AIGA NY: Making The City

The exhibition design and identity relied on a modular pattern of content blocks, expressed as a city grid, showing buildings as volumes, seen from above.


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Chantal Fischzang is a designer and educator based in the NY/NJ area.

Along with her role as Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Rutgers University-Newark, Chantal is a founding member of IntraCollaborative, a team of designers and educators sharing a deep-seated interest in design and its relevance to the social sector.

Chantal integrates publicly engaged practice and design education through her work at Express Newark, as Co-Director of Visual Means and Design Consortium, two academic programs that model a design-studio working experience in which faculty, students, researchers and community partners engage in a collaborative design process to create impact in the city of Newark.


Through my academic research at Rutgers University-Newark, I’ve experienced a clear intersection and productive exchange between my career focus, my role in the classroom and my responsibility to the community — through collaboration, co-building, social engagement and service learning — so I continued to investigate ways in which social contexts can be applied to the fundamentals of graphic design: image, word, message-making and the technological conditions of the medium.

One of the most important aspects of my professional development has been the collaborative process. The strategy, decision making and design process behind highly charged social issues, are more purposely founded and more democratic when it is informed by a collaborative and/or participatory process with partners, clients, audiences.


I believe in the people I work with and in the power of design.

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AIGA NY: Making The City

An AIGA/NY exhibition that looks at the impact of design in NYC.

Basing it of the concept of modularity, the exhibition design and identity relied on a pattern that started as a simple city grid, showing buildings as volumes, seen from above. The layout made use of the pattern as a containing and codifying element for exhibition content — color being a identifying component; the gallery windows used the pattern to announce and highlight the participants in the exhibition.

The logomark is a simplification of this bird’s eye city perspective, highlighting the “NY” acronym by the position of the blocks. It visually supported the idea of building blocks containing the letterforms and the icons that stood for the four themes that highlighted the exhibit: ^ (growth), = (equity), * (sustainability) and ~ (resilience).

The modularity and simplicity of the design allowed for the identity system to be flexible to its application shifting the perspective and meaning with only a few simple gestures.

Making a Place was showcased in the AIGA NY Annex from December 2015-March 2016. 

The Annex was AIGA/NY chapter’s new pop-up space in downtown Manhattan where they exchanged ideas through exhibitions, workshops, talks, and debate. The space provided AIGA/NY the opportunity to engage both the design community and the wider public. The space was open to the public six days a week, with public and private events held on evenings and weekends throughout the fall 2015 and the Spring of 2016.

The Annex featured exhibitions curated and produced by AIGA/NY.

This project was designed with David Frisco as part of IntraCollaborative.