Representation and Graphic Design

Public Communication

When architects, landscape architects, and planners do large-scale urban proposals, the representation of future realities are an important component of the professional’s job.  Associate Professor Tim Love argues that the choice of drawings, graphs, and other visual information produced by designers for a specific assignment needs to be considered under the umbrella of a more all-encompassing communication strategy. The visual material generated during the process should both clarify complex proposals and serve as the marketing collateral to inspire the implementation of the visions. The graphics produced by Love’s professional firm, Utile,  to communicate the design guidelines for development along the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Downtown Boston highlight the importance of visual representation in the public debate about the future of our cities.

In the Classroom

At Northeastern University, Love tests and extends his interest in information design at the service of planning and urban-focused building projects.  Students in his undergraduate seminar are required to create a series of diagrams and information graphics that analyze and describe the full qualities of the spatial sequence of a specific building. As a result, the full battery of graphic techniques are explored and deployed.  In the research semester of the graduate design studios, students create “pattern books” of specific building typologies after an extensive research phase. These books inform their own comprehensive projects in the spring semester but also serve as a resource for urban planners and architects.