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Staff Promotions at Two Twelve

Two Twelve is excited to announce the promotion of seven creative team members. We are proud to recognize their contributions to our firm and the field of experiential graphic design. Please join us in congratulating them!

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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

Thursday
Aug222019

Navigating Cultures: From Copenhagen to Summer at Two Twelve

By Maggie Miller, Summer 2019 Intern

If someone were to ask me about the most interesting things I observed while living abroad in Denmark, I think my answers would surprise them. My answers would not have anything to do with food, or the language, but rather, I would say the transportation system and the culture surrounding work. These concepts might sound strange; what could be so fascinating about commutes and work days? But, my mind opened up a lot during my time in Copenhagen and these two activities made me really think about things we perceive as normal. I also began to consider things we observe but do not think twice about, and even might take for granted.

If Copenhagen can be identified by one thing it is biking. Biking is a Scandinavian expectation, so I learned in my four months living in Copenhagen; biking is not just biking in Copenhagen, it defines the Dane’s entire culture. Danish people bike to work, the movies, at night, during the day, in the rain, when it’s negative temperatures outside, you name it, people are biking. By the time I was packing up to leave, I knew I was going to miss my bike, and this was coming from a person who had hated biking prior to my trip. After experiencing it though, I grew to love it. It was fascinating to adopt because as much as everyone says, “oh yeah, in Denmark everyone bikes,” I didn’t understand what that meant until I saw it and joined in.

During one of my first nights in Copenhagen, my host family asked how I planned to get to school in the morning. They lived in Fredriksberg, a suburb just outside the city: kind of like Long Island City to Manhattan. I explained to them that I would bike to the metro in the morning. They told me that was a great idea, as they were not sure I was ready to bike all the way into the city. They also mentioned that in Copenhagen, the priority was bikers. As I walked away from the table I was confused what they meant. Everywhere I had been, the priority was either cars or walkers, bikers were an afterthought. The next morning, backpack on, I grabbed my red bike and jogged it across the street. Observing the bike path I began to realize what my host parents were referring to. 

In Denmark, there are separate, protected bike paths on either side of the road, going the same direction as the cars. The bike path is raised, located interior to the parked cars, and separate from vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The bike paths also have their own stoplight and traffic lights while cars have an additional wait time so drivers do not make a turn when bikers are crossing the street. It was incredible to take in and it really made biking enjoyable. It’s not like you don’t have to pay attention to the cars, there were still many cars along the road, but biking is encouraged because it is safer and regulated. 

Over the course of my four months in Copenhagen, I realized it was easier to get places in Denmark with a bike and that Copenhagen encouraged biking through not only safety measures but also by taxing car owners. The whole phenomenon was so different than what I am accustomed to in New York City, and I found it more interesting than I expected.

The other unconventional thing I observed abroad was the culture surrounding a work day. Growing up, my knowledge of work came from my parents. Both of them would leave in the morning and be gone all day, coming home exhausted, sometimes later than dinner time, because they had to “get the work done,” I thought that was normal. The standard American work day is around 9am to 6pm, my current work day. When I lived in Denmark, this schedule was not at all the reality. 

One of my classes abroad was a business seminar, in which we learned aspects of introductory business and compared the U.S. economic system to the Danish model. As part of the class we took a trip to a nearby office. When we walked in, the place was bustling, but not with people coming from meetings or going from the bathroom to their desk. It was instead the movement of people with all of their bags packed and leaving the office. I looked at my watch, it was 3pm. I checked my phone again to confirm; I did not understand, the work day was not over, it was just the afternoon. Sure enough, my teacher noticed my confusion and my alarmed stare, and it seemed the rest of the class was doing the same. He simply laughed and asked us why we all looked confused. A boy in my class asked what we were all thinking: why are all of these people leaving? My teacher answered nonchalantly that was the end of the work day. 

In Denmark the work day ends at around 3pm or 4pm. People come in at 9am, work till mid-afternoon, then go home to their families. I stood in shock at how interesting this was, who knew that not everyone around the world was working long eight hour plus days. Sure enough, when I got home from my class that day my host dad was in the kitchen preparing dinner. I realized that he beat me home from school everyday because his work day was over before I even got to the metro after class. The practice of the shorter work day and priority of family was so simple, yet one of the most interesting cultural observations I made during my time in Copenhagen. It only left me with the question, why don’t we do it in the United States?

There were a number of other interesting Danish things I experienced abroad that transformed my view of social norms as well. Danes, although the practice is slowly deteriorating, believe babies should experience fresh air, so when they visit coffee shops they leave the baby carriages outside with the baby inside while they go and enjoy a meal. Danes also get paid to go to university as a way to motivate students to attend college. One of the more surprising things in Denmark is that the metro is an honor system. In New York, you buy a metrocard and that is the only way you can swipe in to get onto any public transportation. In Denmark, it works a bit differently. The metro is actually an honor system where anyone can get on; there are no turnstiles or gates before you enter, only occasional ticket checkers who ride the metro. They will get on the train and ask for your ticket pass and if you don’t have it you have to pay a ticket worth $175 U.S. dollars. Believe it or not, people adhere to the system. Everyone has a pass and they kindly take it out of their bag when ticket checkers come around. 

Growing up in the United States, Denmark showed me a number of novel cultural norms that differ from what I had considered a normal way of life. It is interesting to think that customs and the idea of normal varies depending on where people are from and what they are used to. Practices differ all over the world, in various countries, cities, suburbs and towns. I think that’s really why it is important for people to travel, not just to be more experienced but to diminish the whole premise that there is a normal. The idea of normality brings expectations, assumptions and stereotypes. By observing these differences while I lived in Denmark, what I considered normal grew as I no longer only considered the social norms from my time living in New York and Ohio but also incorporated the new culture I was living in. Now, I had this entire other culture to consider. Traveling and navigating the differences and nuances of a place has invited me to grow beyond my normal and open up to a whole lot more.

As my summer interning at Two Twelve is coming to a close, I realized these cultural phenomenons connect in many ways to my observations of Two Twelve. As much as Two Twelve is a formal place of business and operates as such, the atmosphere is cooperative and family-oriented. Staff meetings are filled with personal anecdotes and stories about travel and places, and we are encouraged to bounce ideas off of one another. Upon learning more about Two Twelve’s work, I have also learned that there are things in life that everyone takes for granted but are actual experiences that designers take time to consider. Designing signage and wayfinding systems is not something that immediately comes to mind when I am walking around trying to find my way. Similar to how much more I appreciated biking in Copenhagen after understanding the nuances that were considered in creating that culture, I have now begun to notice where and how signs are placed in spaces. 

There are parallels between the Danish biking and work culture and Two Twelve’s work in activating spaces and paths that people use daily but don’t think twice about. This speaks to how people tend to operate automatically; they wake up in the morning, choose a mode of transportation, go to work and return home, and repeat that routine everyday without taking a moment to observe what is around them. People tend not to notice how they are able to get to their destination. Both my time spent in Copenhagen and at Two Twelve has made me want to ask questions about things that I typically might not even acknowledge, and I hope to inspire others to do the same. I am now more appreciative and mindful of the world I transverse and am grateful for the clues that help me find my way, knowing that someone took the time to design them. These experiences have opened my eyes to understanding new facets of normal and to being more aware of the effort that has gone and goes into the world around me. 


 

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