Along with developing a comprehensive environmental graphics, donor recognition, and wayfinding program for the new NPR headquarters and production studios in Washington, D.C., Poulin + Morris also designed a permanent, interactive lobby exhibition entitled This is NPR.
Complementing the adjacent two-story digital media mosaic that mirrors the NPR website in real-time, the 70-foot-long exhibition spans the length of the lobby. It consists of a reader rail supporting two tiers of angled panels displaying narrative text, images, video monitors, and interactive audio listening devices featuring detailed information about NPR. The rail is divided into five sections, each dedicated to a story significant to NPR. A Community of Stations and Listeners highlights the relationship between NPR member stations across the nation and their listeners, and includes a member network map displayed above. Created in a translucent white resin with raised translucent blue rods to pinpoint the location of each member station, the map’s placement at a window allows it to glow with natural light.
The upper portion of the reader rail features NPR milestones, a continuous timeline highlighting important moments in public radio history juxtaposed alongside significant events in world and broadcast history. The interactive component of the exhibition includes an interface that allows smart phone users to access a specially designed website offering a selection of audio clips to accompany each section of the exhibition. The Poulin + Morris team collaborated with a media developer to create this user interface, adding an interactive audio element to the exhibition.
Watch RIchard Poulin's SEGD Talk about the NPR Project.
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“I appreciate this installation for its architectural integrity. It is a ‘content-box’ within the larger box of the building. The strong colors and composition of the panels contrast with but are complementary to the more reserved architectural surroundings. It is lively but reserved—very consistent with the NPR brand.”
Richard Poulin (principal in charge, design director), Erik Herter (project manager, senior designer), Ani Ardzivian (project designer)
Sansi North America/SNA LLC (LED display manufacturer), Jack Stone Signs (sign fabricator), Blue Telescope (user interface programmer), Maltbie Associates (exhibit fabricator)