Michael Bierut: How to make architecture out of paper

Graphic designer Bierut discusses the challenge of representing architectural ideas in two dimensions.

May 16, 2016

Recorded on November 4, 2015.

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

Michael Bierut is a partner of Pentagram, a multi-disciplinary design firm with offices in New York, London, Berlin, Austin, and San Francisco. Bierut works across a broad mix of scales and project types—from environmental graphics, to corporate and institutional identities, to posters and publications. For his entire career, Bierut has worked with architects and faced the challenge of how ideas realized in three dimensions can be conveyed compellingly in two.

In his first Current Work lecture, “How to Make Architecture Out of Paper,” Bierut recounts working with clients in the field of architecture. He briefly speaks about his early career mentored by Massimo and Lella Vignelli before taking the audience through his recent work, describing both the decisions and process that influenced each project.

In his lecture, Bierut discusses the following projects:

  • Yale School of Architecture posters (beginning in 1998)
  • Lever House signage
  • Celebration, Florida signage
  • The New York Times Building signage
  • Museum of Art and Design institutional identity
  • New World Symphony institutional identity
  • Walk NYC signage
  • Governors Island signage
  • AIA brand repositioning
  • The Architectural League of New York institutional identity and various posters, graphics, and publication designs.