Philip Johnson’s Glass House and Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House established one of architecture’s great formal dialogues. Both were designed and built during the same period—the Glass House between 1945 and 1949 (in New Canaan, Connecticut), and the Farnsworth House between 1945 and 1951 (in Plano, Illinois)—and Johnson and Mies were inspired by and responded to each other’s work, resulting in a pair of Modernist masterpieces. Both homes have been designated National Historic Landmarks and are now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Glass House was given to the trust by Johnson in 1986 and opened to the public in 2007 (with identity and visitors center designed by Pentagram), and the Farnsworth House was saved at auction in 2003 and came under the management of the trust earlier this year.
Modern Views: A Project to Benefit the Farnsworth House and the Glass House is a new yearlong initiative to raise $1 million to help preserve the residences. The trust’s Center for Modernism asked 100 artists, designers and architects to create works that continue the dialogue between the two iconic designs. Among the participants are Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Thom Mayne, Daniel Libeskind, David Adjaye, Tadao Ando, Richard Meier, Michael Graves, Cesar Pelli, Ken Smith, Vito Acconci, Maira Kalman, Robert Morris, Ed Ruscha, Yves Behar, Annie Leibovitz, Constantin Boym and Pentagram’s James Biber and Paula Scher.
The works will exhibited in New York and Chicago this fall, culminating in an auction in each city. Proceeds from the auction will be used to restore the Brick House at the Glass House site and to repair damage to the Farnsworth House from a 2008 flood. Modern Views is being underwritten by Sotheby’s and was introduced at an event at the Four Seasons earlier this month.
Paula Scher’s print, titled Modernism USA, uses the footprint of the two houses at various scales to construct a map of the United States. The design will appear on the cover of a book of the collected works for Modern Views, to be published this fall by Assouline.
James Biber, who designed the visitor center for the Glass House, was inspired by the homes’ relationship to their environments: the Glass House is built of dark materials and is close to the earth, while the Farnsworth House is white and seems to float above ground, a world in itself. Biber’s drawing, called There It Begins, takes its title from a 1959 quote by Mies: “Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.” The drawing brings the two “bricks,” or houses, together.
Last night’s opening performance was unfortunately rained out, but this year’s season of Shakespeare in the Park is set to present powerful productions of The Winter’s Tale and The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino as Shylock. Paula Scher has designed the festival’s promotional campaign, currently going up on buses and in subways and train stations all over the city. Unlike recent past seasons, which featured a pair of plays staged separately in the early and late summer, this year’s plays are being presented in repertory throughout the season. Scher’s campaign focuses on the evocative language in both plays, pulling lines from each to meet in a dimensional explosion of words and typography.
This is Scher’s 16th year designing the campaign; she designed her first poster for Shakespeare in the Park in 1994.
More images from this year’s campaign after the jump.
Continue reading “New Work: Shakespeare in the Park 2010″
Quick Link: Paula Scher & Lisa Strausfeld in Women in Design Exhibition
Quick Link: Paula Scher at AIGA Hampton Roads, VA
The jury of the 2nd Chicago International Poster Biennial convenes this weekend and the Second City will be celebrating with a series of poster-related events. Paula Scher is serving as the chair of the biennial jury and has designed the official biennial poster, an op-art rendition of the number two inspired by a rolled poster. Jury Weekend programming includes an exhibition of works by the members of the jury; a charity auction of dresses printed with iconic posters by the jury designers (including Scher’s “Best of Jazz” poster); a screening of “Freedom on the Fence,” a new documentary about the history of Polish posters; and lectures by legendary poster designers Rafal Olbinski and Takashi Akiyama. The winning posters in the juried competition will go on public display later this summer.
The biennial is presented in part by the Society of Typographic Arts and ICOGRADA; more info here.
Quick Link: Paula Scher at AIGA Boston
Quick Link: Grey Group Signage in Metropolis
With a little paint and some bold typography, a school designed to change the life of its students has undergone a transformation of its own. For the Achievement First Endeavor Middle School, a charter school for grades 5 through 8 in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, Paula Scher has created a program of environmental graphics that help the school interiors become a vibrant space for learning. The project was completed in collaboration with Rogers Marvel Architects, who designed the school as a refurbishment and expansion of an existing building.
Achievement First is a network of public charter schools in Brooklyn and Connecticut. With the support of the Robin Hood Foundation, Achievement First seeks to provide students in urban areas with an education that will put them on the path to college. Endeavor Middle School has a student body of about 300 and is ranked number four in the best K to eight schools in New York City. The students at Endeavor have a reputation for taking pride in their school, and the new graphics capture this confident spirit.
Continue reading “New Work: Achievement First Endeavor Middle School”
Quick Link: Pentagram Conference in São Paulo
Quick Link: Paula Scher Interviewed by Pr*tty Sh*tty