May 6, 2013

Thoughtful Reading - Graphic Design + Architecture

The many unique worlds of each design field collide and create the experience. This is true for all of the creative layers of what we call design.. whether it is graphic, interior, furniture or fashion. The Art of Creating an emotional response is what I believe all true creators and designers strive for when they present their work.

In Richard Poulin's "Graphic Design + Architecture: A 20th century History" he shares part of that process and journey..  and it was such a pleasure to meet Richard Poulin of Poulin Morris a few months ago in his office that I thought I would share that Richard is going to be presenting & signing his book at the AIA New York Chapter - one of the oldest and largest chapters of the American Institute of Architects next Monday. 

"Buildings can tell stories. They do so by signifying an event, expressing the mission of an institution, and conveying the nature of a process" - James Stewart Polshek, FAIA

Two hallmarks feature in this historical review ~ and they are very dear to me as symbols that very much represent places that I grew up..Los Angeles and London.

The Walk of Fame, known around the world and an aspiration for all that practice the art of acting, had it's first star placed in it's permanent location in March of 1960, for the film director Stanley Kramer... and since then The Hollywood Walk of Fame has grown to appx 2,496 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard

'In the upper portion of each star field the name of the honoree is inlaid in brass block letters. Below the inscription, in the lower half of the star field, a round inlaid brass emblem indicates the category of the honoree's contributions. The emblems symbolize five categories within the entertainment industry:'

The London Underground map: Henry C Beck in the 1930's was commissioned to design a map to help easily navigate this now very complex underground railway system. It's graphically and visual easily understood, read and is the source of navigation to millions of Londoners and tourists alike finding their way around this amazing city every day since.
Color coding, and a "rigorous octagonal grid of vertical, horizontal and 45-degree lines" are the key to its continued success.

Richard shares the history of how the worlds of graphic design and architecture come together throughout time.. and without borders.
With a look back as early as the first cave paintings.. Stonehenge, The Pantheon and the like .. all the way through to the beginning of the 21st Century where art and architecture, and installation art begin to take on another form of expression..

such as the work of Eric Chan that used the common place clothes hanging from the windows as a form of artistic expression in recreating the Chinese name of Gough Street using these color sheaths..

or the use of the photography and the landscape to create an impact and make a statement.. such as the "Women are Heroes" installation by Photographer & Graffiti artist - JR .. or as he likes to be called: "Photograffeur".

Many of you may have read about JR recently, as he has taken over Times Square with his InsideOut Photobooth exhibition / installation project where we are all invited to take part in the lining of this city's landscape with our own image.

via JR

"From April 22 to May 10, 2013, for INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY, JR and his team invite New Yorkers and visitors to take self-portraits in a photo booth truck stationed in Times Square, the site of the world’s first ever photo booth almost 100 years ago.  See the photobooth's website:"

Couldn't be a more timely book.. and a wonderful read.
I hope you all get the chance to hear Richard next Monday.. tell him I say hi ~

Richard Poulin will present his new book Graphic Design and Architecture: A 20th-Century History.

For centuries, the intimate relationship between graphic design and architecture has shaped not only cities and their structures but also the lives of their inhabitants. Graphic Design and Architecture: A 20th-Century History is the first historical overview which examines this unique marriage of graphic design and architecture in the context of artistic, social and cultural movements and influences of the twentieth century.

The built environment that we experience everyday integrates graphic design that communicates information and identity, shapes our perceptions and memories of our sense of place, and enriches and humanizes our lives. Graphic Design and Architecture: A 20th-Century History is a comprehensive reference of visual and narrative material that illustrates and evaluates this unique history which author Richard Poulin hopes that by reflecting on it, we can derive inspiration and insight for the future.

Richard Poulin is cofounder, design director, and principal of Poulin + Morris Inc., an internationally recognized, multidisciplinary design consultancy located in New York City. He is a Fellow of the Society of Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD) and part president and board member of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Since 1992, he has been a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts and has taught and lectured at Cooper Union, Carnegie-Mellon University, Massachusetts College of Art, North Carolina State University, Syracuse University, University of the Arts and University of Cincinnati. Richard is also the author of The Language of Graphic Design (2011) and the coauthor of Typography Referenced (2012), both published by Rockport Publishers.

Free for AIA members and students with valid student ID -
$10 for non-members - PURCHASE A TICKET

Organized by: AIANY Oculus Committee  

Oculus Book Seller: McNally Jackson Books | 52 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012 | 212.274.1160

If you would like more information about this topic, photographs, or to schedule an interview, please contact Andrew Joseph PR at 212.724.6728 or


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