Multi-disciplinary Design Studio: Spring 08
This studio occurs each spring semester, with a different project concept each year. In the spring of 2008, six interdisciplinary teams, consisting of graphic designers, interior designers and architects, designed comprehensive branding solutions for an arts and architecture bookstore in downtown Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine area. Each team was committed to design the project at every level of detail proposing a package of integrated architectural, interior and graphic design.
The project statement read: A consortium of organizations, including the American Institute of Architects, American Institute of Graphic Arts/Cincinnati Chapter, Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Arts Association, and the Cincinnati Preservation Association, seek designs for a new arts and architectural bookstore for a retail location in Over-the-Rhine, downtown Cincinnati. The purpose of the bookstore is to provide a visible presence and public point of reference for consortium member organizations. In addition, the bookstore will serve as the starting point for a program of walking tours of Cincinnati; it should therefore by thought of as a gathering point for people—residents and tourists alike—interested in Cincinnati’s arts, architecture, and cultural life. The space should be arranged to reflect this larger conception of the bookstore, your team’s interpretation of requirements and vision.”
The following represents one of the project solutions. The team branded the store Topographia.
Target Audience: Topographia’s primary target market includes business men and women working in downtown Cincinnati, college students looking for a place to study, artists in need of inspiration and of course the Over-the-Rhine community at large. Topographia looks to develop routine customers with our coffee and food sales, as well as with our store’s overall atmosphere. Gift givers in need of a wide selection of unique art and architecture books are also potential customers. Additonally, tourists taking part in Architrek’s walking tours of Cincinnati are a key target market, with the store acting as a ticket sales point as well as a tour trailhead.”
Concept Development: “The concept for the Arts and Architecture bookstore is Elevation, paying homage to Cincinnati, the City of Seven Hills. The concept has close ties with architecture as well as topographic mapping. The mental and physical aspects of being “elevated” also inspired our design. Inspiration found in art and architecture can be said to elevate the mind just as coffee elevates your senses. The bookstore would also hopefully become an integral part of the effort to revitalize the Over-the-Rhine area, representing the broad concept of economic elevation.”