The modern, manmade landmarks of New York are so familiar it is hard to imagine that before the city was an “asphalt jungle” it was a quiet wooded island called Mannahatta, or “Island of Many Hills,” by the Lenape Indians. In his new book Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City, ecologist Eric W. Sanderson of the Wildlife Conservation Society considers what Manhattan was like a short 400 years ago, before the first settlers arrived. Abbott Miller’s design for the book helps make this serious scientific history accessible and emphasizes the startling contrast between the metropolis of today with the Manhattan Island of 1609.
The release of Mannahatta is timed to the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Henry Hudson in New York Harbor, and the book will be accompanied by the exhibition Mannahatta/Manhattan: A Natural History of New York City, also designed by Miller and opening at the Museum of the City of New York on May 20.
Let’s visit the real old New York.
For the second year running, Pentagram has been named the Studio of the Year by Creative Review. The award is announced in the magazine’s 2009 Annual, published with the May issue, on newsstands now. The Design Studio of the Year designation is given to the studio with the most work accepted into the annual.
Four Pentagram projects were selected by the judging panel for inclusion in the 2009 annual: Beat IV, designed by Angus Hyland; the Harley-Davidson Museum, with architecture by James Biber and exhibition design by Abbott Miller; the book Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, designed by Miller; and the posters for Brno Echo: Ornament and Crime from Adolf Loos to Now, also designed by Miller.
We’ll be shooting for a threepeat in 2010!
Patsy Tarr, Abbott Miller and two decades of 2wice will be honored at a gala benefit on May 7 presented by the dancer-choreographer Jonah Bokaer and the Brooklyn-based arts organization Chez Bushwick at the AIGA National Design Center in New York. The gala coincides with Everybody Dance Now: 20 Years of Dancing in Print, the AIGA’s current retrospective of Dance Ink and 2wice, the magazines published by Tarr and designed by Miller. (The exhibition has just been extended a week and will now be on view through May 22.)
Dance Ink and 2wice were both founded on the idea of presenting unique collaborations with artists and performers, and in that spirit the gala will feature the world premiere of a new choreography by Jonah Bokaer, created specifically for the event. Titled Ground Positioning System, the solo dance is inspired by the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the choreography systematizes the positions of the body in space. Newly commissioned music will be performed live by the award-winning composer and cellist Loren Dempster.
All proceeds will benefit Chez Bushwick. Gala tickets and information are available here.
Tonight Abbott Miller will be honored as the 2009 recipient of the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Award for Professional Achievement, presented annually to a graduate of The Cooper Union School of Art by the college’s Alumni Association.
Established in 1962, the award is named after one of America’s most respected sculptors, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, a 1861 Cooper grad. Previous recipients of the award include Daniel Libeskind, Shigeru Ban, Ricardo Scofidio and Elizabeth Diller, Eva Hesse, Alex Katz, Philip Taaffe, George Segal, John Hejduk, Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast, among others.
How do you create an identifying landmark for a city that is chiefly known as a place to pass through? This spring Pentagram Architects was invited by the City of Newark, New Jersey Division of Planning & Community Development to submit a proposal for “This Is Newark,” an initiative to create a series of “gateways” for the city. The proposed designs are on view in an exhibition at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art in downtown Newark through this Saturday, April 18, when the city will host a roundtable discussion about the proposals.
The designers were asked to mark the points of arrival in Newark and to address the history and culture of the city in the urban landscape. Only eight miles from New York City, Newark is home to Newark Liberty International Airport; Port Newark, the largest container port on the Eastern Seaboard; and Mayor Corey Booker, a rising star in the Democratic party.
Our design considers the nature of travel and Newark’s role as a hub. It is no accident that the assignment for the Newark gateways project was delivered as a Google Earth file: this is, more and more, the way we virtually “travel.” Our gateways address both remote and local audiences with a set of ideas that are legible in reality and cyber-reality. In our concept, a series of painted “events” on the Newark streetscape would bring Newark to the world, and bring the world to Newark.
A Pentagram team led by Michael Gericke has designed the new identity and website for the Society for Environmental Graphic Design. SEGD’s members are a “global community of people working at the intersection of communication design and the built environment.”
The site makes use of the new symbol designed by Pentagram. The mark consists of four brightly colored panels that can be interpreted as three-dimensional forms, printed graphics or interactive menus. On the site these panels act as visual springboards for the website content, providing sections for news, conferences, awards, publications and learning.