Building for Brussels examined a number of key planning problems facing Brussels by looking at the responses of other European municipalities to these same questions. Project Projects was commissioned by Architecture Workroom Brussels and BOZAR Brussels to design exhibition graphics, print collateral, and publicity materials for this ambitious exhibition on contemporary architecture, civic planning, and public policy.
Since the exhibition was geared towards a general audience — including architects, planners, public policy makers, and city residents — the exhibition graphics sought to merge both a discursive, policy-oriented graphic level with a more playful typographic and visual approach. Through the use of A.M. Cassandra’s 1930s typeface Acier Noir, the graphics respond to the Art Nouveau architecture of the building itself. In addition to designing all exhibition graphics, Project Projects created a new set of data-driven maps that visualized key civic issues in Brussels.
Multilingual posters, dispersed throughout the city, playfully reference early 20th century tourist posters while also suggesting the exhibition’s European focus in order to attract a general audience of architects, planners, and city residents. The exhibition brochure, printed in three different languages, works as a guide to the exhibition’s contents as well as a take-away souvenir. Large-scale typography distributed throughout the brochure spells the name of the city in each of its official languages like stops on a tour, structuring and sequencing the material within.
Following the exhibition, in 2012 Project Projects produced a catalogue collecting the show’s materials. A magazine-like design approach employs a flexible kit-of-parts to organize the dense materials, which include photographs and drawings of featured projects; contextual essays; and interviews with policy-makers, designers, scholars, and critics, alongside charts, maps, and statistical information. In addition to designing each of the three editions, Project Projects created all of the information graphics and cartography within the books. With three editions available in French, Dutch, and English, the catalogue addresses the complex urban issues facing Brussels and other European cities in a manner accessible to a broad audience.