Entrance and elevator lobby of Information Services located within The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Environmental Graphics
Nina Andorf
art direction/design
vinyl installation
Rightway Signs
dimensional sign installation
Information Services is the primary location for all IT functions and support at both the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). They help the institution with several technology based operations such as device accessibility, online accounts and credentials, file storage, IT support and troubleshooting, software and hardware, telephone communication, etc.

As part of a two floor renovation project, these offices were in need of lobby graphics that would help visitors feel welcome and engaged with services that can feel ambiguous, confusing, and sterile.

Themes for this project include:
Connecting living beings with abstract ideas, bringing systems together (people and technology), and visualizing and simplifying complex systems.

In order to encompass all of these themes into a symbol or graphic representation, I decided to use fractals.

A fractal is a never ending pattern. Geometrically, they exist in between our familiar dimensions. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. They exist in nature (trees, rivers, coastlines, mountains, clouds, seashells, hurricanes, etc.) thus existing in math, such as the “Mandelbrot Set.” 

This bridge between organic matter and an abstracted mathematic system seemed like the most iconic graphic for Information Services (connecting living beings with abstract ideas.) Fractals are not only gorgeous, infinite patterns, but they help humans see a complex system unrolling before them in a way they can understand visually.