Future History

Zak Group has designed the visual identity, signage & wayfinding and website for the second Chicaco Architecture Biennial, creating a scheme that references the city's history as the seat of The New Bauhaus...

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© 2017 Zak Group, Photography: Nathan Keay

Launched in 2015, the Chicago Architecture Biennial is the largest survey of international architecture in North America, presenting an array of events, displays and exhibitions created by architectural practices from around the world. The windy city is a particularly apt location for such an event to be held—it's home to the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), formerly known as The New Bauhaus, a globally renowned design school founded by former Bauhaus master László Moholy-Nagy in 1937. The second biennial, whose theme is Make New History, opened this week, with a smart new visual identity system created by Zak Group incorporating signage, wayfinding, a companion publication and the Biennial website.

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© 2017 Zak Group, Photography: Nathan Keay

Zak Group's design for the Biennial identity draws upon two visual histories that collided at The New Bauhaus—namely, the history of colour in architecture and the history of typographic experimentation. The distinctive blue and pink colour scheme, which is particularly effective within the signage and wayfinding to draw the eye of visitors and passers-by, was derived from the industrial colour code created for DuPont factories by Faber Birren. Zak Group also devised a system of bespoke concrete and steel display stands for the signage, which is on display at the
Chicago Cultural Center—site of the Biennial's main exhibition—and at a range of satellite venues across the city.

The Biennial is accompanied by an extensive catalogue, also designed by Zak Group and published by Lars Müller Publishing, which incorporates contributions from the architectural practices exhibiting this year alongside writings by architectural critics and historians including Sarah Herda, Philip Ursprung and Sarah Whiting.  

chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org
zakgroup.co.uk


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© 2017 Zak Group, Photography: Nathan Keay

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© 2017 Zak Group, Photography: Nathan Keay

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© 2017 Zak Group, Photography: Brotherton–Lock

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© 2017 Zak Group, Photography: Brotherton–Lock

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© 2017 Zak Group, Photography: Brotherton–Lock

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The Chicago Architecture Biennial website homepage