Rochester Institute of Technology will break ground on a world-class facility to house the entire archive of renowned designers Massimo and Lella Vignelli, whose graphic and product designs are icons of international design. Spanning more than 40 years, their unique design achievements have been exhibited around the world and are included in many major collections.
The Vignelli Center for Design Studies at RIT will serve as a resource for students and scholars from around the world and provide space for the teaching of design including classrooms, archival storage, offices, and critique and exhibition space.
The groundbreaking ceremony will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 7, on the west side of the James E. Booth Building adjacent to the School for American Crafts.
The couple’s archive includes an extensive collection of original source materials, along with many examples of their finished work. The Vignellis have designed corporate identity programs for Xerox, American Airlines, Bloomingdales, Lancia, Cinzano, Knoll and Ford Motors. They also designed furniture for Sunar, Rosenthal, Morphos and Knoll, including the Handkerchief chair and Paper Clip table for Knoll.
“The creativity that is at the heart of a designer’s work is also invaluable to driving true innovation in other fields,” says RIT President Bill Destler. “The ability to envision what does not yet exist and develop a way to bring it to life is the designer’s craft. At RIT, we are seeking ways to bring that creative thinking and process to all our areas of study. The Vignelli Center for Design Studies is a welcome addition to our continued progress in becoming the country’s ‘Innovation University,’ and we thank Massimo and Lella Vignelli for helping to elevate RIT to this post.”
“The Vignelli Center for Design Studies will house our comprehensive archive of graphic design, furniture and objects,” says Massimo Vignelli, co-founder of Vignelli Associates. “Under the direction of R. Roger Remington, the Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design at RIT, the center will foster studies related to Modernist design with programs and exhibitions on our work as well as other related subjects. The first one of its kind and size, The Vignelli Center will position RIT on the international forefront of design studies. Lella and I are delighted to see our dream taking shape.”
RIT continues to be recognized as a leader in design education. RIT offers degree programs in graphic design, industrial design, interior design, new media design and imaging and computer graphics design. Complementary to the formal programs are international exchange programs with the Dessau Department of Design, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Dessau, Germany, and in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Vignelli collection now complements RIT’s thirty existing graphic design collections of Modernist American graphic design pioneers such as Lester Beall, Will Burtin, Cipe Pineles, William Golden and Alvin Lustig among others.
“Because RIT has been a steward of preserving the heritage of graphic design for over 25 years, the institute is a perfect setting for this major design initiative that will be the first in the world,” says R. Roger Remington. “This facility will be a global learning resource, bringing emphasis to design studies (history, theory and criticism) as it extends the educational curricula at RIT. The Vignellis have always exemplified uncompromised excellence and greatness and now with the Vignelli Center we are partners in this history.”
To learn more about the Vignellis and their international achievements, visit www.vignelli.com.
NOTE: To cover this event, media should park in Parking Lot E.