When Hurricane Sandy devastated New York in 2012, Rockaway Beach in Queens lost much of its iconic boardwalk. This summer, as part of the ongoing restoration of the area, the first sections of a new boardwalk have been completed and reopened to the public with a more resilient design that replaces the traditional wooden planks with steel-reinforced concrete. Pentagram’s Paula Scher and her team have created graphics for the new boardwalk that helps put Rockaway back on the map, literally: The typography announces the beach in letters that are each 100 to 150 feet wide and almost 50 feet tall, and together span nearly a mile.
Title sequence for Knotty Objects, the inaugural MIT Media Lab Summit.
The first MIT Media Lab Summit devoted to design, Knotty Objects brought together designers, scientists, engineers, curators and scholars to celebrate the chimeric nature of contemporary design and how it defies a discipline-specific approach. Organized by Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design at MoMA, and Neri Oxman and Kevin Slavin, professors at the MIT Media Lab, the conference explored the theme through four archetypal objects for which conception, design, manufacturing and use are non-linear, or “knotty”: the brick, the bitcoin, the steak, and the phone.
Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Aron Fay designed an identity for Knotty Objects that plays off the Summit title and theme with twisting and turning typography that builds on their identity for the MIT Media Lab. The knotty-but-nice type was applied to a full program of event collateral, including a title sequence that played before the start of the conference and environmental graphics for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the MIT Media Lab, where the Summit was held on July 15-16.
Quick Link: Abbott Miller to Speak at Type Nite NYC
This week KIPP NYC College Prep High School celebrates the graduation of the second class of seniors who have studied at its new state-of-the-art building in the South Bronx. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team have designed the program of signage, wayfinding and environmental graphics for the school, which is the first high school in the KIPP NYC network of 11 public charter schools and serves over 900 students in grades 9 through 12.
KIPP stands for “Knowledge Is Power Program,” and KIPP NYC students regularly outperform their peers at other New York schools and boast higher graduation and college matriculation rates. (KIPP NYC College Prep sees an extraordinary 100 percent of its students go on to apply for college.) This mission of educational empowerment extends to the graphics of the new building, which encourage students to think, learn and problem-solve as they encounter a series of codes, puzzles and riddles that have been integrated into the school environment.
In her typographic map paintings, Pentagram’s Paula Scher explores ideas of location and individual ways of seeing the world. Now, working in collaboration with students at her alma mater, the Tyler School of Art, Scher has expanded this unique point of view to an immersive environment. Philadelphia Explained is a large-scale installation that details the city and its surrounding areas in a hand-painted map created by Scher and 154 participants that covers the walls and floor of Temple Contemporary, the school’s 2,100 square-foot gallery.
“Saturday Night Live” continues the celebration of its 40th anniversary with the release of “Live From New York!”, a new documentary feature film that explores the legendary sketch comedy show’s cultural impact and evolution into an American institution. The film premiered as the opening night selection of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and opens today in theaters nationwide.
Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and her team have designed all of the graphics for the documentary, including the identity, poster and motion graphics in the film and its trailer. A devoted fan who has watched SNL since the beginning, Oberman has collaborated with the show on many projects over the past two decades, both before and since joining Pentagram, including three iterations of its identity, several opening title sequences, commercial parodies, and most recently, the graphics for the 40th anniversary season and the design of Saturday Night Live: The Book, the definitive visual history of the show.