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New Work: ‘China: Through the Looking Glass’

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Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed the catalogue for China: Through the Looking Glass, the blockbuster exhibition currently on view at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Organized by Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute, the show explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion, and how China has inspired artists and designers for centuries. The exhibition launched with the annual Met Gala on May 4 and remains on view through August 16.

China: Through the Looking Glass is one of the largest exhibitions ever mounted by the Metropolitan Museum and features more than 100 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear by designers including Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood. These are juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other artworks, including films, which are highlighted for their importance in influencing fashion. (The celebrated filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai served as the exhibition’s artistic director.)

New Work: ‘OfficeUS Atlas’

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OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, was conceived as a working architecture office that explored the ways in which U.S. architectural practice has influenced the discipline around the world over the past 100 years. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed OfficeUS Atlas, a new book that compiles and interprets the research assembled in the exhibition’s OfficeUS Repository, an archive of nearly 1,000 projects produced by U.S. offices abroad between 1914-2014. The publication is the second in the four-volume OfficeUS book series, following OfficeUS Agenda, also designed by Jen and published last year.

A massive, 1,232-page compendium, Atlas is structured around a highly organized mix of firm profiles, project data, press records, and infographics that detail the transformations of the U.S. architectural office and its international impact over the past century. The book design builds on the graphic identity Jen developed for the OfficeUS installation, which utilized a visual language built out of the efficiencies of office culture.

OfficeUS Atlas is published in partnership by Lars Müller Publishers and Storefront for Art and Architecture, the lead organizer of OfficeUS. The book will be launched at a panel discussion to be held on Tuesday, April 28 at 7 pm at Storefront for Art and Architecture, 97 Kenmare Street in New York City.

New Work: Vsauce

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As YouTube has matured into a source of original programming with audiences to rival those of any television network, its homegrown channels and series are finding themselves in the enviable position of needing many of the elements of more traditional broadcasting, including branding.

Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have collaborated with YouTube to develop a new brand identity for Vsauce, the group of wildly popular educational channels that feature videos on science, technology, gaming, and more. Establishing a cohesive look for the Vsauce platform, the identity plays off the unusual name and playful point of view with “fluid” typography and fresh, contemporary graphics.

New Work: Apex for Youth

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Apex for Youth is a non-profit organization that has provides mentoring and educational programs for disadvantaged Asian and immigrant youth in New York City. Apex’s network of volunteers is made up of working professionals who provide support in academics, social skills, and community engagement for elementary through high school students. Many of the mentees are are first-generation college students, and are encouraged to become volunteers after graduating high school, helping to extend the outreach cycle of the Apex program. Apex for Youth also holds its annual Inspiration Awards Gala, celebrating exceptional students and outstanding members of New York City’s Asian community.

Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed a new identity for Apex that reflects the organization’s influential mission. The logo design is inspired by the tangram, a traditional Chinese dissection puzzle in which seven flat, geometric shapes are arranged to form familiar objects. The new Apex logo makes use of these shapes by forming an apple, symbolic of the organization’s educational mission and alluding to New York City’s most well-known moniker.