Pentagram designed the identity for Storefront for Art and Architecture's Spring 2016 Benefit, held at the iconic Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The event, which featured the theme "Beyond Borders," was the last public event held in the space before the terminal's redevelopment as a hotel.
The location was essential to the theme. Storefront developed the “Beyond Borders” concept to look at how, in the space of the border, architecture intersects with issues of flow, control, identity, and belonging. The TWA Flight Center is in transition itself, and the benefit gave guests one last chance to explore the otherworldly architecture of the terminal before it arrives at its next state. (Opened to the public in 1962, the building has been out of use since 2001 and was declared a New York City Landmark in 1994.)
Pentagram's identity for “Beyond Borders” was conceived as a hypothetical nation located in between the borders that exist in our world: political, social, ecological and moral. The form of the identity examines national and government-related seals and emblems and parodies them by having the eagle hold brushes and rulers, the classic tools of art and architecture. The distinctive red carpets of the TWA Flight Center inspired the color palette, and the typography is set in Austin, a compact and elegant contemporary serif designed by Commercial Type.
Extending the concept, the invitations were designed in form of passports and boarding passes, with the intention to invite people to a world where there are no divisions. At the event, guests were welcomed by a large flag bearing the emblem, and the symbol also appeared on a full-body scanner that doubled as a photo booth, and on air-sickness bags filled with unexpected gifts.
The benefit honored the architect Teddy Cruz, whose work frequently deals with the Tijuana-San Diego border, and the pioneering architectural photographer Ezra Stoller and the agency he founded, ESTO, whose iconic images of the TWA Flight Center helped define the experience of Saarinen’s masterpiece. Several of the photographs were featured in the branding for the event.
Pentagram has previously collaborated with Storefront on the design of a number of projects, including the recent exhibitions Closed Worlds and World Wide Storefront, and OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.