IIT McCormick Tribune Campus Center

When the Office for Metropolitan Architecture won the competition to build a new student center at Mies van der Rohe’s storied Illinois Institute of Technology, they chose an area wedged under the elevated railroad track that bisected the campus. To channel the collegiate exuberance of the student center, and tie into the unique nature and flavor of campus life, our identity for the building uses a quirky signage system, using the familiar, lifeless round-headed icons common to any public building. But in this setting they have walked away from their tedious, regulated lives to portray a wide range of student activities — some more real than others. The icon system is integrated into a wide range of surfaces throughout the project: digital murals, fritted glass walls, textured and lenticular wallpapers. We also created unique architectural details such as LED digital clocks, fluorescent tube chandeliers, woodgrain walls, a sixty-foot long light box, and a series of iconographic wallpaper portraits, including one of Mies van der Rohe, which is now part of the permanent collection at The Museum of Modern Art.

Icon system of student activities, illicit and otherwise.
Portraits created using icons as pixels.
Icons as supergraphics.