Natasha Jen and her team recently collaborated with FR-EE / Fernando Romero Enterprise, BuroHappold and SuperUber on the design of Border City, the Mexico installation at the inaugural edition of the London Design Biennale. The exhibition proposes a concept for a truly binational city that offers a new model for a rapidly developing world as populations grow, migration increases, and economies continue to globalize.
FR-EE’s prototype for the Border City is based on a hexagonal plan that expands radially to optimize distances and maximize efficiencies for urban planning. Jen and her team created animated infographics for the installation that vividly illustrated the concepts, science and data behind the masterplan.
The installation design updates the concept of a cyclorama, an immersive panoramic image viewed from inside a cylindrical room. A circular dimensional model of the Border City prototype was displayed in the center of the rectangular gallery. An animated projection on the model detailed how the adaptable hexagonal grid can provide a beneficial framework for land use, transportation, water systems and other factors that improve quality of urban life. The idea was illustrated and amplified by the dynamic graphics projected on the walls, which wrapped around and filled the room from floor to ceiling and in 360 degrees with information about the Border City proposal and the region at large.
Expanding on the defining element of the masterplan, the graphics are all designed on a hexagonal grid. This extends to a custom typeface, Hex Grid, which features letterforms built around hexagonal geometry.
Jen and her team worked with FR-EE to develop the narrative of the motion graphics and determine which information to highlight. The infographics have been designed to be quickly understood, taking on easily recognizable shapes of icons and symbols related to the subject at hand.