Co-organized by Andrew Blauvelt of the Walker Art Center and Ellen Lupton of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Graphic Design—Now in Production is the single largest exhibition of contemporary graphic design to take place in the United States in over 15 years. The show surveys critical highlights from the past decade to signify the expanding role of graphic designers: as editors, authors, curators, publishers, and shapers of content, whose works often frame the process and discipline itself as a tool for production and self-examination.
In addition to having works featured in the show, as well as an essay published in the accompanying catalogue, Project Projects was commissioned by the Walker to develop the show’s graphic identity, and together with Leong Leong Architects, designed the New York installation presented by the Cooper-Hewitt.
Located off-site from the Museum’s mainstay, and in a raw, 8,000 square foot industrial building on Governors Island, the space required an intensive remediation process to accommodate the installation. Working under site-specific constraints and the notion of graphic design as a medium intended for public consumption, the exhibition design employs various tactics to engage a broad general audience in inventive ways. An exhibition teaser sampling works from each of the show’s eight thematic sections, for example, was installed in an adjacent, heavily-trafficked hallway leading to the only public restroom on Governors Island. The exhibition space itself is organized into a set of thematic corridors, partitioned by dramatic geometric voids that house exhibition furniture originally designed and fabricated for the Walker installation. The resulting installation combines new and old, clean and rough, into a dense exhibition experience spanning the gamut of contemporary graphic design production.