Championing Global Design Excellence with Richard Poulin, FSEGD

In 1976, Walter Herdeg published Archigraphia: Architectural and Environmental Graphics—a formative publication for experiential graphic designers across the world.

Forty years later, Richard Poulin, FSEGD—world-renowned designer, educator and author—has written
Archigraphia Redux,a new international survey of architectural, environmental and experiential graphic design in the 21st century. More than 150 designers, architects, interior designers, landscape architects and artists from over 40 countries are represented by their groundbreaking work throughout the book.

Richard sat down with us to discuss what the original book meant to him, what he hopes to accomplish with
Archigraphia Redux and how he’ll tie it all together in his 2017 SEGD Wayfindingkeynote presentation ( sponsored by DCL). Here’s what he had to say.

Richard Poulin on Archigraphia

When I was in school as an undergraduate at Pratt Institute, I worked every weeknight in the art and architecture department of the Pratt library, and one of the first books I came across was Archigraphia. It came out at the same time I was in school, and it confirmed for me this undefined interest that I had in the two-dimensional and three-dimensional worlds.

I didn’t know at the time exactly what it was, but this book defined it for me, and I knew that whatever I was feeling all of a sudden was validated because there was one aspect of design—this big world of design—where graphic design and architecture came together.

Later on, as I started to practice graphic design, I realized Archigraphia was really the first book to document, as well as celebrate, the various aspects of what we now call experiential graphic design. It was really the genesis of introducing me to this discipline.

Richard Poulin on the “Why” Behind Archigraphia Redux

My primary goal was to communicate not only to the experiential graphic design community—but to the design community at large—that this discipline has grown tremendously; that it is now much more a vital component of placemaking, architecture, and branding; and that it’s as essential as all other design disciplines.

The more and more that we can show that this is a global design discipline, that people are doing it everywhere and that it is a part of every community, the more it gives us more foundation, more room to grow and more validity within the other design disciplines.

Richard Poulin on His Favorite Part of Archigraphia Redux

I was able to invite seven designers to contribute introductory essays for each of the seven chapters.

I didn’t want this book to be only from my point of view and my interpretation. While I was the final decision maker in terms of selecting work, I wanted other voices and other points of view to be part of the book, which was very much a part of Walter’s first book.

Richard Poulin on His 2017 SEGD Wayfinding Session

I want to use my 2017 SEGD Wayfinding keynote as a catalyst to reinvigorate attendees, to call out to them to see the design community—our global design community—in a new and fresh way and to allow them to see that there’s a lot more out there to be inspired by.

I think it’s so much easier because of technology and what we do and how we communicate with one another. It’s very simple today to collaborate with somebody in Tokyo compared to 20 years ago. It’s as if they were next door.

I’m hoping to bring that level of energy and vitality to show people that there are connections, as well as contributions, that we can all make and continue to make with the global design community. Archigraphia Redux is an invaluable resource that can help us recharge ourselves, inspire us, and most importantly, give us insight into what our colleagues are doing around the world.

Richard Poulin on What He’s Most Excited About for the 2017 SEGD Wayfinding Event

It’s connecting with people. One of the best things that always happens at SEGD events—whether it be regional, chapter or national conference—is that it’s always connecting with people.

You go in with a certain point of view and a certain level of familiarity and knowledge, and you always come away with an expanded point of view and more knowledge, more information and a better more expanded network.

Join Richard for the 2017 SEGD Wayfindingevent, August 17–18 in Boston. Rub elbows with the XGD expert, ask him all of your burning questions and have him sign a copy of Archigraphia Redux for you to bring back to the office (or keep for yourself!). Space is filling up—register now!

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Upcoming SEGD Events

2022 Conference Experience Portland
2022 SEGD Academic Summit
2022 Wayfinding and Placemaking