Domesticity is perhaps one of the most fundamental beginnings of architecture—realized as bedrooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, dressing rooms, etc.—each devoted to a programmatic specificity. The Taiwan Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale explores the idea of private domesticity inverted as public space in the exhibition Township of Domestic Parts: Made in Taiwan. Curated and designed by the noted architect Jimenez Lai, the pavilion is a collection of nine small houses, each embodying one domestic program. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed an identity for the exhibition that showcases the theme in a lively mix of colorful graphics and custom typography, both in English and Chinese.
Lai’s pavilion design is a response to the official Biennale theme of “Fundamentals,” set out by the Biennale’s chief curator, Rem Koolhaas. Scattered within the gallery of the Palazzo delle Prigioni, the pavilion’s collection of small houses forms an interior township of misfit parts. Each structure stands for one domestic activity or program, such as the House of Sleep (the bedroom), the House of Social Eating (the dining room), the House of Shit (the bathroom), and so on. The various houses are embodied by frame-like, freestanding structures that Lai calls “superfurniture.”
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Quick Link: Natasha Jen’s Identity for First Round Capital Featured on Fast Company
First Round Capital is a leading venture capital firm that has backed more than 150 companies, including category innovators such as Square, Uber, Fab, Warby Parker, Hotel Tonight, Refinery29 and One Kings Lane. First Round does exactly what its name says, providing seed-stage funding for the first 18 months of a startup, the most critical period for a new business. At the same time, the firm builds a sense of camaraderie among the companies it supports, looking at them as a community rather than a portfolio.
Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed a new identity for First Round that conveys the firm’s unique point of view. The logo eschews typical VC imagery like financial symbols and growing trees for something more modern and elemental: A simple line derived from the number “1,” inspired by the company’s name. The line suggests the diagram of a floor plan, with one side left open to convey a sense of possibility. The shape of the line also creates a profile, hinting at the personal, one-to-one connections valued by the First Round. The logo is balanced by the company’s name, set in the sans serif font Gibson.
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Quick Link: Natasha Jen to Speak at WIRED By Design
OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, opened on June 7 with an identity, environmental graphics and publications designed by Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and team. Conceived as a working architecture office, the installation explores the ways in which U.S. architectural practice has influenced the discipline worldwide over the past 100 years. Jen’s identity for the Pavilion provides a dynamic visual language that is built out of the simple efficiency of office culture.
Jen worked on the project as part of a team organized by the Storefront for Art and Architecture in collaboration with PRAXIS Journal, and with research lead by the MIT Department of Architecture. The group was selected by the U.S. Department of State to represent the U.S. at the Biennale. The New York-based architecture firm Leong Leong developed the Pavilion design.
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Quick Link: Natasha Jen Talks to Architizer About Her OfficeUS Identity
Quick Link: Natasha Jen’s OfficeUS Graphics Featured on Designboom
Quick Link: Natasha Jen’s OfficeUS Graphics Featured on Wired Design
Pentagram’s Natasha Jen has designed the identity, environmental graphics and publications for the U.S. Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition—la Biennale di Venezia, opening in Venice on June 7. Titled OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion is a working architecture office that explores 1,000 projects designed by 200 U.S. offices working abroad. Jen is part of a collaborative team—organized by Storefront for Art and Architecture, in collaboration with PRAXIS Journal, and with research lead by the MIT Department of Architecture—that were selected by the U.S. Department of State to represent the U.S. at the Biennale. This edition of the Biennale is directed by the architect Rem Koolhaas and centers on the theme “Fundamentals.”
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The “Manifesto Series” of discussions presented by the Storefront of Art and Architecture in New York invites artists, architects, critics and historians to participate in a spirited exchange of ideas about architecture. Established in 2010, the ongoing series is one of Storefront’s signature programs and reinvents the manifesto form as a way to develop and encourage new thinking in short, concise events with a polemical context.
Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and team have designed a new series of books based on the talks. Issued by Storefront in partnership with Lars Müller Publishers, the first two titles in the series are 01: Formless and 02: Double, with more to follow. Jen’s design for the series captures the immediacy and inventiveness of the talks with a dynamic format that rethinks the structure of the book as an object.
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