Pentagram’s Natasha Jen recently collaborated with SOFTlab on the design of an environmental installation for this year’s Beaux Arts Ball, presented by The Architectural League of New York. The Ball is one of the architecture and design community’s biggest events and is hosted each year in a different historic and architecturally interesting New York interior. This year’s Ball was held in the iconic Williamsburgh Savings Bank in Brooklyn and featured the theme of “Tender,” inspired by the building’s history as a center of financial exchange and the party as a place of personal interaction.
For the installation, SOFTlab suspended a net filled with pillow-like mylar balloons in the bank’s soaring central space. Adding to the glittering atmosphere, Jen and her team created hundreds of iridescent tickets that hung spinning from the netting, within the reach of partygoers. Inspired by the party theme, the tickets acted as a kind of currency that gave guests admission to a special sound installation (designed by David Rife of Arup) located in the building’s basement. The tickets featured different entry times, and partygoers could trade the tickets with each other to attend the installation at the time they wanted. The times appeared as a cutout graphic code inspired by the building’s famous clock tower.
Michael Bierut and his team created the graphic identity, invitations and programs for the Ball, which featured a motif inspired by US currency and a particularly fitting quote from the inscription at the bank’s entrance.
Created in collaboration with SOFTlab.