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Laredo Water Museum

Masterplanning, design, content development, programming, and fabrication for an immersive water museum exhibition at Jefferson Water Treatment Plant in Laredo, Texas. Positioned on the Rio Grande, one of America’s most threatened water sources, the museum’s narrative examines the complex nature of water use and water rights, while informing and engaging a generation to respect and protect water resources and encourage future water stewardship. 

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Sunset Coffee Building

Anchoring Allen’s Landing, the birthplace of Houston on Buffalo Bayou, is the Sunset Coffee Building. Built in 1910 and one of Houston’s first and remaining industrial structures, the building underwent a recent restoration and revitalization to make it a prime recreational and cultural center along Buffalo Bayou in Downtown Houston. CORE was responsible for identity and branding, design, fabrication, production and installation of the signage program, donor recognition, exhibit and interpretive panels, collateral design, and custom designed furniture, all of which celebrate its role as a historically active industrial port and a future hub and destination in Downtown.

 

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Moody Foundation Biennial Report

For over 70 years, The Moody Foundation has funded projects and programs that better communities in Texas. The design of the commemorative biennial report celebrates Robert L. Moody’s philanthropic efforts and achievements during his time as chairman of the Foundation, while marking the next generation’s commitment to carry on his legacy of philanthropy and look toward the future.

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Cite 99

Design and art direction for issue 99 of Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston. The issue focuses on landscape architecture and urban planning, and addresses the discernible interrelationship between the “synthetic” built environment and its relationship to the “natural” landscape.  The concept, design and typography uses structural opposition and consonance to reflect the insight required to produce a forward-thinking city engaged in reconstructing landscapes, flood management, and equity.

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Eligible

An edition of handcrafted chapbooks produced in collaboration with book artist Cathy Hunt for Inprint’s 2017 Poets & Writers Ball. Featuring an excerpt from Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, the book design uses a modish color palette and experimental typography to highlight the character quirks and witty point of view in this modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

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California Cultural Districts

The California Cultural Districts program, managed by the California Arts Council, was developed to assist Californians in leveraging the state’s considerable assets in culture, creativity, and diversity. The program sets out to define geographic areas in the state with a high concentration of cultural resources and activities.

In partnership with Cusick Consulting, CORE was selected to design the identity, branding, signage and collateral for the new district program. The brand concept and logo plays with a system of patterns, color, shapes and orientations that allows for flexibility and modularity across the various state districts and contexts.

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Astrodome Conservancy

Inspired by the ancient Colosseum in Rome and dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Astrodome continues to inspire generations of Houstonians with its Texas-sized scale and attitude and its colorful history of characters.

The Astrodome Conservancy was founded in 2016 to assist Harris County and any affiliates by rehabilitating, managing, developing, promoting, and supporting the Houston Astrodome in a manner that offers education, recreation, and inspiration in a dynamic setting for the County’s citizens and visitors.

To support the Astrodome Conservancy’s efforts, CORE created an identity that highlights the goals of the conservancy. The branding evolved around a detail sensitive, iconic mark which we designed to appeal to both policy makers and the general public. The branding collateral, firmly rooted in its “space-city” past and pioneer future, uses a flexible system of typographic expressions, slogans, icons and palettes which, when recombined, reinforce the goals of the Conservancy for different contexts and audiences.

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Central Houston Brochure

Central Houston is the steward of Houston’s vision for the redevelopment and revitalization of downtown. It facilitates many of the public and private projects that transform downtown. This membership brochure explains the importance and benefits of becoming a member of Central Houston and the important role the organization plays in the development of downtown Houston.

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Promenade at the Federal Reserve

The Michael Graves-designed Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch, is strategically positioned on Buffalo Bayou, Houston’s most significant waterway. The promenade design emphasizes the bayou as the historic apex and economic lifeblood of this relatively young and thriving metropolis.

As you make your way to the main entrance of the building, a dry creek representing Buffalo Bayou takes you on a journey from Galveston Bay up the ship channel to Downtown Houston. Punctuated along the promenade are markers that tell the stories of significant historic locations along Buffalo Bayou.

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Figurative Poetics

Figurative Poetics is an engaging alternative that goes beyond simplistic site-specific, place-making and way-finding approaches. The 530 banners capture the diverse voices of Houston’s robust literary scene from Houston’s poet laureates to school children with a collection of poetry, quotes and lyrics juxtaposed with images of life in Downtown Houston. Figurative Poetics beautifully reveals the complex and unlikely character that is Houston. Special thanks to contributing local and national poets and writers, both young and old, and to Miah Arnold of Grackle and Grackle.

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The Mercer Society

The Mercer Society is the non-profit organization that works to enhance and beautify the Mercer Botanic Garden, a 300-acre horticultural treasure that showcases the Gulf Coast region’s largest collection of native and cultivated plants, and serves over 250,000 yearly visitors. Ravaged by floods, we initiated rebranding and collateral design as a fundraising effort to restore and revitalize the gardens.

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Downtown District Operations Branding

The Downtown District’s primary focus is to leverage public funds with private resources to improve facilities and services, as well as accelerate area improvements beyond the level presently provided by local government and voluntary efforts. Their brightly branded vehicle fleet brings all of the behind-the-scenes work to the foreground as a reminder of who is working tirelessly to make downtown Houston the vibrant, livable, and accessible center of the most thriving urban region in America.

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Projective Infrastructures Lecture Series

The Spring 2016 RDA/RSA Lecture Series brought three internationally recognized landscape architects to help us continue to consider how the spaces between our buildings—our infrastructures—might be where the future of our cities will be found. They look at how overlooked urban infrastructures can be reinvigorated into public spaces that also reintroduce nature into our built environments.

To create the poster, we projected and photographed the design at night underneath Pierce Elevated, the proposed segment of I-45 that will be re-imagined when the freeway is rerouted around the other side of Downtown Houston in the next few years.

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Flash Drive

Houston Center for Photography enlisted us to create and brand an old ambulance into a mobile educational outreach unit and art car whose mission is “to inspire and heal through the merger of arts and health.” It includes two camera obscuras built into the side of the vehicle, a digital editing suite, projector, high-def screens, and networking devices that enable students to make photographic and digital art using “old and new school technologies.”

To raise this ride a bit more, we added a strobe flash atop the vehicle, amplifier with speakers, mirrored selfie-inducing lenses, and plenty of chrome accents. The Flash Drive debuted in the 2014 ArtCar Parade.

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Art Blocks

Art Blocks is a public art initiative by Houston Downtown Management District to enliven downtown Houston’s Main Street Square. Temporary public art installations complement the Square’s permanent art, and events and performances add to the spirit of the initiative. We worked with HDMD to refine the brand and develop signage and a website for the installations.

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House of Tiny Treasures

For SEARCH’s second House of Tiny Treasures location we drew inspiration from the Flower Man house that was a fixture of the Third Ward in Houston before it was demolished in 2015. Brightly colored hand-painted flowers cover the walls and recognize the donors that made the second location possible. HTT serves toddlers and preschool-aged children of homeless families, teaching them self-regulation, cognitive, and problem-solving skills while their parents are attending school or working.

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Midtown Arts + Theater Center, Houston

The striker pattern on the side of a matchbox serves as the inspiration for the visual identity we developed for the Midtown Arts and Theater Center, Houston, a contemporary venue with multiple spaces available for shows of all kinds. The system was expanded through analog + digital signage, wayfinding, supergraphics, artistic programmable projections, and donor recognition systems.

 

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Small Steps Nurturing Center

Small Steps Nurturing Center serves economically at-risk children, ages two through six, in Houston’s First, Second, and Fifth wards by providing high-quality education, social and emotional support, transportation, and meals. Their new website portrays their story, highlights their fundraising events, and is easy to update. A set of icons portrays the different elements of the Small Steps program.

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San Jacinto Library – North Campus

As libraries are a collection of humankind’s output and understanding of our universe, the individual’s mind is a collection of memories, dreams, and ideas. This concept inspired us to create unique student portraits that reflect their dreams, aspirations, personal history, and interests. After interviewing them and photographing their silhouettes, we created dream-like collages to represent each of them.

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Bramble

Randy Rucker’s latest restaurant Bramble features a daily-changing menu inspired by the ingredients the chef gathers each day. This idea is expressed in the brand by evoking the aesthetic of woodblock type, a typographer’s equivalent to foraging.

Our work includes the restaurant’s brand, print collateral (menus, coasters, business cards, etc.), website, interior design, environmental graphics, and signage.

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Inprint Houston Website

As Houston’s organization that fosters the art of creative writing for both readers and writers, Inprint needed an online presence that expressed the multitude of programs and events they offer for these two audiences. From reading series to writing workshops, we used their mission “to inspire readers and writers in Houston” as the basis for organizing their programming and resources for Houston’s literary community.

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Houston Endowment 2014 Annual Report

Houston Endowment is a private philanthropic institution that works with leaders across the community to create change for the people of greater Houston. They grant over $75 million yearly in five areas: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Health, and Human Services. The annual report serves as a reference tool for grantees to see where Houston Endowment is focusing its giving.

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Buffalo Bayou Partnership Website

As the completion of Buffalo Bayou Park approached, Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s (BBP) focus shifted to also include programming of one of Houston’s largest public green spaces. The new website allows visitors to find out what is happening along Buffalo Bayou while telling the story of BBP’s master planning efforts and their vision beyond the completion of Buffalo Bayou Park.

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Feldman & Feldman

Feldman & Feldman is a law firm that is defined by their passion for their client’s pursuit of justice, the zeal of the advocacy, and their willingness to challenge even the most powerful opponents. The double-barred “F” represents the two Feldmans and evokes the classical columns that have come to represent the American judicial system. The website represents their personable and creative approach to practicing law.

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San Jacinto Library – Central Campus

Supergraphics and wayfinding that refer to the Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Section were inspired by the large spiral staircase that serves as the centerpiece of the library. The Library of Congress Classification system spirals out in golden ratios on windows throughout the library, and the Fibonacci sequence serves as a grounding element on the wayfinding signage throughout the library.

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Houston Symphony Musicians Wall

The wall honors the members and conductors of the Houston Symphony at Jones Hall.  The design melds with the hall’s modernist sensibility with teak rails and photos by Eric Arbiter (Associate Principal Bassoonist) floating on aluminum panels. The portraits provide audience members with an overview of the symphony performers, allowing them to connect names to faces and instruments.

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Patterns of Consumption

As part of a Houston Arts Alliance public art project for the City of Houston Solid Waste Department, we designed one of six city recycling trucks that have been put into daily use around the city. CORE also managed the production of the other 5 trucks by various Houston artists. The truck was featured in the 2014 Houston Art Car parade.

Using the sun as our light source, we created cyanotype prints (blueprints) of transparent recyclables. Like a haunting x-ray, the ghostly prints of these banal objects become a visual metaphor of the lasting environmental effects of the waste we produce. The mandala pattern, a “revelatory symbol of cosmic truths,” became a natural means to organize and create harmonic beauty out of trash.

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On Immediacy Lecture Series

The Spring 2014 RDA Lecture Series brought to Houston four architectural firms whose genre-busting, convention-spurning designs invite the viewer to engage with an increased sense of immediacy. These firms play with form, color, material, and process to produce work that defies easy description and collapses distinctions between art and architecture, representation and construction, and drawing and building.

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San Jacinto Library – South Campus

Writer and novelist David Foster Wallace’s list of words that he circled in his dictionary serve as a metaphor for the creative exploration that can occur “within the stacks” of a library. We developed an environmental graphics package for Gensler’s San Jacinto College Library renovation with the goal of creating an inviting, memorable, and bright space. Wallace’s word list became the centerpiece within the stacks and is supported throughout the library by an abstract book pattern.

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Waterworks Education Center

A turn-key regional water museum for the City of Houston focusing on water treatment, conservation, and environmental stewardship at the City of Houston’s Northeast Water Purification Plant located near Lake Houston. CORE’s responsibilities included master planning, concept, research, design, branding, construction and installation.

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Visitor Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Houston

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch is the second largest currency vault in the country, with a bold building designed by architect Michael Graves. Its interior exhibit space covers the history of U.S. currency, economics and the Federal Reserve banks, and the history and economic growth of Houston. Working closely with the staff at the Federal Reserve, we redesigned large-scale exhibit panels that provide insight into the history and role of the Federal Reserve.

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Creative Economy of Houston

Houston is the fourth largest city in the country, the second fastest growing major metro area, and the most culturally diverse city in the country. The Creative Economy report, commissioned by Houston Arts Alliance and the University of Houston, analyzes Houston’s creative economy and compares it with those in other American cities. The results show that Houston’s creative economy is on the rise at a time when the other creative economies across the country have seen a constriction.

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New Commons Lecture Series

This RDA/RSA Lecture Series investigated new practices within architecture that showcased the architect as not merely a respondent, but as an active agent capable of building new ideas and languages as they relate to the city, the environment, and geography. By focusing on these architects and thinkers, the series established a new commons—a ground for forging new and more productive relationships between aesthetics and engagement.

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Houston Arts Alliance

Houston Arts Alliance’s (HAA) mission is to enhance the quality of life and tourism in the Houston region by supporting and promoting the arts through programs, initiatives, and alliances. CORE has worked with HAA and its predecessor the Cultural Arts Council of Houston Harris County (CACHH) for over 20 years. Projects have included identity and branding, masterplan design, web design, and various print and digital promotion projects.

The visual identity developed for HAA reflects the casual ease and quick-witted personality that is Houston. The icon, typography, and palette is designed to be inclusive, clear, and responsive while reinforcing the goals of the organization. The rich, cropped imagery and bold typography used to expand the visual brand communicates the diversity and richness of the city and does so with confidence.

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A Timeline of Jones Hall

This exhibit within Jones Hall highlights the history of the hall, its resident performing arts organizations, and the story of its visionary, Jesse H. Jones. We were responsible for narrative development, design, fabrication, and installation. The design and materials reflect and honor the mood and architecture of this spectacular performance hall which opened in 1966.

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Travis Elementary Spark Park Structure

Travis Elementary in Houston’s historic Woodland Heights is home to one of the city’s many public SPARK Parks. The park features the famed Travisaurus dinosaur bone playground structure. The paneled structure of a multi-purpose stage and shelter plays with shadows and transparency and blends math and science. Diagrams of butterflies and dinosaurs demonstrate how the Fibonacci numerical systems exist in nature.

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Buffalo Bayou Invasive Plant Field Guide + Eradication Unit

Branding and identity for Mark Dion’s Buffalo Bayou Invasive Plant Eradication Unit, a public art project sponsored by Houston Arts Alliance and Buffalo Bayou Partnership. The project included the design of a field guide that identifies the invasive plants that are a serious problem along Buffalo Bayou and inspires residents to help with the removal of these plants. The Eradication Unit serves to educate the community and is an interactive tool for kids.

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Jung Center of Houston

The Jung Center is a unique nonprofit resource that supports the development of self-awareness and creative expression, while providing pathways to find meaning in everyday life. CORE was responsible for the design of exterior signage and a large scale environmental typographic installation in exterior windows. Excerpts from Jung’s Principle of Opposites, layered imagery and alternating LED lights, sparks curiosity and engages the passerby.

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Bellaire High School Science Building

Covering the a length of 125′ we recreated the “Tree of Life” or Darwin’s Phylogenetic Tree tracing the origins of life to present day organisms and homo sapiens. Walking down the hallway, students can chart millions of years back in evolutionary time. Additional imagery and text enhance that connecting levels to other buildings.

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Kinder Foundation Education Center

The Kinder Foundation Education Center serves as the public’s main source of information about the MFAH art collections, and is the support center for schools and universities. The logo speaks to this open line of communication and welcomes museum visitors into a social space to strike up a conversation with staff members about what to see in the galleries.

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METRORail Station – Smithlands

Placed within a research intensive area of the Texas Medical Center, this station uses the concept of measuring time as scientific methodology. Moving the length of the station, passengers see time-lapse sequences of natural processes of different scales: seeds growing into trees; cells multiplying, continents shifting and colliding; stars coalescing, burning bright and exploding.

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METRORail Station – TMC Transit Center

The elements of this station pay tribute to the history of medical science and the individuals whose relentless curiosity has for thousands of years improved our quality of life. Placed within the Texas Medical Center, it implicitly connects the work of today’s pioneering clinicians, caregivers, and scientists to the discoveries of those who came before them. Running the length of the station is a timeline of medical history from 100 b.c. to the present, and 20 granite columns depict important individuals from the field of medicine from Hippocrates to Watson/Crick.

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METRORail Station – NRG/Astrodome

Monumental spaces, such as the ones at NRG Park, are not only grand in their capacity for people and events, but also function as vast and immeasurable repositories for our indelible memories. In a sense, NRG Park becomes a staging area for significant moments in peoples’ lives.

Using the rail station as a symbolic portal, the artwork opens the door to these memories for the visitors through tightly-cropped and blurred images of past events at the Astrodome. Light filters through the glass canopy which contains quotes and fan expressions.