After its success last year, One Laptop per Child is again extending its Give One Get One campaign where participants buy two XO laptops, one of which is donated to a child in a developing country and the other of which the donor can keep for themselves. In coordination with the program, OLPC has launched a redesigned website designed by Lisa Strausfeld and Christian Marc Schmidt. The new site is an evolution of the previous one and was designed to more actively engage visitors through videos, frequently updated news feeds, Flickr photostreams and interactive demonstrations of Sugar, the laptop’s user interface.
OLPC is also taking its marketing campaign and distribution system to a new level this year, making the laptops available through Amazon and partnering with media companies such as CBS and Time Warner as they donate TV time, billboard space and magazine pages to raise public awareness about the initiative. Nicholas Negroponte, the founding director of the M.I.T. Media Lab and chairman of OLPC, spoke to the New York Times yesterday about the new campaign and the laptop program, which he says is “unequivocally working.”
Pentagram has been involved with OLPC for several years now, with Michael Gericke having designed the organization’s identity and Strausfeld having developed Sugar as well as the previous incarnation of the website. Their work for the nonprofit has won several awards including a 2008 International Design Excellence Award and a prestigious INDEX: Award.
A look at the new site after the jump.
Continue reading “One Laptop per Child Website Gets an Update”
Originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1867 as a parade ground and 11-acre gateway to Prospect Park, Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn should be one of the world’s great urban spaces. Recognized for its Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch (added in 1892), it is located at the intersection of five major thoroughfares — Flatbush Avenue, Vanderbilt Avenue, Eastern Parkway, Prospect Park West and Union Street — and is the geographic heart of Brooklyn. But today, it is perpetually clogged by automobile traffic and is a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists.
Organized by the Design Trust for Public Space and the Grand Army Plaza Coalition, the Reinventing Grand Army Plaza ideas competition asked architects to re-envision the area as parkland to be enjoyed by visitors and the plaza’s vibrant, ethnically diverse surrounding neighborhoods. Over 200 proposals were submitted from 25 countries all over the world, which were culled down to thirty, including four prizewinning designs, by the competition’s jury. Taking these thirty proposals, James Biber and Michael Gericke collaborated on the design of the competition’s public exhibition which arranges the finalists on fourteen 8’ x 8’ x 8’ cubes and two triple-height cubes arrayed around the center of the plaza. Their placement on the site allows visitors to more closely imagine what it would be like for any of these proposals to be implemented. Made of vinyl stretched on aluminum frames and backlit from the inside, the simple geometric forms of the cubes play off the ellipses of the plaza. The finalists include SPLAT, the entry from Pentagram Architects.
The exhibition opened on Saturday, 13 September and remains on view through Monday, 13 October.
Views of the exhibition after the jump.
Continue reading “New Work: ‘Reinventing Grand Army Plaza’”
Vanity Fair calls it the most successful apartment building in the history of the world. Pentagram created the identity and print promotional campaign for Fifteen Central Park West, the new luxury apartment building developed by Zeckendorf and designed by Robert A.M. Stern. Michael Bierut designed the identity and print promotion and Michael Gericke designed the signage and environmental graphics for the building and its sales center. The renderings and website were created by dbox.
Pentagram was brought in when the building was little more than a hole in the ground, working with the developers and architects to create a compelling image that allowed the developers to sell $2 billion worth of apartments. Markedly different from the glass towers that are ubiquitous in New York’s current development boom, Fifteen Central Park West is a prewar-style building, clad in limestone that is reminiscent of the classic buildings on the Upper East Side. The print promotion helped make the building-in-progress feel properly substantial. Designed as a portfolio of several individual booklets, each devoted to an aspect of the development—The Building, The Views, The Park, The Collaboration, The Services, along with the relevant floor plans—the package created a portrait of what it would be like to live in the city’s newest residential landmark. Like the building, the promotional brochure appeals to a sense of old New York and is filled with elegant renderings of the building and its interiors by dbox, lush photographs of the park and neighborhood by Richard Berenholtz and evocative copy by Amy Goldwasser.
A look inside the brochure after the jump.
Continue reading “New Work: Fifteen Central Park West”
As part of its Spotlight on Design series, the Museum of the City of New York will host a discussion with Michael Bierut, Michael Gericke and Paula Scher about what it takes to design for institutions and corporations in one of the most visually competitive cities in the world. Museum curator Donald Albrecht moderates. Wednesday, 16 April from 6:30 pm at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street. Tickets and information here.
Pentagram’s New York office was honored last night by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation for its work for nonprofit organizations. Paula Scher and Jim Biber were on hand to accept the honor during a ceremony held at the Harvard Club. Pentagram received the first annual “DNA” award for “its exceptional incorporation of pro bono service into its business culture.” Recent Pentagram pro bono projects include work for the Robin Hood Foundation, the Madison Square Park Conservancy, the Public Theater and the One Laptop Per Child initiative.
The award ceremony is part of a two-day Pro Bono Summit that has brought together 150 top corporate, government and nonprofit leaders to launch a multi-year campaign to dramatically increase the amount of skilled volunteering and pro bono service employees give to nonprofits and their communities. The leaders are discussing strategies for making the idea of “pro bono” as common in marketing, finance, technology, HR, logistics and other professions as it is in the legal field.
Speaking about the business advantages of doing pro bono work Scher stated: “A lot of the work we’ve done is outside, public, it’s very visible, and so clients will call us because they’ve seen the design. I can’t tell you how many jobs I’ve gotten through [pro bono work with] the Public Theater. We’re connected to virtually every cultural institution in the city. We are rewarded in recommendations; we’re included in groups where we find out information about things—it’s all very good business.”
Pro bono work has been part of the culture at Pentagram for decades as the partners and their teams donate their talents and time to enhance the design programs of cultural institutions and nonprofit organizations all over the city. “Pentagram Design is setting a powerful example of corporate citizenship that we hope other companies will follow,” said Jean Case, Chair of the Council. “Embracing a pro bono approach is good for employees, the community and the bottom line. America’s businesses have an extraordinary pool of skilled talent, and engaging corporate volunteers on a large scale could make a profound difference in the well-being of our communities and our country.”
The Council’s Pro Bono Award is given annually to six companies who are considered to be setting the standards of excellence in offering pro bono corporate skills to solve social challenges. This year’s other awardees are the Advertising Council; General Electric; Harvard Business School Community Partners; McKinsey & Company; and the Monitor Group.
Although our true loyalties lie with their crosstown rivals, Pentagram’s New York office was cheering on the New York Giants in their victory against the New England Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl XLII. The game was the first Super Bowl to be played at the NFL’s newest stadium (now named University of Phoenix Stadium), opened in 2006 and for which Michael Gericke designed the environmental graphics and James Biber the interiors program. The structure was named by BusinessWeek magazine to be one of the most innovative sporting structures in the world and will be the home of future Super Bowls. Gericke was in attendance at the game, as was associate Don Bilodeau.
Snapshots from the event and a peek at a permanent tribute by Pentagram after the jump.
Continue reading “Giants Win Super Bowl at Arizona Cardinals Stadium”
Steve Delahoyde of Unbeige checks out our environmental graphics for Cardinals Stadium during a trip home to Glendale, AZ.
Through 31 December, One Laptop Per Child is offering a Give One Get One program in the United States and Canada. Donate a XO laptop to a child in a developing country and receive one for the child in your life. Originally a two-week campaign that began in mid-November, the extended Give One Get One offer is the first time the laptop has been made available to the general public.
Lisa Strausfeld and her team have designed a temporary website for the promotion that educates donors about the organization’s mission, while it takes cues from consumer websites through the use of detailed product shots and overviews of the software. The site also provides a walk through of Sugar, the user interface developed by Pentagram with Red Hat and OLPC.
Website design by Lisa Strausfeld, Christian Marc Schmidt and Asad Pervaiz in collaboration with OLPC and Eleven. Identity design by Michael Gericke. Site development by Nurun.
INDEX, a non-profit organization based in Copenhagen whose mission is to support design that substantially improves human life, has presented One Laptop Per Child with a prestigious INDEX: Award. Every two years, one award is given in each of five categories: Body, Home, Work, Play and Community. OLPC won in the Community category, as the jury surmised: “Without a computer-literate population, developing countries will continue to struggle to compete in a rapidly evolving, global information economy.” Pentagram developed the laptop’s interface and designed the organization’s identity and website.
Exhibition poster designed by Pentagram.
Fifteen hundred people were at the Museum of the City of New York last night for the opening of The Glory Days: New York Baseball 1947-1957 exhibition designed by Michael Gericke and his team. The show celebrates the remarkable achievements, personalities and spirit of baseball in New York between 1947 and 1957 when the city was home to three major league teams: the Yankees, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For eleven seasons, these teams dominated the sport playing in ten World Series, seven of which were Subway Series, with rosters that included Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays.
The exhibition relates the history of this heyday through archival photographs, film footage, memorabilia and ephemera from the Museum of the City of New York, the Baseball Hall of Fame and private collections. Many of the objects in the exhibition have never before been publicly displayed. The exhibition highlights this plethora of memorabilia, as well as exhibition text and interactive displays, through three different kinds of large custom-designed vitrines. Evoking the spirit of the game, the floor of the main exhibition room has been painted with a scaled drawing of a major league baseball field that creates the impression of walking on a baseball diamond and the surrounding walls have been covered in a wallpaper of fourteen-foot archival photographs. The exhibition opens today to the public and remains on view through December 31.
After the jump, a video about the show’s design. Exhibition images coming soon!
Continue reading “Opening Day for ‘The Glory Days’”