During her four-decade career at MIT, the pioneering educator and designer Muriel Cooper (1925-1994) established an extraordinary––and at the time, largely unsung––influence on contemporary media, technology and design. In her positions as design director at MIT Press, cofounder of the Visible Language Workshop at MIT, and later cofounder of the MIT Media Lab, she explored new forms, methods and techniques for graphic design within the emerging context of the computer display, and taught a new generation of designers who have helped shape our digital world.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of her joining the MIT Press, Pentagram created a series of animations that celebrate Cooper’s iconic designs. The project was featured at a special event co-hosted by the MIT Press and Media Lab which coincided with the publication of Muriel Cooper, a new monograph by David Reinfurt and Robert Wiesenberger, with a foreword by former Pentagram partner Lisa Strausfeld, who studied with Cooper.
The animations capture the dynamism that was always a hallmark of Cooper’s design. The series sets in motion fresh takes on projects including, among others, the masterful MIT Press colophon––seven bars that represent the lowercase letters “mitp” as abstracted books on a shelf (1962); the landmark survey The Bauhaus (1969); and an “Information Landscape” designed by Cooper at the Visible Language Workshop with her students Suguru Ishizaki, David Small, and Strausfeld (1994). The animations are accompanied by original music composed by Jacob Rosati.
Pentagram previously designed the identity of the MIT Media Lab.