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The Santa Fe Opera

The Perelman Center

MGM Springfield

Bloomberg Sustainability 2012

Metlife Stadium

City of Richmond, VA

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TWO TWELVE DAY 2019

Here's a quick glance at what we have been up to in the past year. Design for a Better Experience is the result of great collaborations with our clients, our partners, and our friends.

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Wayfinding Handbook
Culture parts

About Us

Everywhere we go, we encounter implicit and explicit cues to guide us, from environment and behavior to graphics and manuals. In complex environments, these cues become part of a system that can assist people to sort through data, fill out a form, absorb new information, or navigate a place.

That's our realm. We specialize in creating public information design, the planning and presentation of complex information to diverse users and audiences. From signage to strategy, we design thoughtful, user-centric systems designed to navigate, inform, communicate, and create new visions of the world around us.

Our roots are in wayfinding, the art and science of helping people find their way. That's where we got our start, but we’ve since expanded our expertise to diverse and ambitious initiatives. Public or private, these initiatives can only succeed if they are effective in persuading stakeholders. Consulting with leaders in business, institutions and government, we use the tools of information design, data visualization, and interactive media to provide engaging narrative frameworks for big ideas, clarifying supporting information, creating a roadmap for implementation and making these accessible to all. 

So when visitors approach a building or public place, our designs help them to enter it and locate their destinations. And when clients or constituents approach complex information, we help them absorb it by organizing data, images, text, and other components. We tackle these projects strategically, knowing that strong branding and a unified context leads to powerful results. 

clients and collaborators

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc

Alpha Partners

American Airlines Center, Dallas

American Institute of Graphic Arts

Apollo Theater

Arts, Culture, Philanthropy & Advocacy

Atlanta Federal Center

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Barnard College

Bayhealth Medical Center

Bear Stearns

Bellevue Hospital

Beyer Blinder Belle

Bike New York

Bloomberg LP

Boston Children's Hospital

Boston Properties

Brennan Beer Gorman/Architects

Bridgeport Intermodal Transportation Center

Brookfield Properties

Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

Brooklyn Cruise Terminal

Brooklyn Museum

Bruce Mau Design

Cambridge Seven Associates

Canizaro Cawthon Davis

Capital Properties

Carnegie Hall

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Central Synagogue

Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A.

Chicago Park District

Cho Benn Holback + Associates

Cigna

Cincinnati Transit Authority

Citibank, N.A.

Citigroup

City of Charlotte

City of Chicago

City of Hartford

Civic Entertainment Group

Cleveland Orchestra

Collins Center for the Arts

Columbia University

Comcast

Cooper, Robertson & Partners

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Cosentini Associates

Counter Restaurant, Manhattan

Daniel Frankfurt, PC

David & Peggy Rockefeller Collection

David M. Schwarz Architects

Davis Brody Bond

DIA Center for the Arts

Disneyland, Anaheim

DMJM Harris

Downtown Alliance

Downtown New York River to River Festival

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore

Downtown Partnership of New York

Duke Medical Center

Durham Parks & Recreation Department

Earl Swensson Associates

Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects

Election Assistance Campaign

Empire State Building Company

Empire State Development Corporation

Ennead Architects

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

Five Front, Brooklyn

Flack + Kurtz Inc.

Flad & Associates

Ford Foundation

Grand Central Terminal

Greenberg Consultants Inc.

Gruzen Samton Architects

H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture Associates

Hargreaves

Hillwood Development Corp

Hines Limited

Historic Battery Park

HKS, Inc.

HNTB

HOK

Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project

HR&A Advisors, Inc.

Hudson Fairfax Partners

Hudson River Piers 88 & 90

Clients column 2

Ike Kligerman Barkley

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne University

International Fellowship Fund

Jack L. Gordon Architects

James McCullar & Associates Architects

Jewish Community Center

Johns Hopkins Hospital

Jones Lang LaSalle

Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Lenox Hill Hospital

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Lower Manhattan Development Corporation

M. Paul Friedberg and Partners

Macy's Herald Square

Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church

Maestri, LLC

Maryland Transit Administration

Massachusetts Department of Public Works

Massachusetts General Hospital

Meadowlands Xanadu, New Jersey

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Mercy College

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

MetroTech Business Improvement District, Brooklyn

Mets Development Corporation

Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

Middlebury College

MoMA QNS

Mondawmin Mall, Baltimore

Montgomery College

Montgomery Watson Harza

MTA Long Island Railroad / Long Island Bus

Nashville Symphony Orchestra

NAT's Kids, Brooklyn

New Amsterdam Theatre

New Jersey Transit

New York Botanical Garden

New York City Center

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

New York Institute of Technology

New York Jets and New York Giants

New York Law School

New York State Urban Development Corporation

New York University

New York University Langone Health

New York Zoological Society

Newhouse School of Public Communications

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center

Northern Arizona University

NYC Department of Consumer Affairs

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

NYC Economic Development Corporation

NYC Housing Authority

NYC Municipal Water Finance Authority

NYC2012 Organizing Committee

Office of the Mayor of New York City

Office of the Mayor of Washington, DC

Ohio University

Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis

Packer Collegiate Institute

Parsons Brinckerhoff

Patrick L. Pinnel Architect

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

Perkins + Will

Perkins Eastman Architects

Pier 12, Brooklyn

Populous

Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

Princeton University

Prudential Douglas Elliman

Punahou School

Clients column 3

Quartararo & Associates, Inc

Queens West Development Corporation

Quennell Rothschild & Partners, LLP

R.M. Kliment & Frances Halsband Architects

Radio City Music Hall

Rafael Vinoly Architects

Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention

Restaurant Associates

Reynolds Performing Arts Center

Rhode Island Airport Authority

Rhode Island School of Design

Robert Hatfield Ellsworth

Rockefeller Center Retail Concourse

Rockwellgroup

Rubenstein Technology Group

Sam Schwartz Engineering

Scenic Hudson Land Trust

Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Severance Hall, Blossom Music Center

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Sound Transit, Washington

South Street Seaport & Marketplace

Sowinski Sullivan

St. Mark's Cathedral

Standard & Poor's

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Steelcase, Inc.

Sterling Equities

Struever Bros., Eccles & Rouse

Stubbins Associates

STV Incorporated

SUNY Albany: Arts & Sciences Building

Swiss Bank Corporation

T. Rowe Price Associates

TAMS Consultants

Ten W Architects

The Art Directors Club, Inc.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

The LA Group

The Liberty Theater

The Mills Corporation

The Municipal Art Society of New York

The Olnick Organization

The Rockefeller Foundation

The Shops at Atlas Park, Queens

The Stubbins Associates

The Whitaker Center, Harrisburg

Thomas Balsley Associates

Tide Point, Baltimore

Times Square Business Improvement District

Tishman Speyer Properties

Towson University

Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie

Trinity College

Tsoi Kobus Architects

Two River Theatre Company

U.S. Japan Council

United States Bureau of the Census

United States Courthouse at Foley Square

United States Post Office

United Way

University at Buffalo, SUNY

University of Maine

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Urban Place Consulting Group Inc

US Tennis Association, Davis Cup

USA Weightlifting National Championships

van Dijk Westlake Reed Leskosky, now: Westlake Reed Leskosky

Van Wagner Communications, LLC

Van Wagner Sports Group, LLC

Victoria Ward Center

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Vornado Realty Trust

Waikiki Business Improvement District Association

Wall Street Pier 11

Wallace Floyd Design Group

Washington Group International

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Weihe Design Group

West Midtown Ferry Terminal

William Nicholas Bodouva + Associates

Women's World Banking

World Championships of Freestyle Wrestling

World Outdoor Target Archery Championships

X

Z

Friday
Jul212017

Home Sweet Home

 

By David Gibson

For almost a year now we have been traveling to Los Angeles to work with a great client there. Because we like to eat delicious food, we love to scour this huge city for good eats. Near our client’s office we had lunch poolside at The Roof on Wilshire. A friend took me to Chosun, which has fantastic Korean barbecue. There’s Mercado for great Mexican and Carmela’s next door for small batch ice cream. After work the rooftop bar at the Ace Hotel is a nice hangout, while Slurping Ramen hits the spot for a lighter dinner. I could go and on and on and on.

There's a nifty place on LaBrea where early on, I met my design friend Lorraine Wild for a great breakfast. I'm talking about Sycamore Kitchen, and I can't talk about it without mentioning the Buttercup, the lightest, sweetest, crunchiest pastry I know. It's actually a Breton pastry called a kouign amann — a small golden muffin-shaped bundle of joy with a fluffy white inside. Over the past year I've become obsessed with them — my monthly trips to LA inevitably involve a morning tryst with Buttercup.

Last fall I found myself hanging out with some favorite cousins in Montreal, the city where I was born and grew up decades ago. One morning, after yoghurt and a piece of toast with Libby and Jim, i.e. Elizabeth Taylor and her husband James Taylor (no not them, my cousins), I set off in the car to see if I could find Buttercup in one of the neighborhood bakeries of this food lovers paradise. I grew up around Westmount in the western English part of the city in the years of linguistic segregation and cultural separation. Saint Laurent, or the Main as it was known, was the dividing line between east and west on city streets. It was also a kind of cultural divide between the two separate populations of the city. We called it the East End when for many Montrealers it was actually the city center.

A quick scan of the net suggested Saint Laurent might be a good place to start my search for Buttercup. Like so much of this historic city, the fabric of the Main had not changed much since my childhood. Two, three, and four story nineteenth- and early twentieth-century buildings still line the street. Where once Jews and working people gathered, now millennials, tourists and other cool looking urban denizens thronged the street, popping in and out of clothing stores, cafes and restaurants. The street looked like the middle of a vibrant city as indeed it is. There was Boulangerie Guillaume, a sparkling modern palace of bread – with all the bread I could imagine, but no kouign amann. Several blocks up at Hof Kelsten the tone and the menu was more eclectic. Cool retro and vintage fixtures graced the interior where the menu included both pastry and bread but again no kouign amann. I headed north through the Plateau and Mile End neighborhoods, parts of Montreal I barely know, but now clearly magnets for urban creatives like me. There’s vibrant urban living alongside quiet streets with carefully restored historic houses – people walking everywhere.

My next stop was Outremont, home to the French upper crust, the flip side of English Westmount. It is filled with astonishing streets lined with substantial homes, much like the streets I traversed on my long walk to school as a kid, yet somehow different. Different tastes, different architects, different people built these mansions on the French side of the mountain. And there on Avenue Van Horne in the heart of Outremont sat Mamie Clafoutis, a perfect bourgeois French patisserie, its cases lined with glistening berry tartes, crisp millenilles, croissants, lemon curd. But not a kouign amann in sight. Damn.

I had one more chance, below the tracks, so to speak, to find Buttercup. I headed to Little Burgundy, a former working class neighborhood not too far from my old high school, that’s now a culinary hotspot and hipster hangout. There sitting in a gleaming case in the cool dark interior of Patisserie Patrice, an elegant pastry shop on a street that had never caught my eye growing up, was Buttercup’s Montreal cousin. The kouign amann was sublime. Bingo.

I love making the connection between my LA passions and my hometown. I’m an urban explorer who loves to uncover the delights of a new friend like Los Angeles and at the same time reacquaint with an old love like Montreal. Cities are layered with memories and tastes and sensations that draw me back again and again. Los Angeles can sometimes seem like a big sprawling place with no there. Long ago my film friend Ian Birnie taught me that in LA you have to look in the hidden corners, the out of the way places, up the hill, behind the gate, to find the real charm of LA. Turns out the same kind of urban sleuthing helped me rediscover what I love about home sweet home.

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