Voices of Crisis (Exhibit Design)

VOICES OF CRISIS / exhibit, graphic and experience design

I was invited to design the exhibit collateral and experience for the VOICES OF CRISIS exhibit in the Fall/Winter of 2013. It was a great privilege to work with such an incredibly talented and dedicated team of visionaries. 
A huge thanks to Miles Kohrman, Wendy Scheir, Matthew Robb and Daisy Wong. 

VOICES OF CRISIS explored the The American Race Crisis, a lecture series that took place at The New School in 1964.
On September 1, 1963, at the height of the American civil rights movement, New School graphology instructor, Daniel S. Anthony sent a letter to William Birenbaum, dean of The New School for Social Research.
"I was somewhat shocked to find so few courses in the 1963 Bulletin relating directly to the current Negro Revolt taking place in America. In the hope that this omission might be corrected by the Spring semester, I am suggesting herewith what I feel could be a very exciting offering."
In February 1964, Anthony's challenge to Birenbaum was realized. The American Race Crisis, a 15-part lecture series, brought the nation's leading civil rights leaders–including Martin Luther King, Jr., James Farmer, Roy Wilkins, and John Killens–to the New School. 
VOICES OF CRISIS traces the path leading to the series and presents selected audio recordings of the lectures, recovered after nearly fifty years in The New School Archives. 

In designing the window treatment, it was most important to me that passer-bys would not be able to fully view the exhibit from the street. Instead, only the letterforms were transparent, forcing onlookers to view the exhibit through this "linguistic frame." Additionally, during sunset, the letterforms would be cast as shadows into the gallery. 

In designing the window treatment, it was most important to me that passer-bys would not be able to fully view the exhibit from the street. Instead, only the letterforms were transparent, forcing onlookers to view the exhibit through this "linguistic frame." Additionally, during sunset, the letterforms would be cast as shadows into the gallery. 

The "Welcome Wall"

The "Welcome Wall"

A New School bulletin from the 1960s. 

A New School bulletin from the 1960s. 

An article on graphology written by Daniel S. Anthony

An article on graphology written by Daniel S. Anthony

New School bulletins throughout the years, illustrating the institutions long-standing pedagogical engagement with issues of race and identity. 

New School bulletins throughout the years, illustrating the institutions long-standing pedagogical engagement with issues of race and identity. 

At right, the original promotional poster for The American Race Crisis Lecture Series

At right, the original promotional poster for The American Race Crisis Lecture Series

A large-scale infographic that illustrated the ideological relationships between the speakers, and provided some basic biographical information.

A large-scale infographic that illustrated the ideological relationships between the speakers, and provided some basic biographical information.

Transcripts from Q&A sessions with speakers

Transcripts from Q&A sessions with speakers

Drawing on Joseph Urban's original architectural drafts for the design of Tishman Auditorium (where the lecture series took place) we re-staged a minimal version of the scene, complete with vintage auditorium seating. 

Drawing on Joseph Urban's original architectural drafts for the design of Tishman Auditorium (where the lecture series took place) we re-staged a minimal version of the scene, complete with vintage auditorium seating. 

Transcripts (including a lost Martin Luther King, Jr. speech) were available to visitors. Selected audio segments from each speech was looped and echoed throughout the gallery. 

Transcripts (including a lost Martin Luther King, Jr. speech) were available to visitors. Selected audio segments from each speech was looped and echoed throughout the gallery. 

The original reel recordings, recovered after 50 years in the New School Archives

The original reel recordings, recovered after 50 years in the New School Archives

Credits
VOICES OF CRISIS is an extension of New School alumnus Miles Kohrman’s senior thesis. 

Exhibition 
Miles Kohrman, Curator | Abigail Muir, Designer | Wendy Scheir, Advisor | Produced by The New School Archives & Special Collections | Presented by the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center

Public Programming
Co-produced by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library and The New School | Dominque Howse, Co-curator | Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf and Ladi'Sasha Jones, Schomburg Center, Co-curators

Made Possible By
The New School Archives & Special Collections | The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library | The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music | The New School University Student Senate | The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center | The University Social Justice Committee

SPECIAL THANKS
Miriam Gianni, Research | Ernesto Golfo, Props | Bairon Guzman, Fabrication | James Kohrman, Carpentry | Stefan Weiner, Sound Design | Daisy Wong, Everything

All photos by
Chris Hyun