‘Office<i>US</i> Agenda’

Publications — Oct 05, 2014

The series of books complements the exhibition based on the global influence of American architectural practice.

OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at the 14th International Venice Architecture Biennale, is a working architecture office that is exploring the ways in which U.S. architectural practice has influenced the discipline around the world over the past 100 years. The project is sharing its research through an extensive program of publications, both integrated into the exhibition—where a repository of 1,000 binders lines the walls of the installation—and as a series of books made available to the public. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen has designed Agenda, the first in the book series and the official catalogue for the U.S. Pavilion. The design extends the graphic identity Jen developed for the exhibition, which utilizes a visual language built out of the efficiencies of office culture.

Jen worked on the OfficeUS project as part of a team organized by the Storefront for Art and Architecture in collaboration with PRAXIS Journal, and with research lead by the MIT Department of Architecture. The group was selected by the U.S. Department of State to represent the U.S. at the Biennale. The New York-based architecture firm Leong Leong developed the Pavilion design.

Jen and her team designed a series of four publications for the exhibition—Agenda, Atlas, Manual, and New World—published by Lars Müller Publishers. A wide range of original content was created for the books, including detailed infographics, maps and timelines that reveal patterns and trends of U.S. export architecture. The first volume is available now, with the others set to follow this summer.

The book is set almost entirely in the workaday fonts Arial and Times New Roman, selected by Jen for the OfficeUS graphics because the typefaces are found on both Macs and PCs and fit the context of a working office. The book also reflects the color palette of the identity, complementing the “Fundamentals” theme of the Biennale. The dots correlate to the timespan of the five-month Biennale.

OfficeUS is a project commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture for the official representation of the United States of America at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia. The project is curated by Eva Franch i Gilabert, Ana Miljački and Ashley Schafer and designed by Leong Leong with graphic design by Pentagram and technology infrastructure by Case. The project was launched at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale with the collaboration and participation of an incredible team including creative partners, architecture firms and collaborators. For the full creative team, visit

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