Presented by the New Practices Committee of the AIA New York Chapter, New Practices New York is a biennial competition that serves as New York City’s preeminent platform to recognize and promote new and innovative architecture and design firms. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and team designed the competition graphics and exhibition for New Practices New York 2014. This year’s competition was organized around the theme “Action!,” and Jen’s design for the exhibition extends the strong black line of the New Practices Committee logo into graphics that run across the walls and floor of the gallery to activate the space.
The New Practices New York 2014 exhibition design conveys the innovative spirit of the competition and creates an engaging and exciting environment for the featured works. Exhibitions about architecture often rely on large printed boards mounted to the wall to display content, but in this exhibition the designers wanted liberate the content from these boards and present it in a vastly different manner. Further, working with a limited budget for the installation, the designers had to find an inexpensive, easy-to-produce solution that was still impactful. The lines running throughout the space have been created using black vinyl tape affixed to the walls and floor. Drawings and photographs are mounted in simple black frames; some have been mounted perpendicular to the wall to create a dimensional effect. The names of the six honored firms are linked with the images and models of their featured projects and quotes about their work. The mesh of lines resembles a network or the streets on a map, suggesting themes of connection.
The designers also developed a custom typeface based on tape lettering. Display typography for names, titles and quotes were directly affixed to the wall with black tape, with the letters formed according to the design of the font. The weight and size of the letters complements the original New Practices New York logotype, which is set in Gothic 13.
“A smart way to create a high-impact space with low-cost material (lots and lots of black tape).The way the floors, walls, and ceiling are all brought into play makes an otherwise unexciting, low-ceiling space very dynamic. A good example of doing a lot with a little.”
“This project demonstrates a highly effective use of typography and graphic line elements in space, which lends the small exhibition a visual expression that is at the same time both dramatic and informative. A very creative, low-cost/high- impact approach that serves very well the exhibits on display.”
“All you need is tape! New Practices New York 2014 reminds us that great ideas don't necessarily require high budgets. The use of black tape as an extension of the New Practices Committee logo gives depth to this idea. It is fascinating how the project makes a big impact in the design of the exhibition with the exclusive use of this simple element. The project goes beyond creating a tape-based typography for the exhibition, conquering the three dimensions of the exhibition space.”
Natasha Jen (partner in charge, designer), Jeffrey Waldman, Yenwei Liu (designers)
Center for Art and Architecture (installation)