The Exchange at Knowledge Market
- RMIT University
The project involved designing the graphic identity and exhibition display system for The Exchange at Knowledge Market, a Lendlease/RMIT University research collaboration, in Victoria Harbour. The design encompassed the development of a graphic language that was employed:
– to brand the façade of the building through window graphics
– in the design of event posters, press releases and project website
– to guide the design of an upcoming publication on the project
– as a three-dimensional kit of components, creating a reconfigurable exhibition display system, and
– to reference the project’s conceptual approach to embedded research, which evolves through connection and exchange.
The design brief called for the creation of a new identity for The Exchange project, which incorporated the existing Knowledge Market logo. Rather than create a new logo, the design addressed the graphic identity of the project to develop an array of graphic symbols. In addition to its function as a promotional tool and wayfinding signage, the visual language provided a starting point for student design projects. The design’s ability as a visual vocabulary to engage audiences both visually (as two-dimensional graphics) and spatially (as three-dimensional exhibition furniture) speaks to its success as a sophisticated and potent piece of design.
The project’s performance is measured in terms of community engagement, public awareness of research, and effective site activation. The Exchange graphic language has been used in promotional material across print, digital media and signage, allowing the project’s objectives and diverse programming to be communicated within a cohesive visual identity. The strong design demonstrates impact through its fundamental role in building The Exchange research project as a brand; recognised by a growing community of collaborators, research participants, students and repeat visitors.
With The Exchange project moving into the existing Knowledge Market, graphic designer Sean Hogan’s brief was to transform the venue’s existing identity to mark a new era. Using the concept of a visual language, Sean distilled the essential elements of the Knowledge Market branding and rebuilt a flexible set of graphic forms, which adopt meaning as research evolves. His approach of creating an open and responsive graphic forms has not only transformed the visual identity of the space, but provided a design philosophy to complement the project’s research and guide how student projects respond to the space.
Innovative design through multidisciplinary collaboration is a key principle of The Exchange project. Each research focus is considered through the lens of multiple design disciplines such as interior design, landscape architecture and fashion. The Exchange’s graphic identity embodies this multidisciplinary quality, with its flexible design enabling reinterpretation in multiple forms. An exhibition display system designed and built by RMIT Master of Design, Innovation and Technology students took Sean Hogan’s two-dimensional design and transformed it into a three-dimensional modular exhibition display system that can be reconfigured to suit the project’s diverse program of exhibitions.
A key feature of The Exchange’s communication design has been reinterpretation of the visual language from its initial two-dimensional design, into a three-dimensional modular exhibition display system. By adopting the quality of flexibility and responsiveness inherent in the initial design, the display system can be reconfigured to exhibit work in multiple ways. Its application as exhibition furniture for design prototypes, projections, design posters and fine art prints has seen the display system become a feature integral to the character of the Knowledge Market space.