Tag Archives: design

A Highlight on Fifth Avenue

REA recently completed a barricade for 693 Fifth Avenue, located in the heart of New York City’s busiest retail avenue.  This is one of multiple projects REA is working on for Thor Equities, a leader in urban real estate development with a focus on retail and mixed-use buildings.

693 Fifth Avenue is comprised of seven floors of retail and two floors of office space, totaling 44,500 square feet.  The building is currently getting a “facelift” with a modernized facade.

The purpose of the 3-story barricade was to grab attention and help Thor find a perfect retail partner for the space.  REA Creative Director Irasema explained that the creative process involved developing a design that was unique compared to most retail barricades — so the design team chose bold text and an eye-catching image.  An emphasis on luxury fashion was also part of the equation, to convey the elegance of Fifth Avenue retail.  REA sets a standard in selling retail space by capitalizing on this luxury retail aspect and pushing a bolder look.

The area welcomes up to 11,000 daily pedestrians to pass the 50 feet of frontage. Visit the 693 Fifth Avenue website for more information.

Cosmic Quilt – NYC Design Week 2012

The Principals is an industrial design studio based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and they’ve come up with an interesting project that will be exhibited at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) May 19-21.

“Cosmic Quilt” will challenge the design community with questions about interactive environments, including these from ArchDaily: “What would it be like if the environment we inhabit responded to our present in an active way? What if we shift the scale of the way in which our devices operate to the way our buildings function?”

The project is on Kickstarter, so check it out!

Tipping my Fedora to the Mad Men of Old.

Here’s a re-post from our REA Approved Blog! We thought it’d be worth it to share it here too:

4/6 – It’s hard to escape the frenzy of the new season of Mad Men. The captivating ads are plastered everywhere; the talk around the water cooler about the future of Don Draper is plentiful.  Not to mention retailers like Banana Republic are jumping on the band wagon by showcasing Mad Men inspired fashions in their windows. I have to say, I love it all. The visual style is breathtaking and inspiring and seems to be showing up on my radar everywhere I go.

A few weeks ago I attended a field trip with my son Andrew to the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn, which ended up being another unexpected time warp back to the 1960′s. The tour of the old subway cars was interesting in itself, but when I looked up to see pristine ads from the period, I was in heaven.  From the 2012 Madmen to those of the 1960′s: I say thank you. You have left an undeniable mark on the advertising business, and a visual style to be cherished, studied and re-examined. -M.G.

REA Field Trip to World Financial Center – Our Work is Up

Last week, the REA team took a trip down to The World Financial Center to check out the signage for the up and coming retail addition, which features the logo created by REA.  The large banners are currently hanging throughout the Winter Garden and are hard to miss.  We are very excited about our design hanging on display and are proud of all the work we did on this project.

To quickly recap, REA produced the idea and strategy for the brand, identity, brochure and renderings, as well as the website.  As one of the premier locations for office space in NYC, the WFC offers spectacular views of the Hudson River waterfront, a 10-story Winter Garden, shops and restaurants, and venues to host art exhibits and musical performances.  The WFC vision for 2013 includes a new retail streetscape along West Street, 40 local and international retailers, in addition to six restaurants with waterfront access.

REA’s Director of Design explains: “The inspiration for the logo came, in part, from the idea that the WFC was painting a new vision for itself — one that included a curated, considered experience — similar to something one would experience in an art gallery. Since WFC is near the water, I thought that the brush strokes of a watercolor painting would work for the logo. I did an initial set of drawings on tracing paper using a wide marker. After about the third one, I knew we had it … but we did another 20-30 just to be certain. Once selected, we scanned the drawing and then converted it to vector outline artwork in Illustrator.”

While on our trip, we also ventured outside to the WFC Plaza where we found a series of sculptures created by artist Adrián Villar Rojas. The pieces appear to be large cement blocks beginning to crack on top of wooden desks, but are actually made of clay.

Within several of the blocks are apples that are slowly decaying and being eaten away by the birds.  Known for his site-specific massive sculptures that reflect a fascination with parallel universes and outsized alternative worlds, his work titled “Before My Birth” is said to imagine the world through the eyes of the inhabitants of different worlds.

Magazine Cover Designs for Inspiration…

 

Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter is considered one of the 21st century’s modern masters of painting.  He is talented in technical skills, as seen in his photo-realist portraits, but in his later years has worked mainly in abstraction.  Either way, his work seems to drift out of the subconscious, as his soft, blurred painting technique evokes a beautiful dreamlike quality.

Woman Descending the Staircase, 1965

Betty, 1988

Betty, 1977

One of Richter’s specialties was portraits.  The two above are of his daughter, Betty.

Richter used this type of “Atlas,” or plan, before painting.  Working straight from photographs, he would collect and place them together on sheets as source material for his paintings.

Self Portrait, 1996

Seascape, 1975

Richter also painted landscapes — clouds, seas, forests, meadows.  Unlike traditional landscape paintings, Richter’s border on the abstract.  Visually they seem to be the bridge between his photo-realist works and his more removed, abstract paintings.

Seascape, 1969

 

Untitled (Green), 1971

Abstract Painting, 1977

Untitled

In his later years, Richter — who had always worked closely with photographs — began to use them directly in his work.  Instead of painting from them, he began painting on them.  They are a collision of two forces — the real and the abstract of pure color.

Abstract Painting, 1995

Architect Bits

REA has come across a few interesting architects who integrate fine art and design into large-scale, experimental installations.  Enjoy the images and links below.

John Locke is an architect living in New York City.  Below, you’ll see the mirrored fence he built around the World Trade Center site to emphasize the shape of the sky in between buildings.  Sometimes, it’s the negative space hugging the angles of buildings that is quite beautiful in itself.

Locke also built bookshelves to incorporate into NYC phone booths, redefining the use for phone boots in a cell phone age.  The bookshelves invite people to take a book for free, or leave one for others to find.  This is perhaps the most public a “public library” could possibly be.

Ball-Nogues Studio is an architecture firm started by two friends, Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues.  They “explore the nexus of art, architecture, and industrial design” and have exhibited their work in various art museums around the world, including MoMA, the Guggenheim, and PS1.

RO&AD Architects are another duo — Ad Kil and Ro Koster — who came up with the “Moses Bridge.”  It quite literally parts the water of a moat for a fort in the Netherlands, called Fort de Roovere.  The fort is part of a defense-line that includes other fortresses and cities dating from the 17th century.  Drawing on the area’s historical context, RO&AD decided it was best to create a bridge that would be invisible to enemies trying to cross the moat.