With “no bias” towards the type of media its studio produces, U-P, founded in 2004 by Paul Marcus Fuog and Uriah Gray in Melbourne, creates work in the format of publications, environment design, installations, and pretty much everything in between. No matter the format, the projects U-P turns its attention towards are usually those which “further interrogate ideas about design and its possibilities.”
A recent project from the studio is the identity design and wayfinding for designer-maker workspace Pavilion Studios. As a whole, the project encompasses not only this particular approach to design thinking but also considers branding, environment design and a publication too. U-P’s characteristics in a nutshell.
Approached by development company Molonglo Group to design Pavilion Studios identity, U-P’s work needed to sit beside the creatives which would actually be using this space in the years to come. “Since 1964 they [Molonglo Group] have worked with artists, designer-makers and architects to conceive, design, deliver and curate projects,” U-P explains of its client. Pavilion Studios, in particular, encompasses a set of eight workspaces “for creatively-minded businesses located on the south-eastern side of NewAction Pavilion, Canberra.”
While Pavilion Studios acts as a home for “local artists, designers and other great thinkers,” the space would also be for the Canberra output for larger interstate and international practices. In considering the studio’s breadth, U-P’s identity doesn’t zoom in on the practices that occupy it, but rather its history. “Since it was built in 1972 the Pavilion has had a diverse and long list of occupants and uses, including the Supreme Court, ACT Police, Patents Office and Canberra College,” points out U-P.
This not only provides a fascinating backstory to the space U-P were trying to turn to into an identity and wayfinding format, but also affects the actual architecture structure of the building: “as a result no studio is the same, each is unique in its size, layout and character.”
Rather than try to neaten this up, the designers at U-P emphasised its quirks in the identity by designing “a set of Pavilion icons to represent both the diverse history and varied design of Pavilion Studios.” Presenting the studio’s icon as a set of building blocks of differing shapes and sizes, U-P presents the uniqueness of the building its visualising.
This, accompanied with commissioned photography of the light-filled space make it appear a very enviable work location, all housed together in a carefully designed publication to match.
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