New Book, Graphic Connections in Architecture, Explores Relationship Between Graphic Design and Architecture

RSM Design, the international design studio known for its award-winning architectural graphic designs, has released its latest book, Graphic Connections in Architecture. This book was created to enlighten architects, developers, designers, and enthusiasts about the relationship between graphics and architecture, and investigate the relationship between environmental and experiential graphic design with wayfinding and placemaking in the built realm.

Graphic Connections in Architecture

As architectural projects in a variety of realms—such as cultural, entertainment, hospitality, mixed-use, and community enhancement—are being repositioned to engage with users and visitors of the spaces, the need to create environments that reflect and resonate with culture and community is growing. As a result, RSM Design believes that projects must be reflections of the context, community, culture, history, emotion, and ethos of a place. The graphics layering in relation to the architectural design offers an opportunity to engage the visitor’s senses through emotion, authenticity, and character.

“Places have the power to become a part of a community’s identity, particularly when they stand for something meaningful,” said Harry Mark, FAIA, executive director at RSM Design. “The intersection of graphics and architecture helps guests explore spaces by layering in connections that provide context and meaning. Our architectural graphic design projects create transformational experiences for communities around the world.”

Using pictorial storytelling to showcase RSM’s most recent projects across a spectrum of sectors around the globe, Graphic Connections in Architecture helps readers understand how people engage with architecture and vice versa. The work is guided by a Principle-Centered Design™ approach that engages people in the design process and ultimately, with the environments that the process creates. Principle-Centered Design utilizes an inside-out, holistic approach that follows a disciplined methodology to generate innovative results. To be effective, the work has to engage at every human level—the body, mind, heart, and spirit.

“This book focuses on key principles of design as people interact, share and experience the built environment,” said RSM Co-Founder and Principal Martin Schwartz. “It is released as a definitive compilation of many different thoughts, processes, and approaches to how we collaborate with teams and create innovative design solutions. This latest book comes at an important time of growth and expansion in our studio and in our industry in the realm of Architectural Graphic Design. We have additional books already planned that speak to related topics.”

Architectural Graphic Design is a multidisciplinary field of design in which the disciplines of graphic design, architecture, art, lighting, landscape, and other specialties are utilized as a way to enhance the user experience through the visual translation of ideas into the built environment. These enhancements within a project are expressed through a broad array of applications and techniques, and may take the shape of architectural enhancements, signage, identity, super graphics, art installations, a strategic use of color, and more.

“Over five decades of practice, I’ve engaged and worked collaboratively with a host of highly skilled graphic designers and environmental graphic design firms. Without a doubt, the firm which stood apart as possessing the most alluring elixir of creative and professional engagement was RSM Design,” said Ronald Altoon, FAIA, former national president of the American Institute of Architects. “It is remarkable that their company transcends geography and translates into the hearts of every individual, on every project, and for every place.”

Graphic Connections in Architecture exposes the philosophy behind RSM’s designs, showcasing the underlying principles of a thought process that predicts how people will interact with the project from a Principle-Centered Design approach. The book also includes case studies of a few key projects that dive deeper into the design processes and their outcomes.

“RSM Design, in a body of richly conceived and executed projects across the globe, is a rare collective of designers—a team that listens keenly and through many different lenses, to build places where memory and community are the threads that ground us,” said James Burnett, FASLA, founder of OJB Landscape Architecture. “More completely and more accurately, however, RSM Design is interested in place-finding—the true and authentic experience found in layers of history, experience, people, and time.”

Graphic Connections in Architecture can be purchased from the art and architecture bookstore Hennessey + Ingalls, at the independent bookseller The Strand in New York City, directly from the publisher Visual Profile Books, Inc., and on Amazon.