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2005 SEGD Design Awards

A sampling of this year’s winners

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At the Society for Environmental Graphic Design’s (SEGD) Annual Conference and Expo — which took place in early June in New Orleans — the organization bestowed its annual, juried Design Awards. The organization — an international, nonprofit educational foundation that supplies resources for, among others, architects and environmental, architectural and industrial designers — has given the awards for more than 20 years.

Kiku Obata, principal of Kiku Obata & Co. (St. Louis), served as the jury chair. Other adjudicators included Judy Cunningham, senior principal for Mesa Design Group (Dallas); Ellen Lupton, curator of contemporary design at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (New York City); Tom Mnich, retail-design director for The Mills Corp. (Arlington, VA); Merritt Price, who coordinates exhibits for the Los Angeles-based J. Paul Getty Museum; and Tom Quirk, co-founder and senior VP for D’Agostino Izzo Quirk Architects (Somerville, MA).

For a complete list and photo gallery of winners, visit www.segd.org. The jurists awarded 12 Honor Awards, 22 Merit Awards and 10 additional Special Mention, Jury and Student Awards.

The Pittsburgh Childrens’ Museum, which expanded by purchasing the adjacent, vacant Buhl Planetarium and merging the two buildings, sought compelling graphics to emphasize the three-story structure. Thus, museum officials hired Pentagram Design (New York City). The lobby signage and donor wall comprise fluorescent, Plexiglas® acrylic panels, and the museum’s marquee features backlit, neon, 2-ft.-deep channel letters that protrude prominently from the building’s marquee. Sign Innovations (Harmony, PA) fabricated the entire sign and graphics program. According to Sign Innovations’ Ed Melberg, the company used punched metal, rather than traditional channel letters, to provide a deeper, more dramatic appearance.

Krivanek + Breaux (Chicago) created this program, which earned an Honor Award, for Arizona State University’s Lattie F. Coor Hall. Co-principals BJ Krivanek and Joel Breaux devised a reflective façade that conveys the "backwards," rooftop graphics. Further, the façade features glass modules, which contain language fragments that the firm said are symbolic of the roots of all languages. Sundt Construction (Tempe, AZ) fabricated the channel letters and facade.

Mauk Design (San Francisco) devised these graphics for Reynolds Composites’ (Vista, CA) InterBike tradeshow booth that, according to principal Mitchell Mauk, comprise "bike components flying in formation." The background features an inkjet-vinyl print, which was produced by Ferrari Color (Salt Lake City, UT) and adhered to the aluminum backdrop with carbon-fiber tubes. Reynolds routed the aluminum to install the components. The foreground display contains wheels powered by variable-speed motors, yet booth visitors could pick them up. "The result was a display that spoke to the soul of a bicyclist and brought a certain amount of poetic motion to a macho product," Mauk said.

Gensler Architecture, Design & Planning Worldwide (New York City) crafted these environmental graphics for Drop Shop (Greenwich, CT), which brokers items for eBay™ auctions on a commission basis. Gensler’s Lance Boge said, "The modular sign program and LCD technology inform customers of services, promotions and best-selling items."

The jurists bestowed an Honor Award upon Ralph Appelbaum Assoc.’ (New York City) 12-member design team for the environment created for Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center, which recounts the document’s history and importance. Its program comprises panel graphics; programmable, AV graphics and other interactive elements. Maltbie and Assoc. (Mt. Laurel, NJ) handled the center’s exhibit fabrication. A sizeable cast produced complementary programs: Fisher Marantz Stone (New York City) designed the lighting; Electrosonic Systems Inc. (Long Island City, NY) created the AV systems; and Donna Lawrence Productions (Louisville, KY) produced Freedom Rising, a multimedia, theatrical production, for the Center.


The Utah chapter of the Nature Conservancy hired Sea Reach Ltd. (Sheridan, OR) to create graphics to inform donors and visitors about the 4,000-acre Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve on the lake’s eastern shore. Comprising powdercoated-aluminum hardware and phenolic-resin faces, the graphics depict the importance of wetland habitats and their native vegetation. Sea Reach, which also fabricated the project, created a color palette that complements the natural hues of the environment throughout the seasons. The jury, which gave a Merit Award, said, "The detailing of the structures and the sign supports reflects a handmade quality with a deep respect for the natural materials being used."

ID8 Studio and RTKL, both of Baltimore, created a festive environment for Bilbao, Spain’s Zubiarte entertainment and retail center. The firms incorporated such regional, architectural elements as stone and brick with steel accents, and created abstract graphics and meshed pedestrian and seating areas reminiscent of museum graphics.


New York City’s American Museum of Natural History created graphics for this traveling exhibit, which features artifacts from the ancient Jordanian city of Petra. To balance the exhibit’s grand scale — and a desire to make graphics secondary to the artifacts — principals David Harvey and Melissa Posen created architecture and typography that allow visitors to proceed efficiently and focus on the architecture.

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