architecture? Between painting and engineering? Between a museum and its contents? Internationally recognized architect and artist Zaha Hadid asks us to consider these questions as we explore MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome that spotlights Italian contemporary art and architecture. But long before MAXXI opened its doors in May 2010, designers Massimiliano Patrignani and Monica Zaffini of ma:design wrestled with these same questions as they conceived the environmental graphics program for the unique building. Set on an L-shaped plot, the museum bends around neighboring buildings in a bundle of ramps and sinuous volumes made of cast-on-
site concrete ribbons. Hadid often begins her projects by painting abstract “landscapes” that explore the character of the space. Her paintings of MAXXI illustrate the twisting and overlapping channels that would make up the interlocking chains of galleries, amenities, and public spaces in the museum. Interpreting Hadid’s vision
Both commissions— the building and its environmental graphics— were the result of design competitions. Hadid won the international competition to design the museum in 1998. More then 10 years later, as the building was nearing completion, the MAXXI leadership held a competition to select an environmental graphic design firm for the project. They selected ma:design of Rome, headed
by principals Patrignani and Zaffini. Throughout the five-month design process, the ma:design team worked in concert with museum leaders to define the look and feel of the sign system. Early sketches illustrated colorful, freestanding elements, but as the design team grew to appreciate Hadad’s minimal landscape, their designs took on a more graceful and integrated tone, sometimes melding into the architecture itself. Margherita Guccione, director of MAXXI Architettura, remembers the earliest days of the collaboration. “From the beginning, ma:design has been able to interpret the Zaha Hadid building, recalling the serpentine lines of the architecture in the sign system to effectively catch the attention of the visitors.”
Jury comments “The strength of this award winner is the idea of not letting the wayfinding graphics overpower the clean lines of the space. Simple changes to arrows and service symbols make for very intelligent design. Simple is better, which this project portrays exceptionally well.”
Below: With most of the museum obscured from view at the entrance, ma:design created a supergraphic of the museum logo in black and white paint on the existing fence and gates.
Starting the conversation
The first challenge for Patrignani and Zaffin was to identify the museum from the street. Its narrow frontage means that most of the museum is obscured from the entry. To introduce the simplicity of materials that the building and its signage system share, the ma:design team chose to create a supergraphic of the museum logo in black and white paint on the existing fence and gates. After passing through the gates, visitors walk along a landscaped plaza toward the museum’s entrance. For Patrignani and Zaffini, the long expanse of glass on the façade became a canvas for messaging. They invited their clients at MAXXI to identify quotations from architects, philosophers, and writers and used the quotes to welcome visitors and begin the dialogue about the art and architecture that await them inside. The quotes correspond to the spaces
they envelop. The staff’s sense of humor was revealed when they chose a quote from the ancient Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger to enfold an architecture gallery: “Felix illud saeculum ante architectos fuit.” (“It was a happy era, the one before architects.”) The letters used for the quotes are cut in their original silhouette in a way that recalls the stark lines of the building and creates an intriguing visual effect. A modern piazza
Once inside, visitors look up at the confluence of passageways leading to the galleries and auditoriums that converge above them. Vast expanses of raw concrete, black stairways, and white walls imbue the tangled space with the stillness one expects of a museum. The design team envisioned the lobby space as a piazza. “Every Italian city, even the smallest one, has its own piazza, which is the heart of the city, a place to meet,” explains
Patrignani. “We see MAXXI as a small city of its own, within the city of Rome.” A rectilinear LED screen curves with the concrete wall above the reception desk and provides information about current exhibits and upcoming events. The subtle bend in the screen conveys an undercurrent in the design of the system: harmony and congruity with the building itself. The designers could have identified a flat wall to mount a standard digital display as an applied appendage, but instead, the shape of the building dictated the unique and unexpected solution of an inclined display. A spare palette
As the ma:design team developed the sign vocabulary for the facility, they were determined not to interrupt the visitors’ experience of the remarkable interior spaces. “Our aim was to provide essential information in a clear,
visible, but non-invasive way,” says project team designer Doretta Rinaldi. “In keeping with the mood of the building and its concrete and white walls, we developed a linear black and white signage system.” The team found inspiration in Hadid’s building plans and adapted the clipped shapes of angled galleries to become the arrows, signage frames, and tabletop placards in the wayfinding system. The vertical fins that frame the ceiling skylights were reinterpreted as wall-mounted, threedimensional striped numbers that identify each gallery. The signs are predominately white planes of various thicknesses on white walls. Rinaldi explains: “The volumes of the sign elements are created only thanks to the contrast between light and shadow in the otherwise pristine environment. This is why we conceived the signage structure as shaped and cut elements.”
Opposite: A subtly bent LED screen curves with the concrete wall above the reception desk and provides information about current exhibits and upcoming events.
Below left: Enameled-MDF amenity signs are inspired by the clipped forms of the building itself.
Below: The vertical fins that frame the ceiling skylights were reinterpreted as wall-mounted three-dimensional striped numbers that identify each gallery.
Jury comments â€œExtremely well integrated wayfinding program. Uniquely appropriate and complementary to the architecture. It just works!â€?
Fitting for a museum whose collections convey the relationship between architecture and art, the sign system extends and transmutes the visual vocabulary of the architecture.
Below left and right: The sign system is a spare palette of black and white, with wave-cut shapes, embossed arrows, and cuts in the structure.
“Get lost and find yourself again”
Hadid describes the museum as a conflux of major and minor streams, meaning the curvilinear intersections of large galleries give way to narrower passages. Visitors “float” from one gallery to the next, often unaware of what is around the next bend. The ma:design team understood that the concept of wayfinding took on a particular meaning within this museum—it was difficult to get disoriented in these interconnected spaces. Zaffini explains, “The fluid architecture by Zaha Hadid invites the visitor to explore without a preset route. We borrowed this
simple concept as our guideline: to get lost and then find yourself again.”
As visitors wander through the series of exhibition galleries (which are numbered in sequence as a wayfinding cue), they can refer to a wallmounted map that shows the gallery they are in as a black plane layered on top of an abstracted white floor map. The composition of sandwiched enameled-MDF planes is as artistic as it is informative. Ma:design and fabrication company Arpa pubblicità have partnered on a number of successful projects over the years and they collaborated to build the MAXXI graphics. Arpa pubblicità manager Ciuffoli Danilo recalled that even though the black and white system looks simple, “It consists of handmade shapes and reliefs laser cut in different materials, including Plexiglass, aluminum, MDF, and polystyrene.” Accolades and another piazza
The museum has been open more than a year and has won 42 segdDESIGN
some of the most prestigious awards in architecture, including the Stirling prize from the Royal Institute of British Architects and World Building of 2010 at Barcelona’s World Architecture Festival. And now the graphics program has received its due with an SEGD Design Award. MAXXI Architettura Director Margherita Guccione affirms that the environmental graphics program has been a great success. “It has proven to be effective both inside and out, thanks to the clarity of the communication system and the use of forms and materials that are in perfect symphony with the essential character of the building itself.” Guccione and ma:design may collaborate again on MAXXI’s expansion into an adjacent 17th-century building that will house a library and amenities. Patrignani reports, “We are developing a proposal to evolve the museum signage system for this new context, reinterpreting the idea of the piazza yet again. Wish us luck, won’t you?” Leslie Wolke, SEGD (leslie. email@example.com) is a consultant who specializes in wayfinding technology and interactive donor recognition systems.
Bottom: Room identification signage shares the same aesthetic of harmony and congruity with the building itself.
Jury comments “Elegantly integrated signage and wayfinding system. Unique and appropriate for the site, subtle and fresh!”
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FORGOTTEN CITIES HIKING TRAIL Client Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; Ministry of Culture, Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums in Syria Location Aleppo, Syria Design PenguinCube SAL
Design Team Tammam Yamout (project manager, designer), Josette Khalil (creative director, designer)
Consultants MORES (environmental engineering, client representative, planning, contracting)
Fabrication Peters Brass (PVC lettering); Management of Resources and Environmental Solutions, local community (concrete work)
Photos PenguinCube SAL
Forgotten Cities A new wayfinding system makes the cultural treasures of northern Syriaâ€™s Forgotten Cities more accessible to the world. By Deborah K. Dietsch
Opposite: The Forgotten Cities hiking trail is an 87-mile circuit of pathways linking 700 dead or forgotten cities in remote settlements west of Aleppo, Syria. The region is home to some of the greatest examples of Byzantine architecture in the world.
Below: PenguinCube designed simple concrete informational markers that direct hikers through ancient farming villages to the historic sites. The tablets were designed to blend into the rocky terrain, and can be manufactured on site.
Bottom: About 25 local villagers were employed to cast, finish, and install about 200 signs throughout the mountainous landscape. They fabricated the signs by pouring concrete over perforated PVC letter boards.
The Forgotten Cities, nearly 700 towns and villages occupying a mountainous region of northern Syria, are among the most memorable places on the planet. The impressive ancient ruins in these remote settlements west of Aleppo are connected by an 87-mile circuit of hiking trails—pathways that are now more accessible to tourists and locals thanks to new wayfinding system designed by PenguinCube SAL (Beirut). Signage in Arabic and English directs visitors to routes along the pathways as well as to the most significant monuments within the rural settlements. Once prosperous, the Forgotten Cities offer some of the greatest examples of Byzantine architecture anywhere in the world. These well-preserved basilicas, monasteries, baths, villas, and tombs were mostly built during the 4th and 5th centuries near the lost city of Antioch, an important center for early Christians. They were once part of a major agricultural center providing wheat, olives, and grapes for the ancient populations in the region. Often described as “dead cities”
for their resemblance to eerie ghost towns, these farming villages are remarkably intact and their remaining buildings and archeological sites offer a rare picture of life in antiquity. In 2006, seeking to raise awareness of this rich cultural heritage, the Directorate General of Antiquities and
Museums in Syria’s Ministry of Culture embarked on a project to improve the existing routes through the ancient towns. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation conceived the idea of developing a wayfinding system for the hiking trails and backed the effort with financial and logistical support.
By demonstrating their commitment to preserving and enhancing the area, the organizations hope to convince UNESCO to designate the Forgotten Cities as a prestigious World Heritage Site like the Egyptian pyramids, the Great Wall of China, and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
“This is the perfect solution for the problem at hand: it is maintenance free, weather proof, low cost, can be produced by a local work force, and blends naturally and seamlessly with the environment. It is not stuffy or overdone, and fulfills its role with purpose and simplicity. Perhaps most impressive, this project will truly have a powerful and positive impact on the people who live in this area of North Syria.”
Below: Small directional signs bear simple arrows directing visitors to the ancient towns.
PenguinCube was selected to create signage along three existing trails leading to 15 of the ancient towns. Prior to the development of the wayfinding system, tourists mostly had to rely on local guides to find their way through steep terrain and ruins scattered over dozens of miles. “Whether the hikers were foreigners or locals, the wayfinding system is designed to help them easily navigate the area,” says project manager and designer Tammam Yamout of PenguinCube. “Each route connects three to five villages or sites, and the messages and arrows on the signs give you the direction of the upcoming destination.” Yamout and his team helped to determine the locations of the more than 200 signs by walking the trails. “It was a very hands-on process. We visited and slept in the towns many times,” he recalls. “One time, the locals invited us for dinner—they had prepared rice and goat heads, which didn’t look very appealing.” The clients’ mandate to preserve the unique combination of natural terrain and archeological remains in the area led the designers to avoid imposing markers, superfluous information, or historical mimicry. The signs also needed to be maintenancefree for up to 20 years, capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions and the potential abuse of farm machinery, low cost, and manufacturable on site with a local workforce. PenguinCube developed a simple tablet design that would blend into the landscape and could be easily made by local construction teams. Once the basic design was established, PenguinCube 46 segdDESIGN
developed a family of navigational, informational, and directional signs in three different sizes. The largest, measuring about three by four feet, incorporates a map of the trails in the area. The next biggest is divided into horizontal sections to note the names of different towns, and the smallest is simply adorned with an arrow to point hikers in the right direction. “We wanted to have a 10-meter visibility distance for the signs,” says Yamout in explaining the varied dimensions. Concrete was chosen as the sign material for its ability to withstand vandalism and harsh weather conditions. “It will not be harnessed as firewood by the locals and can withstand nature’s generosity and wrath,” says Yamout. “Since little to no maintenance is planned in the near future, these signs must endure numerous weather cycles unscathed.” Two typefaces were chosen for the lettering on the signs: GE East Extrabold for the Arabic script and Infotext Bold for the English text. “These fonts were selected for their harmony with each other, as
Below: PenguinCube chose GE East Extrabold for the Arabic script and Infotext Bold for the English text. The fonts were selected for their harmony with each other, as well as for their thicknesses, which could easily be cut with a router.
well as for their thickness, in that they were easy to cut on a router,” notes Yamout. Since ordinary vinyl and paint did not meet the project’s durability requirements, the PenguinCube team determined the lettering and arrows should be made from the type of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) used for outdoor signage. “The lettering needed to be solid, while flush to the surface of the concrete,” says Yamout. “This was made possible by embedding solid PVC letter boards into the concrete
itself. The letter boards were perforated to allow the poured concrete to pass through them as the sign was being cast.” The PVC letterboards were attached to the molds in which the concrete was poured so the lettering became integral to the casting. Aided by the new wayfinding system, tourism in the Forgotten Cities area had been slowly increasing and benefitting the region economically—until civil unrest overtook Syria this year. “Many European tourists have visited and hiked the trails, and this has created a microeconomy for the residents who sell their local produce and cheese to the tourists, and offer rooms for people who want to stay the night,” says Yamout. He adds, “If the signage helps disoriented locals as well, then the project can be considered a comprehensive success.”
“The jurors were mightily impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of this entry. Compared with higherbudget and more sophisticated briefs, this ‘hand-made’ approach to creating trail signing was with the minimum of cost and fuss, and yet it creates a totally appropriate and long-lasting solution. A lot can be done with a little bit of thinking and use of readily available materials.”
Washington, DC-based writer Deborah Dietsch covers art, architecture, and design for numerous publications. Her latest book is Live/Work: Working at Home, Living at Work.
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SKIN PAVILION OF KNOWLEDGE Client Pavilion of Knowledge (Ciência viva) Location Lisbon, Portugal Design P-06 Atelier, JLCG Arquitectos Design Team Nuno Gusmão (principal/creative director, P-06 Atelier); João Luís Carrilho da Graça (principal in charge, JLCG Architects); Giuseppe Greco, Vera Sacchetti (designers, P-06 Atelier), Pedro Abreu (architect, JLCG Architects) Fabrication ACF (construction, installation, and lighting), Demetro a Metro (signage system, vinyl film) Photos Ricardo Gonçalves
Universal Code P-06 Atelier creates a shimmery acoustical skin for a new multiuse foyer at Lisbon’s Pavilion of Knowledge. By Jenny S. Reising
Below: As part of the building’s renovation and expansion, P-06 Atelier designed a 20- by 230-ft. graphic acoustical skin for the new multiuse foyer.
Bottom: Barrisol, a tensile plastic with an inner metal structure, was used to create a reflective ceiling. Combined with LED illumination, its effect is to lengthen the perceived height of the wall.
The Pavilion of
Knowledge of the Seas was one of the most emblematic exhibits during the oceanthemed 1998 Lisbon World Exposition. In 1999, Ciencia Viva (“Living Science”) moved its headquarters into the building and it became a permanent interactive science and technology museum called, more simply, the Pavilion of Knowledge (Pavilhão do Conhecimento). Designed to appeal to kids of all ages, the museum offers exhibits on such topics as forensic science and organizes workshops and public debates. According to Pavilion of Knowledge President Rosalia Vargas, “All of the exhibits are interactive and the only thing that is forbidden is to NOT try and experiment.” But after more than a decade in business, the museum needed to expand its physical space and freshen up its look. “It needed a visual intervention,” Vargas explains. “The need for a bigger and better-equipped auditorium for public and corporate events, a laboratory, a cafeteria, meeting rooms, an elementary school, increased office space, and an innovative multiuse foyer were strong roots for a creative renovation.” JLCG Arquitectos (Lisbon), which designed the original Pavilion in 1998, began work on design of the expansion— to 26,000 sq. ft.—in 2009. And JLCG tapped P-06 Atelier to overhaul the wayfinding and environmental design program and develop a “meaningful texture” for the walls of the museum’s multipurpose foyer.
The client’s directive to P-06 was simple: create an environmental skin that is functional, acoustical, and inspirational. The visual drama begins as visitors enter the museum through a long external ramp leading to the ticket office, which is flooded with natural light and color. Then they enter a dark corridor, where
black walls are used to display mathematical imagery. Finally, visitors receive an explosion of light and graphics in the foyer. Inspired by the
exchange of information that is core to the museum’s mission, P-06 adopted the universal computer language of ASCII codes, creating a 20- by 230-ft., floorto-ceiling graphic skin perforated by cut-out ASCII symbols. The scrim
Below: Vinyl floor graphics are part of the wayfinding system, which was also designed by P-06 Atelier. Bottom: The 20-in.-thick walls comprise multiple layers: the perforated MDF, lighting, Climaver acoustic panels, and either an opaque wall or a glass window. The layers are all attached with screws, forming a compact system.
Jury comments “This project makes beauty from simple information. The multipurpose room is expressive and yet seemingly calm; the graphics are playful and not overpowering. The surrounding skin is translucent, all making for a unique experience.” “A most appropriate solution. Powerful use of symbology, light, and space. Makes visitors feel as if they are in The Matrix.”
provides visual interest, allows sneak peeks into the spaces behind the walls—including offices, laboratories, meeting rooms, and digital media rooms—and meets sound requirements. “ASCII is a code for information exchange, and a museum is also a place for information exchange,” explains Nuno Gusmão, principal of P-06. “The overall aesthetic, colors, and light were intended to be calm enough to frame the ‘embroidered wall,’ yet strong enough to stand up to other elements that are competing with it.” Gusmão refers to the walls as an “acoustic skin” because the first layer is perforated, allowing sound to enter and be partially absorbed by the Climaver acoustic panels inside. Made from fire-safe rigid mineral wool board and faced on both sides with reflective aluminum surfacing, Climaver panels offer excellent thermal and acoustic performance. P-06 carefully calibrated the volume of openings in the wall—more than 60 percent—to control the levels of sound and natural lighting that would enter the space. P-06 also designed the lighting scheme so that all the illumination comes from within and through the wall. Three-ft.-long white LED strips are affixed to the panels laterally to ensure even light distribution and minimize future maintenance and cost issues. segdDESIGN 49
According to Nuno Moreno of ACF, which fabricated the massive wall, project installation brought its own set of challenges. Fastening the wall into place required several rounds of prototypes before reaching a workable solution. To allow easy panel placement and removal, ACF attached the panels to the wood structure with screws. To create a system of reflection, the fabricator installed a mirrored ceiling made of Barrisol, a tensile plastic with an inner metal structure that was stretched on-site using heat. The 3,000 linear feet of LEDs shower light directly onto the reflective Climaver panels in the wall, which have a silver mirrored finish. The overall effect is of shimmering white walls that appear to double in height when reflected in the ceiling. The ASCII characters were computer-generated, then CNC-cut from the MDF panels. After cutting, the panels were lacquered and then identified
by wall and arrow to ensure ease of assembly on site. Validation
The finished foyer has definitely gotten the “wow” response from museum visitors that Gusmão sought. It is even being used as a backdrop for a local television program. According to Vargas, the new environmental skin respects the building’s minimalist design and architectural tradition, but gives it a totally revamped look that balances space, color, and form. “The visitor enters the
foyer after going through a dark corridor that is long enough to perceive the natural light at the end of the tunnel. Then the design feeds the visitor with the key characteristic of the scientific process: curiosity, a desire to know more,” Vargas says. “The final design could not be more appropriate, as it creates motion and emotion in every visitor and is a key ingredient for an unforgettable experience.” Jenny Reising is a Cincinnatibased design writer and editor.
Below: P-06 Atelier carefully calibrated the percentage of openings in the walls to ensure that sound would be absorbed adequately. Openings created by the CNC-cut characters double as little windows that invite curious visitors to glimpse the laboratories, offices, and meeting rooms that surround the foyer.
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Project: â€œTranspacâ€? Long Beach, CA Eleven curved photographic porcelain enamel exhibits commemorating the Transpacific Yacht Race
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URBAN TALES Location Waitangi Park, Wellington, New Zealand Design Katie Bevin University Massey University, College of Creative Arts
Instructor Nick Kapica (Massey University, ICD subject director/ project mentor) Consultants Nick Kapica (project mentor), Annette O’Sullivan (research advisor) Photos Thomas Le Bas
Below: Words become visible when shadows meet the letterforms painted on the ground, constructing the Dr. Seuss quote “From here to there and there to here” across 10 hours. Bottom: To photograph the installation from above, Bevin floated her digital camera above the poles by tying it to a helium balloon.
From Here to There Massey University student Katie Bevin creates a typographic installation that combines ancient technology with new-age social networking. By Pat Matson Knapp
For her capstone
project in Massey University’s College of Creative Arts, graphic design student Katie Bevin was challenged to combine a rigorous research process with development of typography and a site-specific narrative. Bevin’s Urban Tales is a conceptual shadow typography installation that gives voice to her initial research focus—how social networking may affect human relationships—in an indirect but surprising way. And it leads visitors on a thoughtprovoking journey through a popular urban park. From there to here
At Massey University, students in the College of Creative Arts are introduced to environmental graphic design through a course called Spatial Typography. “The course has two primary aims: to nurture students’ ability to collaborate with others who have different skill sets, and to introduce them to environmental graphic design,” says Nick Kapica, Bevin’s instructor and head of department in the College of Creative Arts. For their fourth-year capstone project, Bevin and 52 segdDESIGN
her classmates were required to spend the first semester in intensive research. During the second semester, they applied their research to a project for which they had either written the brief themselves or reacted to an existing brief. “I started off my research with an idea about social networking and the loss of face-
to-face conversation, but then a lot of my research started to prove the opposite,” Bevin notes. “So I moved into more of the effect technology has on people in their environments. I was quite interested in urban environments and how people move around them, and that led me to the idea of telling stories about places and, ideally, to
helping people look at places in new ways.” Urban Tales emerged in response to a brief from the International Society of Typography Designers (ISTA), entitled “True Stories / True Geographies.” It asked designers to create a vibrant and intriguing form of typographic narrative in the cityscape.
Bevin explored a wide range of media for her project, but ultimately chose temporal typography and selected the urban Waitangi Park as her setting. “I was intrigued with the idea of creating something over time and the notion that people would experience it as it happens,” Bevin explains. At the entrance to the city park, eight bollards are spaced at regular intervals along a concrete walkway. Recognizing the opportunities presented by the bollards, the walkway, and the abundant Wellington sun, Bevin conceived a typographic installation that would work like an analemmatic sundial. Using the bollards as gnomons (shadow-casting objects) and the space around them as her canvas, Bevin manually measured and recorded the length and angle of the shadows they cast at various times of the day. Then she focused on developing a modular geometric typeface whose letterforms could build on the shadows cast by the poles. The poles are 1000mm tall by 170mm in diameter, so Bevin designed the typeface equivalent to the width of the shadows they cast. Appropriately naming her typeface Umbrate (“to shadow”), Bevin designed it in 170mm by 170mm modules that, when combined, form 850mm by 850mm square letterforms. Bevin reproduced parts of the letterforms on the ground near the poles so that, as the sun moves across the sky, the shadows cast by the bollards move, completing a letter at each increment of 45 degrees. Words become visible when shadows meet the shapes on the ground, constructing a phrase that appears over a 10-hour period. The lines of the phrase are visible from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with each word appearing for approximately an hour. The forms ultimately spell out the phrase by Dr. Seuss: “From here to there and there to here” She chose the quotation for its length—eight
words, corresponding to the eight gnomons—and its appropriateness to the project. “I liked the rhythm and repetition of the words, which seemed to allude to movement, the movement of the shadows themselves, and the idea of a journey.” Social media
Bevin circled back to her original research to integrate social media into the project. As part of her goal to lead visitors on a journey of discovery, she added an interpretive element by gathering site-specific stories through Twitter and Facebook. She posted a map of the park on Facebook, then asked friends to mark themselves on the map and Tweet a story about a memorable past or present experience there. Eight of these “micro stories”—from short poetic responses (“A shout of victory came from the old post building’s rooftop tennis courts -1939”) to the more factual (“Walking past the repair yards -1973”)—are reproduced in small scale within the individual letterforms. “My goal was to gather shared experiences that make it a special place,” explains Bevin. “They’re written in a colloquial style to sound like they are part of a conversation– –the conversation of Waitangi Park. When you read one of the pieces, you are already inside the story, in the environment in which it is set.”
Below: Bevin used Facebook and Twitter to gather stories about experiences in the park, and recorded them within the individual letterforms. Bottom: Bevin named her geometric, modular typeface Umbrate (“to shadow”). The cropped typeface becomes whole when shadows are cast.
Jury comments “This student work had more visual impact than many of the projects submitted by professionals and design firms. It stood out because of the unexpected use of existing environmental details (pylons), the formulation of a new modular typeface, and its overall creativity and novelty.” “When something touches you and elevates the mundane in such a simple and profound way, it can only be terrific design.”
Making it real
Bevin hopes her conceptual piece will be installed at the park, and she has presented a proposal to that effect to the Wellington City Council. Her modular typeface also allows for the piece to be constructed in any location that offers linear shadows cast at regular intervals. “So this could be installed anywhere. The message can also be changed to fit the environment in which it’s placed,” she adds. The 23-year-old New Zealander is now working as an environmental graphic designer for Frost Design (Sydney).
WHITE ROAD: WAITING FOR THE RAIN
Fabrication Graditeljstvo Jakovljevi´ c (limestone production)
Client Mediterranean Sculpture Symposium Location Dubrova Sculpture Park, Labin, Croatia
Consultants Mediterranean Sculpture Symposium Expert Council (Josip Dimini´c, Gorka Ostoji´c Cvajner, Slavko Bateri´ c)
Design Studio Raši´ c
Photos Anica Raši´c
Design Team Ante Raši´ c (author, creative director); Vedrana Vrabec, Marko Raši´ c (design collaborators)
Right: White Road is a land art project at the Dubrova Sculpture Park in Labin, Croatia. The park holds more than 70 sculptures made from regionally quarried white limestone, and White Road provides an organized movement among the scattered monuments.
Bottom: Ante Raši´c and his colleagues at Studio Raši´c (Zagreb, Croatia) created the 13th installation of the road, entitled Waiting for the Rain. The 25-meterlong section is comprised of 1,245 square tiles of polished limestone, 806 with circular cavities cut from their centers.
Waiting for the Rain A Croatian sculpture park waits to receive the gifts of nature.
DUBROVA Sculpture Park in
Labin, Croatia, has been the site of the Mediterranean Sculpture Symposium since 1970. The symposium was established in part to celebrate the beauty of the white Istrian limestone indigenous to the region. Today, the park is home to more than 70 monumental outdoor sculptures, as well as a unique land art project called White Road, conceived by symposium founder Josip Dimini´ c. White Road (Bijela cesta) is a 325-meter-long, 4.5-meter-wide (1,066-ft.-long by 14-ft.-wide) stone path divided into 15
By Pat Matson Knapp
sections created by Croatian and international artists. It creates a one-of-a-kind cultural space ideal for taking a walk, enjoying nature, and experiencing the sculptures in the park. “As a child, I used to dream about arranging the white road through my native village Sveti Lovreč Labinski (Dimini´ ci), planting roses alongside,” says Dimini´c. “So, when a need arose for an organized movement among the scattered sculptures in the park, I proposed the concept of the White Road.”
Ante Raši´c and his colleagues at the Zagreb-based multidisciplinary design firm Studio Raši´c created the 13th installation of the road, entitled Waiting for the Rain. For his 25-meter-long section, Raši´c chose to find a way for his material—a highly polished limestone quarried in Kanfanar, Croatia—to interact with nature, weather, and time. Waiting for the Rain consists of 1,245 square tiles of the limestone (5cm deep), 806 of which have circular cavities cut from their centers. The circles form small bowls, vessels for
collecting the gifts that nature bestows over time. As the seasons unfold, they collect water, leaves, and earth, as well as the more temporal vestiges of the passing days: the reflected images and light and shadows that change depending on the sun’s position throughout the day. “Water is a very important part of the statement,” says Raši´c. “The empty bowls symbolize hope and the wealth that water brings to earth and humans. Water is also a mirror in which you can look and question yourself; it visually
Jury comments “The strength of this entry is its elegance and simplicity. It makes a statement without over-thinking or trying too hard. It will only become more engaging and provocative over time as nature fills in the holes left by the designers.” “A non-sculpture that is everything sculpture should be: a reflection of who we are, our impact on the world, and our constantly evolving interaction with nature—at a macro and micro scale simultaneously.”
This page: Raši´c chose to find a way for his material—the polished limestone quarried in Kanfanar, Croatia—to interact with nature, weather, and time. As the seasons unfold, the bowls collect water, leaves, and earth, as well as the more temporal vestiges of the passing days: the reflected images and light and shadows
reflects the environment, energy, and vibrations of its surroundings. I often use mirrors in my art works. In this case, the mirror was actually replaced with its natural counterpart element: water.” “The natural aging of the stone and the breath and spirit of the earth will also grant the project with more charm over time,” he continues. “Change and aging are natural processes and I like to see change in my artworks. The road will look different in every season.” On a macro scale, the installation has a second,
typographic layer. The 806 bowls cut from the limestone are positioned on the grid to spell out the words “Bijela cesta” (White Road). They provide a subtle signature that can only be seen from above. Raši´ c, who is a painter and sculptor as well as a designer and professor at the Academy of Fine Art in Zagreb, says he saw the White Road competition as a means to combine the two sides of his creative personality. “My life as a designer and my life as an artist are very attached to each other,” he explains. “Art and design are constantly
mixed in Studio Raši´c. That is probably why this project is so poetic and at the same time very exact. You can see that at first sight it looks very mathematically calculated.”
Dimini´c says Waiting for the Rain distinguishes itself from other sections of the White Road because of its inscription that can be seen from above and its perpetual interaction with nature. “It creates each day a new picture and a visual element never seen before.” Rather than simply applying his painting style onedimensionally to the road, as he has seen other artists do, Raši´c chose to create a tactile experience that could not be recreated anywhere else. “I wanted to emphasize interactivity, both with nature and with people passing by,” he explains. And while its main visual element—typography— is not immediately evident to park visitors, one day it may become a more formalized identity element for the White Road. Raši´c hopes to create a viewing gallery for it in the future. For now, it is subtle signature and homage to the park, the beauty of nature, and the passage of time. segdDESIGN 55
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Agave Library — Phoenix, AZ
Methodist Women’s Hospital — Omaha, NE
Upstate, Golisano Children’s Hospital — Syracuse, NY
unique design ideas applied successfully Discover more about these projects and many others at asisignage.com/cases
Client Achievement First Location Brooklyn, N.Y. Design Pentagram Design Team Paula Scher (art director/designer), Andrew Freeman (senior designer), Drea Zlanabitnig (designer)
Fabrication Denise J. Mayer Architectural Graphics (overall signage and production), Nela Design (supergraphic lettering), Claridan Contracting (graphic striping) Consultants Rogers Marvel Architects (project architects), Civic Builders (project management and construction)
Jury comments “A wonderful integration of message with the environment. A fantastic use of vibrant color and typography that transforms the space with a low-tech yet high-impact solution both inside and out.”
Photos Peter Mauss/Esto
Achievement First Endeavor Middle School Achievement First
charter schools are founded on the belief that all children, regardless of race or economic status, can succeed if they have access to a great education. For Achievement First Endeavor Middle School in Brooklyn, Pentagram created an environmental graphics program that reflects that mission and creates a vibrant space for learning.
Working with Rogers Marvel Architects as part of the renovation and expansion of an existing building, Pentagram co-opted public spaces such as hallways, stairwells, and the school gym and cafeteria for super-scaled typographic interventions designed to encourage and energize the students. Inspired by a series of motivational slogans originally
used by the school’s teachers, Pentagram enlarged these slogans into supergraphics that help define the interior spaces. The graphics appear as a series of equations in the halls, as quotations running around the perimeter of the gymnasium and, most noticeably, climbing the main staircase at a front of the school, where they are visible from the street.
The project was accomplished at very little expense. Paint was a simple and economical solution for transforming the space. In rooms like the cafeteria, bands of color define and enhance the architecture, creating an illusion of depth that expands the space. In other areas, the painting of typography, set in Rockwell, is intricate and detailed.
Client ASICS Australia Location Sydney Design THERE Design Design Team Simon Hancock (creative director), Jon Zhu (designer)
Fabrication Wizardy Imaging & Signs (digital wallpapers, cut vinyl) Consultants WMK Architecture (project architects) Photos Simon Hancock
Jury comments “One trend that seems prevalent in our profession is that designers will take a stock image, enlarge it on a wall, and believe it is good graphic design. What captured our attention with this project was not simply the use of large imagery, but the successful layering of information that, together with the imagery, made this a meaningful composition appropriate for an athletic company headquarters. It goes beyond the expected.”
ASICS Australia ASICS is the world’s third largest shoe company. Their new Sydney offices required a graphic overlay that captured the technical aspects that ASICS footwear and apparel are renowned for. Working in collaboration with WMK Architecture, THERE Design (Sydney) was asked to highlight the company’s dual focus on movement and technology, providing a stimulating environment while reminding staff and visitors of the company’s core brand values.
The 3,000-sq.-meter office includes a gym, Japanese garden, VIP luxury lounge, mini football field, running track, table tennis court, game room, and five sportsthemed meeting rooms. Inspired by the high-tech, innovative aspects of ASICS footwear and apparel, THERE layered large-scale imagery of athletes with technical data, sports terminology, and graphic abstractions of shoe soles to create an organic but “technical looking” graphic overlay for the space.
Client Confidential financial services client Location Baltimore, Md. Design Ayers Saint Gross Design Team Jamie Barnett (creative director); Lee Hyden (interior designer); Christian Mueller, Katie Rosenberg (environmental graphic designers); Noah Harburger (BIM modeler); Scott Vieth (architect)
Fabrication Coyle & Company (glass elements, timeline exhibits), Creative Dimension Group (dimensional typography, milled sculptural features), Patella Woodworking (millwork)
“This concept for placemaking shows that the use of image and type doesn’t have to be a bold statement with all the bells and whistles from our increasingly digital society, but can be a refined use of typographic texture and quiet color.”
Consultants Armada Hoffler Construction Co. (general contractor), HDLC (lighting design), MMM Design Group (MEP engineers), Morris & Ritchie Associates (structural engineers) Photos Paul Burk
Branded Environment For a financial services
corporation’s headquarters overlooking Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Ayers Saint Gross developed an environmental graphics program that manifests the company’s heritage and brand values in three dimensions.
Commissioned by Gensler as part of a fit-out then under construction, ASG completed the project—from schematic design to installation—in less than six months. In the two-level executive office suite, environmental graphics are tied together
by the unifying concepts of water and fluid motion. The two metaphors—connected waterways and streaming information—are expressed through sculptural surfaces, typography, and imagery. Architectural and brand palettes are seamlessly integrated. As visitors enter the space, illuminated niches guide them along a wood-paneled corridor. Within the niches, dimensional graphic displays feature brand statements and images of the firm’s global offices. In the reception lobby at the end of the corridor, the niches expand in scale to reveal a tone-on-tone map indicating office locations around the globe. In the feature stairwell just past the lobby, dimensional typography is used to showcase thought leadership statements from around the firm and around the globe. This textured, double-height expression—the backdrop to a marble-clad stair connecting the two executive levels—is illuminated with colored light and includes text in multiple languages.
Client Casa do Conto
Location Porto, Portugal
“The designers reinterpreted the presence and cultural spirit of this historic building with great sensitivity, understanding, and creativity. Rather than trying to restore or recreate the original artwork in the space, they instead found an unexpected way to project the same content/subject matter through the use of typography, creating a haunting installation that sticks with the viewer after they leave the space.”
Design R2 Design Design Team Lizá Defossez Ramalho, Artur Rebelo (design); Nuno Bastos (technical design) Fabrication Pedras de Ronfos Lda Consultants Álvaro Domingues, André Tavares, Filipa Leal, Jorge Figueira, Pedro Bandeira, Nuno Grande (texts) Photos Fernando Guerra
Casa do Conto (House of Tales) Casa do Conto in Porto,
Portugal, is a 19th century bourgeois home restored as a guesthouse. After suffering a fire only days before its opening in 2009, it underwent another restoration project to renew the damaged interiors. To restore the spirit of this cultural treasure, Casa do Conto asked R2 Design to reinterpret the structure’s original decorative ceiling
motifs. Rather than dwelling on the past or figuratively reinterpreting the motifs, R2 chose a more conceptual approach. A group of individuals familiar with the house, who had been involved with its restoration process before the fire, was asked to write about each of the spaces. Taking cues from the name of the residence itself—House of Tales—R2 rendered the
resulting narratives on the ceilings of its rooms. Each text was assigned a different graphic style and typeface, allowing the subject matter and tone to guide its interpretation. The phrases were set into concrete panels using Styrofoam letters placed in a formwork. Featuring a different story in each room reinforces the identity of each space, but also
sparks guests’ imagination and encourages them to explore the entire residence. In the common areas, fragments of text from each of the rooms were composed along the ceiling to construct a collage of phrases, allowing guests to perceive the stories as a whole and providing a colorful and comprehensive portrait of this cultural gem.
Client University of Washington, Foster School of Business Location Seattle Design University of Washington School of Art, Division of Design Design Team Karen Cheng, Kristine Matthews (designers)
Architecture LMN Architects
Fabrication Synergism Stone (letter and stone tile installation), Definitive Solutions and Technologies (metal letter fabrication and stonecutting)
“The jury was inspired by the creation of multiple layers of conceptual meaning centered around the varied uses of the word ‘change.’ This project is a creative call to action that is both unexpected and powerful in its given context. Great use of form, typography, and meaning.”
Consultants Sellen Construction (contractor) Photos Michael Burns, Matt Hagan
CHANGE Elevators This installation is a unique collaboration between art and business—two distinctly contrasting disciplines at the University of Washington. The School of Art, Division of Design was commissioned to develop a permanent installation for Paccar Hall, their new campus neighbor and the home of the UW Foster School of Business. The installation reflects on the dynamic relationship between business and change. The word “change” appears on the floor of each elevator, along with 18 synonyms. The synonyms are each highlighted with actual loose change, international coins that hint at the diversity of the UW Foster Business School as well as the global nature of business. On each of the building’s five floors, the word “change” inside the elevator interacts with companion words outside the elevator door, creating parables about the world we live in today. The words are rendered in Trade Gothic stainless steel letters embedded in the granite flooring.
Client Sacred Heart University Location Fairfield, Conn. Design Sasaki Associates Design Team Environmental Graphic Design, Samuel A. Pease (lead designer); Brian Pearce (consulting designer); Katia Lucic, Bradford J. Prestbo, Pablo Nistal, Colin Booth (project designers)
Architecture/Landscape Architecture Ricardo Dumont (principal in charge); Vinicius Gorgati (design principal); Cathy Bell (managing principal); John Hollywood (civil engineering principal); Katia Lucic, Pablo Nistal (project designers); Bradford J. Prestbo (project architect); Colin Booth, Grant Scott, Yu Wang, Ed Calamari (architects); Elke Berger, Gautam Sundaram (landscape architects)
Jury comments “Graphics and architecture merge to create a spiritual experience. The use of simple phrases attracts the viewer to quickly read the messages. Too often, this is attempted less effectively by adding too much verbiage that easily becomes preachy. The experience is just as powerful at night as during the day.”
Fabrication Joe Capasso Masonry Enterprise (limestone carvings), BDPL (precast benches), Design Communications Ltd. (Stations of the Cross, ADA signage)
Chapel of the Holy Spirit The new chapel at Sacred Heart University serves as a beacon for spiritual life on the campus in Fairfield, Conn. It has a striking presence on the university’s new main quadrangle, complementing the new library and Humanities Center. With seating for up to 450 people, the chapel is clad in wood and glass with a soaring ceiling line toward the altar. Sasaki Associates designed environmental graphics in harmony with the building materials, the landscape, and the architecture. Most prominently, the seven Corporal Works of Mercy (the seven practices of charity toward our neighbor, based on Christ’s prophecy of the Last Judgment) are carved into the limestone veneer of the building’s contemporary facade. Inspired by ancient cathedrals and colophons, Sasaki chose a serif typeface to soften the tone of the text and contrast with the chapel’s modernity. Varying degrees of shadow and light falling on the text during the day reveal and highlight the words, and the text becomes more dominant in the evening with the introduction of the building’s illumination. A seating area outside the chapel provided another opportunity for environmental graphics, and Sasaki added to the contemplative nature of the space by casting the words of Psalm 23 into the concrete benches.
Consultants Lanese Construction (general contractor), Strategic Building Solutions (coordination), Horton Lees Brodgen Lighting Design (lighting design) Photos Len Rubenstein, Tracy A. Deer-Mirek, Pablo Nistal
Client Design Museum Holon Location Holon, Israel
Consultants Nadav Shalit (3D design)
Design Adi Stern Design
Photos Elad Sarig
Design Team Adi Stern (designer) Fabrication Atelier, Doron Rokach (arrows); Industrial Arts Ltd. (typography)
Design Museum Holon Signage and Wayfinding Design Museum Holon
is a major part of the city of Holon, Israel’s, efforts to transform itself into an epicenter of culture, arts, and education. Designed by Ron Arad Architects, the museum features an iconic, sinuous ribbon façade of Corten weathering steel. The museum’s signage and wayfinding system—designed by Adi Stern Design (Tel Aviv)—challenges traditional approaches, using white arrows on white walls. Primarily discernible from the shadows
they cast, the arrows emerge from the walls and transform from two- to three-dimensional forms. The shape of the arrows echoes the flow and movement of the Corten weathering steel bands surrounding the building. The challenge was to create a system that is visible and easy to use, while not competing with Arad’s dynamic architecture. The system is trilingual, using Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin. It also includes a custom Hebrew typeface designed specifically for the project.
Jury comments “A simple idea is what makes this graphic design so successful. The message is clear without distracting attention from the museum exhibits. The fact that the arrows peel away from the wall in a way that has not been done before allows them to become quiet sculptural pieces of art themselves.”
Client Greater East End Management District, City of Houston Department of Parks and Recreation, Buffalo Bayou Partnership Location Houston Design University of Houston Studio Collaboration (School of Art, Graphic Communications Program, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture)
Dis(Solve): The Japhet Creek Project
Design Team Arantza Alvarado, Ramon Arciniega, Joanna Bonner, Lindsey Bowsher, Danny Carter, Hei Man, Alison Cheuk, Megan Conkin, Jose Alfredo Dehuma, Hai Phi Dinh , Miguel Farias Nunez, Amy Heidbreder, Marcia Hoang, Aike Jamaluddin, Zach Kimmel, Kyra Lancon, Jennie Macedo, Leah Macey, Jenny Ng, Jane Nghiem, Diana Ngo, ViVi Vu Nguyen, Rachel Outlaw, Ada Pedraza, Christopher Steven Pine, Anna Reyes, Jessica Rios, Josh Robbins, Haley Ross, R-Jay Ruiz, Hector Solis, Brad Sypniewski, Tam Truong, Erin Woltz
Instructors Cheryl Beckett, associate professor, University of Houston School of Art, Graphic Communications Program; Patrick Peters, professor, University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture Fabrication Debner + Company (used cardboard), JL Proler Southwest (shipping container, waste management dumpster, scrap steel), Trees for Houston (tree), Blumenthal Sheet Metal Co. (plasma-cut metal), ImageSet (Komatex panel), students (all other fabrication)
Jury comments “The project is a healthy mixture of biodegradable/temporary elements and permanent installations, different materials and fabrication techniques, and a varied system of interrelated subject matter. It is at once playful and didactic, presenting important environmental messages in a nuanced and respectful way. Impressive work, made even more impressive by the fact that it was done by students on a limited budget.”
Photos Project team
Over the past several years,
local environmentalists have worked hard to save Japhet Creek, part of the Buffalo Bayou waterway system that is Houston’s most significant natural resource. Japhet Creek had become a dumping ground, littered with tires, trash, plastic bottles, and rubble. Local efforts resulted in the development of a series of parks along creeks feeding into the bayou, and Japhet Creek became the first Houston Green Fingers project. The Dis(solve): Natural Signs project was developed to create a series of park amenities that inform, provoke, and
educate the park visitor. The project was an interdisciplinary collaboration among 35 seniorlevel students at the University of Houston’s School of Art, Graphic Communications Program and the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture. Four student teams were awarded $1,800 each (provided by a grant). The students proposed, fabricated, and installed nine pieces designed to inform the public about Japhet Creek/Green Fingers. Several of the pieces will biodegrade, providing a commentary on the things we make as humans and their ability to return back to nature. Others use re-purposed materials and will remain on site until disassembled: a toolshed was created out of a repurposed shipping container, and recycled scrap steel was transformed into a gateway sign. The students developed proposals, procured city approval, solicited donations for materials, fabricated, and installed the structures in only nine weeks. segdDESIGN 65
Client Museum of the City of New York
Fabrication Voll Inc. (exhibition construction), Eurotex Inc. (carpet)
Location New York
Consultants Pentagram (graphic design consultants)
Design Cooper Joseph Studio Design Team Wendy Evans Joseph, Chris Cooper (principals in charge); Chris Good (project manager)
Photos C. Bay Milin Photography
Jury comments “This project stood out with its sympathetic handling of the subject matter. The art direction is exquisite and the exhibition exudes pace and dynamism and yet at the same time is calm and simple. The handling of the historic building is also tackled with the same sensibility.”
Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future The traveling
exhibition Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future is the first comprehensive show of the architect’s work. For this viewing at the Museum of the City of New York, curators highlighted Saarinen’s connection to New York, and a fresh new identity was generated. The show materials require an exhibition area of about 8,000 sq. ft., but the New York museum could provide
only 6,000 sq. ft., including a connecting hallway. The spatial challenges for exhibition designers Cooper Joseph Studio (New York) didn’t end there: the space allocated for the exhibition is divided among three galleries of varying character and scale, two of which are non-adjacent, and one gallery in a modern glass addition to the red brick neoGeorgian style museum. Despite these challenges, as well as a reduced budget and
a load-in period of only two weeks, Cooper Joseph created an experience that made the show one of the most attended in the museum’s history. Bold color and horizontal bands organize the exhibition material into three cohesive environments. In the first and largest gallery, bright yellow/ green walls hold viewers’ attention and coordinate with Saarinen’s work and the graphics. In the connecting hallway, the design team
surrounded a model of Saarinen’s TWA terminal with a raised, glossy black panel, dramatically silhouetting the white forms against the black surface. In the third gallery, Cooper Joseph painted the ceilings and walls black with a bold white stripe, using the high contrast graphic to organize the diverse array of materials while neutralizing the interior architecture.
Client First National Bank Location Council Bluffs, Iowa
Fabrication LOOK Architectural Coatings
Design RDG Planning & Design
Photos Tom Kessler
Design Team Jeff Dolezal, Rebecca Harding, Lea Schuster, Sonja Carter
Jury comments “Branding an entire building by using the facade as a billboard could easily be stylistically trendy and expected. But the sophisticated, restrained materials made this project stand out. The timeless use of this beautiful silhouette landscape as a counterpoint to the rigid architectural structure seems a natural extension of a building within a landscape within a building.”
First National Bank, Metro Crossing Branch The Metro Crossing branch of the First National Bank in Council Bluffs, Iowa, is located directly off an interstate and nestled between river casinos and strip malls. RDG Planning & Design sought to strike a balance with the surrounding commercial area by embracing Iowa’s natural prairie history through architecture and environmental graphics. RDG designed a 160-ft. point-supported glass cavity wall that bisects the 11,000-sq.ft. branch building. Patterns of local prairie grass and flowers were applied to the cavity and at night, the internally illuminated wall glows with RGB LED light, attempting to ground the building to its site. The owners sought to use the building as a billboard, which led to the lit glass wall solution, while keeping the rest of the structure relatively tame to blend in with the surrounding strip mall architecture. The client wanted to use the branch as an architectural tie to the community through its form, and question the limits of how bank typology should present itself. segdDESIGN 67
Client Industrial Design Society of America Location Portland, Ore. Design Firm Ziba Design Design Team Paul Backett, Andy Davidhazy (creative directors); Jessica Vollendorf (art director); Heather Cummings, Jeremy Webber, AJ Austinson (designers); Carl Alviani (writer); CJ DeWaal, Paul Petri (producers); Julia Carpenter (project manager)
IDSA Annual Meeting The Industrial Design Society of America’s 2010 conference, themed “Do It Yourself,” was held in Portland, Ore. Tasked with creating environmental graphics for the event, industrial design firm Ziba Design (Portland) was up against an almost nonexistent budget ($4,000) and an uninspiring venue (a traditional Hilton hotel). The Ziba team embraced the challenges and set out to make sure that every component of the graphics program was unexpected, disruptive, and hackable through interactive elements. The Ziba team chose simple, cost-effective materials and reinforced the DIY theme by making most of the elements themselves, just blocks away from the conference site. Wayfinding and branding elements included large-scale
DIY letters and arrows cut from cardboard. Tabletops and signage were made from large sheets of corrugated shipping cardboard. Behind the registration desk, a huge “pixel wall,” featuring colorful pixel icons, was constructed of laser-cut foamboard. To mask generic hotel art and provide a purposeful interruption of the venue aesthetics, the team created static cling versions of the pixel icon art that fit perfectly to cover the existing artwork. All elements were designed to be recycled or reused. An unrelated organization that toured the venue during the conference offered to purchase the pixel wall for their own conference, and IDSA was able to sell the piece and recover the entire budget spent on environmental graphics.
Fabrication Oregon Screen Impressions (T-shirt printer); Pinball Publishing (conference schedule, PDX Guide, Sketchbook); Image Press Works (nametag, auto-fold map); Flip & Tumble (bags); Ford Graphics (static cling, magnets) Photos Steven Miller, Ambient Light Digital Renderings
Jury comments “With a $4,000 fabrication budget, this project has incredible bang for the buck. Beautifully designed, innovative solutions that clearly communicate the message of the conference with both graphics and materials.”
Client Palmetto Health Client Team Paul Bouknight (director of facilities planning) Location Columbia, S.C. Interior Architecture and Design Stanley Beaman & Sears
Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital Wayfinding and Graphics Palmetto Health
Children’s Hospital in Columbia, S.C., opened in June 2008 after a full interior renovation of an existing adult cancer facility. Stanley Beaman & Sears planned wayfinding and environmental graphics, in conjunction with the overall interior design, to set a tone of high-quality, child-focused care. The design team’s goal was to create a vibrant and engaging environment that will offset anxiety, promote healing, and help visitors and patients easily navigate the facility. Basing their design concepts on research that has proven the effectiveness of nature-themed imagery in clinical spaces, the design team devoted each of six floors to a particular biome: aquatic, rain forest, grasslands, polar, temperate, and desert. Large-format digital imagery, educational information, framed artwork, and sculptures by local artists reinforce these themes. The larger-than-life focal graphics, designed with children in mind, incorporate playful “Did you know…?” facts that children can discover. Each of the hospital’s four patient floors also features its own biome, color palette, associated animal icons, and animal patterns. Each patient floor is laid out in four quadrants, with four corridors emanating from a central nurse
Design Team Ron White (lead environmental graphic designer), Chris Bowles (environmental graphic designer), Alex Petersen (junior environmental graphic designer), Mariapilar Gonzalez (interior design and construction administration), Bessie Stephenson (project manager), Dhruti Jakes (project architect), Doug Hawthorne (construction administration), Ina Sherman (furniture), Betsy Beaman (principal in charge)
Fabrication Image Resource Group (primary signage and graphics fabricator), Vomela (large-format graphics), Veritas and Interior Elements (resin panels), Custom Steel (custom steel brackets), Color Reflections (glass handrail graphics) Associate Architect JHS Architecture (construction documentation)
Jury comments “An excellent example of a sophisticated healthcare environment that engages without being childish. The theme is graphically integrated in a harmonious manner throughout the building. The system provides clear wayfinding while also providing positive and engaging distractions for a sick child or healthy siblings.”
Photos Jim Roof Creative (photography)
station. The team created four neighborhoods, each featuring its own animal indigenous to that floor’s habitat. Patient room plaques are enhanced with custom animal icons and patterns. Inside each patient room, one of three full-color, floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall digital biome images further immerses visitors in the habitat.
Client Cohen Bros. Realty Location New York Design Pentagram Design Team Paula Scher (art director/designer), Andrew Freeman (senior designer), Nikola Gottschick (designer)
Fabrication Mega Media Concepts (painted lettering, type boards, hanging signs), Lettera Sign (neon)
Jury comments “Life with cars sucks. But this makes it suck way less.”
Photos James Shanks “Exquisite typographic solution for an ugly problem; entertaining and fun. Visually memorable and sophisticated.”
Parking at 13-17 East 54th Street Finding a parking space
may be one of the most grueling aspects of living or working in New York City. And chances are, drivers will end up in one of the city’s 1,100 parking garages. Once inside one of these cheerless concrete caverns, other challenges emerge.
But thanks to Pentagram, the seven-story parking garage at 13-17 East 54th Street, between Fifth and Madison avenues, is an exception. As part of an upgrade planned by its owners, Cohen Bros. Realty, Pentagram was asked to design an environmental graphics program that would help direct
drivers through the garage and add some much-needed graphic levity. The graphics act as a kind of backseat driver, imparting information via large-scale typography and ensuring drivers will never forget where they parked their cars. Set in Verlag, the typographic pileup
includes instructions from the philosophical to the practical— “Slow and steady wins the race” and “Don’t stop here, continue”—and supergraphics identify parking levels and elevators. The façade signage is rendered in elegant neon.
Client Museum of Science and Industry Chicago Location Chicago Client Team Kurt Haunfelner (director of exhibitions); Christopher Wilson (project manager); Rachel Hellenga (project director); Olivia Castellini, Charles Hassrick (content developers) Exhibition Design Evidence Design
Science Storms The Museum of Science and Industry Chicago challenged Evidence Design to envision a physics and chemistry exhibition that reflects its core mission: to inspire middle-school children to achieve their full potential in science and engineering. Science Storms is a groundbreaking 26,000-sq.-ft. exhibition in which visitors interact with dynamic, large-scale experiments that explore nature’s most powerful phenomena— tornadoes, lightning, fire, tsunamis, sunlight, avalanches, and atoms in motion—and then use hands-on experimentation to investigate the science behind these forces. The 200-ft.-long by 100-ft.wide by 65-ft. gallery is washed by blue light that creates an indefinite sense of space. The exhibition is anchored by seven viscerally beautiful, large-scale interactive demonstrations of natural phenomena, surrounded by a constellation of smaller experiments.
Design Team Jack Pascarosa (project director, 3D design); Shari Berman (director, 2D design and media); Len Soccolich, Carlos Fierro (exhibit designers); Rondi Davies (content specialist); Ari Nakamura (senior graphic designer); Josh Whitehead (graphic production); Laura Sheedy (designer)
Fabrication Norcon Construction (general contractor), Lexington Design + Fabrication (exhibit fabrication, signage), Chicago Scenic Studios (sunlight/rainbow exhibit), Advanced Entertainment Technology (fire and Tesla coil exhibits), Production Resource Group (tornado and avalanche exhibits), MAD Systems (AV integration), Photocenter Imaging (Lambda Fugichrome), Crush Creative (column graphics)
Jury comments “A totally integrated dynamic environment, encouraging interaction with the audience that truly inspires. The dynamic content, static environmental graphics, and exhibits all work harmoniously together to form a magnificent space.”
Photos Sean Hemmerle, J.B. Spector
Signage materials reference the beauty of nature, but can withstand intense public use. The robust consoles and signage are constructed of glass, stainless steel, and Glacier White Corian. Routed with 1/32-in.-diameter drill bits, Corian type is CNC-etched second-surface to create soft, glowing titles evocative of natural phenomena; sharp instructional type is etched first-surface and sanded to a seamless plane. Lambda transparencies laminated behind glass hold interpretive graphics with imagery expressing the phenomena they explore. To orient guests, massive columns are leveraged to carry architecturally-scaled titles along with dramatic images of natural phenomena related to each thematic area. Wrapped in Vutek ink-jet prints on tough Ultra-Flex material, the columns also carry wayfinding maps and inspirational quotes from scientists and artists.
Client Fletcher Construction
Fabrication Fletcher Construction
Location New Zealand
Consultants Felicity Douglas (design manager), Ed Prinsep (production manager), Peter Cowey (client)
“This is sophisticated, clever, easy, and touching—a grand evolution of the heartless warning sign. It’s finally human.”
Design Studio Alexander Design Team Grant Alexander (creative director); Richard Unsworth, Sam Trustrum (design directors)
Site Safety Installation Fletcher Construction
has large construction sites around New Zealand, with thousands of construction workers involved. To educate workers about how wearing the right safety gear can save their lives, Fletcher asked Studio Alexander (Auckland) to create a site safety education program at the work sites. The Studio Alexander team developed a three-tiered environmental installation designed to inspire workers to gear up safely. The first element features larger-thanlife photographic portraits of injured construction workers, with text emphasizing the impact of injuries not only on the workers, but on their families. The second piece, positioned in social areas, incorporates real-life stories accompanied by actual x-rays. The final piece is a functional “Check yourself before you wreck yourself” mirrored installation positioned at the entrance to worksites. The mirrored surface forces workers to check themselves before they enter, comparing their gear to the checklist provided.
Photos Kristian Frires
Client University of Technology, Sydney Location Sydney Design BrandCulture Communications
Design Team Stephen Minning (creative director), Antonijo Bacic (design director), Terry Curtis (designer) Fabrication Coleman Group Photos Studio Commercial, Stephen Minning
Jury comments “An incredibly cohesive environment, with the environmental graphics working hand-in-hand with the architecture and machinery. The floor graphics are appropriate for the user and space, effectively combining wayfinding, interpretive graphics, and safety.”
University of Technology, Sydney BrandCulture
Communications was commissioned by The University of Technology Sydney to design a wayfinding and graphics system that fulfills occupational health and safety requirements for the space while engaging students through the school’s workspaces and fabrication studio. BrandCulture’s “find and discover” concept fulfilled the functional requirements and created a sense of discovery for the students. The main workshop floor required a clearly delineated walkway for safety; this feature became the key graphic wayfinding interpretation. The system resolved two issues: finding the machines by number from the entry and leading the eye to display units celebrating the students’ work. The overall visual styling pays tribute to modern iconic graphic styling with an engineering influence, featuring bold use of the flooring area. A key influence was the London Underground “Tube” map originally created by Harry Beck in 1931.
Location Seattle Design Erin Williams University University of Washington Instructors Kristine Matthews (thesis advisor), Karen Cheng (committee member)
VeloCity VeloCity is a
comprehensive system for providing potential bicycle riders with information about bicycling resources. Created by Erin Williams as her MFA thesis project in Visual Communication Design at the University of Washington, it focuses on urban bicycle commuting and uses the city of Seattle as a case study to test design and sociological conclusions. The program includes a new concept for the Seattle Bicycling Guide Map, eliminating redundant and visually confusing features and employing a color scheme that clearly and quickly suggests routes that are easiest for new cyclists. The back of the map is a poster promoting bicycling. Williams proposed BikeStops in each neighborhood,
equipped with the Bicycling Guide Map, locational data, water, and tire pumps. Williams’ design uses old bike parts to make their purpose obvious and to relate to Seattle’s urban crafting and sculptural roots. Williams also proposes route signage and ground markings that would provide clear directions for cyclists and also be visible to motorists, thus helping reduce tensions caused by unexpected bike crossings. The use of bright green for all the elements ties the system together and reinforces recognition. After presenting VeloCity as her MFA thesis in Spring 2009, Williams worked with the Seattle Department of Transportation to develop the Seattle Bicycling Guide Map 2010.
Fabrication Watermark Press (book printing), Alchemy Goods (book cover material), Production Plating (material sample powdercoating), Graffix (exhibit vinyl) Images Erin Williams
Jury comments “This study is presented as a comprehensive, creative, and well argued case, and the jury fully expected it to be a commissioned and professionally produced piece of work. As an MFA student thesis it is outstanding. The ideas are inventive and well visualized; the background, business case, and metrics are well researched and argued; and the overall case and solutions are compelling.”
Client EPAL (Portuguese Water Company) Location Lisbon, Portugal Design Firm P-06 Atelier Design Team Nuno Gusmão (creative director); Pedro Anjos (project manager); Miguel Matos, Mário Videira, Joana Gala (designers)
Fabrication Demetro a Metro (wall paintings, vinyl film, exterior totems), Electro Estúdio (parking pavement paintings) Consultants Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos (architects) Photos Ricardo Gonçalves
Jury comments “The jury deduced that the designers did not have a lot of choice when it came to the color chosen for this project. How this color has been used—so bold and yet not overpowering—is a testament to how well it has been handled. The typography and layout are both playful and minimal, wholly appropriate for the use of the building. The spaces are clean and yet expressive, and we felt that finding this balance was a challenge that the designers met with gusto.”
Water Formula P-06 Atelier’s wayfinding design project for the new EPAL Central Laboratory (the Portuguese Water Company), was developed in partnership with the architect Gonçalo Byrne. The building contains two upper floors of laboratories, as well as a parking level. The content and use of the building were the designers’ conceptual starting points. The graphic world of chemical equations, with their distinctive contractions and formal representations, was transposed onto the wayfinding system through contractions of names and differences in scale used for the typography. On the two laboratory floors, primary destinations are identified by large-scale typography suitable for distant reading, with names represented like chemical equations. Color was used to simplify and organize the space and signage. Because the interiors are defined by corridors and intersections, the use of the project’s signature bright blue on one side of hallways aids in wayfinding. On the parking floor, the blue wall is always on the left side of motor traffic, which simplifies the logic and perception of space and supports directional information such as “One Way,” “Entrance,” etc. White walls support site-specific information, indicating dedicated parking spaces and the exit.
Client Shenzhen Graphic Design Association Location Shenzhen, China Design SenseTeam
Design Team Hei Yiyang (creative director); Yvonne Zhong (project manager); Wang Xiaomeng, Zhaomeng, Liu Zhao, Huang Muqiu (designers) Photos Zhang Qing
Jury comments “An incredible value and treatment on a minimal fabrication and installation budget. A dazzling display and message incorporated throughout the space to invoke the creativity of the exhibitors.” “Elevating the simple to inspiring is the mark of genius. This. Is. Genius.”
X Exhibition X exhibition is an international juried graphic design exhibition, located in the loft of a creative park in Shenzhen, China. Commissioned to create a graphic identity for the show that could take the form of semi-permanent promotional installations placed around the city prior to the event, SenseTeam (Shenzhen) was inspired by the idea of spreading the creative energy and electricity of the exhibition and its young, up-and-coming designers. SenseTeam created a modular typographic system using “light characters”— —30cm, 60cm, and 90cm lighting tubes that were combined to create words and pictograms. The resulting signage and branding “posters” were deployed around the city prior to the show, creating significant buzz about the upcoming event. They were also installed at the exhibition itself, helping to illuminate the gallery space and visually organize the exhibition. The exhibition experience combined music, video, and the glowing 3D/environmental pieces, enriching the display of work by 11 young designers from five countries. The use of light symbolized the creative energy of the artists as well as the city of Shenzhen.
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GLASSFILM ENTERPRISES, INC. We have designs on your glass. Supplier and installer of glass film featuring Lumisty, which makes glass change from transparent to translucent, depending on your angle of view. Pictured here, the glass is foggy from an angle but is perfectly clear when viewing straight-on. Logos and unique designs can be cut from Lumisty or printed on the surface, and the film can be combined with 50 different transparent colored films. www.lumistyfilm.com 978-263-9333
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Client Chanel Location New York Creative Direction and Design Production Apologue Production KCD Design Team Apologue (media wall design, interactive graffiti
design), United Visual Artists (media wall content), Tangible Interaction (interactive graffiti design/programming), Scharff Weisberg (technology integration) Photos Apologue
Jury comments “Rare to see an installation that can meld the often scaleless and antiseptic quality of LED and plasma monitors with the genuine texture of cobblestoned SoHo and the giggles of perfectly dressed fashionistas holding radio frequency-emitting spray cans, making their archived graffiti tags while Lagerfeld looked on.’’ “A terrific combination of sophistication, interactivity, and technology, exemplifying what a true dynamic environment should offer: a Place for us to feel connected, important, and heard.”
Chanel Media Installation Inspired by Karl
Lagerfeld’s new urban architecture and graffiti campaign, expressed in his downtown New York photographs, Chanel’s new SoHo store was wrapped in a “Wall of Light” as part of a three-day celebration of the city and the launch of the new Chanel store design in New York. Apologue (Los Angeles) designed a porous 140-ft.-wide by 10-ft.-high, L-shaped LED canvas and hired United Visual Artists (London) to collaborate on developing generative animations for Lagerfeld’s urban photography. Seamlessly embedded into the hall that was created between the Wall of Light and
the store façade were two 23-ft. digital graffiti installations designed by Apologue and programmed by Tangible Interaction (Vancouver). Black, high-gloss surfaces invited visitors to leave their mark by drawing their own interactive digital graffiti with modified Chanel paint cans. The installation was entirely controlled by a custom iPhone App and automatically captured screen grabs of the digital canvas to create a perfect time lapse of the entire three-day event, which was displayed during New York’s Fashion Night Out. The following day the digital graffiti installation was open to the public, inviting children of all ages to contribute content. segdDESIGN 79
Client JWT/Clive Wilkinson Architects Location New York Design Firm EGG Office Design Team Christian Daniels (principal in charge), Jonathan Mark (design director)
JWT Headquarters JWT, the international
advertising firm formerly known as J. Walter Thompson, needed a comprehensive signage and graphics program for its renovated headquarters in midtown Manhattan. The most notable challenge was to create an easily navigable signage system for a space that takes up five floors and includes more than 100 public spaces. The system also needed to tie in seamlessly with the architecture and create unique identities for each floor and department. EGG Office chose to forego the typical solution of using content generated by the advertising firm for client campaigns. Instead, they created supergraphics and colorful wayfinding elements that abstract concepts related to advertising, media, and popular culture. Each floor uses a distinctive graphic device that represents
the unique characteristics of each department, such as a vertical line screen pattern for the video editing department and a dot pattern for the print department. Each floor also has its own typeface and primary color that match the architect’s color palette. Graphic locations remain consistent on every floor, unifying the entire office environment. Supergraphics add visual texture to the solid blocks of color used throughout the space. To identify informal gathering areas, EGG Office cut the text of poems by significant literary figures out of the outer fabric shell of “meeting tents,” and used the authors’ last names to identify the rooms. Text bubbles identify “chatterbox” rooms, while large-scale witty phrases and pictograms identify operational rooms and add to the bold, playful look.
Fabrication Crush Creative (primary fabricator), Design Communications Ltd. (wayfinding maps) Photos Erik Laignel Photography, Christian Daniels/EGG Office
Jury comments “Brilliant use of type, color, and form create distinct wayfinding and a fun/energetic design to reflect the creativity of the end-user. Exceptionally detailed and designed elements.”
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33 Clifford Selbert and Robin Perkins, 2011 SEGD Fellows + Dream Cube + MAXXI National Museum + Forgotten Cities
Signs Environments Graphics Designs
NUMBER 33, 2011 www.segd.org
Go to segd.org/learning/xlab.html to learn more.
2011 SEGD Design Awards
segdDESIGN is the magazine of choice for creative professionals working at the intersection of communication design and the built environmen...