Syracuse University


Poulin + Morris Inc.

Practice Area


Syracuse University


Project Vision

S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Donor Recognition and Environmental Graphics

Newhouse III is the 74,000-sq.-ft. addition to the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. The original building, designed by I.M. Pei, was completed in 1964 and the second building was completed in 1974. The addition allows the school to expand its education and research missions with a new facility focused on interdisciplinary study.

Poulin + Morris was commissioned by Polshek Partnership Architects to develop an overall environmental graphics and donor recognition program to link the various areas of the complex. Poulin + Morris’ approach was to infuse the building with diverse media converging into the digital world of public communications. Their visual solutions rely on the use of visual metaphor and technology to communicate the foundation and future mission of the premiere journalism school.

A unique donor wall in the building’s entrance lobby acknowledges the digital evolution of public communications using a dynamic medium to convey donor names and personal messages to passersby. More than 100 staggered, horizontal LED displays deliver the information in a fluid, synchronized pace simulating multiple news zippers communicating information in real time. Poulin + Morris’ intent was to use LED technology in a non-conventional way to symbolize the tenet, “The medium is the message.”

A typographic wall mural in the atrium of the new building spans three stories, identifying “Newhouse” and its programs such as media studies, journalism, and graphic design. By rendering the words in CMYK-colored halftone dots, the design team created a metaphor celebrating Newhouse and its pursuit of traditional and nontraditional forms of public communications in the digital era. Another large-scale typographic wall mural celebrates the importance of the First Amendment’s freedom of speech, the press, and its integral relationship to the school’s mission.


Project Details
A simple and elegant solution that succeeds in integrating dynamic typography into the environment. It is a system that allows for great flexibility for expansion and expression. Finally a solution that both designer and development officer can agree on!
Juror 1
Design Team

Richard Poulin (principal in charge); Brian Brindisi, Alpkhan Kirayoglu (designers)

Design Firm

Poulin + Morris Inc.


Applied Image (atrium wall mural), Sunrise Systems (donor wall LEDs)