Design Thinking for Social Issues

Ennead Lab

Ennead Lab is an R&D studio within Ennead Architects; it applies architectural thinking to challenging social, ecological, and civic issues around the world. The studio’s projects are not bound by typical architectural practice, and range from developing bird-friendly glass technology, to the use of civic space as a teaching tool, to exploring ways to help veterans returning from military service. Ennead Lab has collaborated with many governmental and nonprofit organizations, including the United Nations, the Clinton Foundation, and the Audubon Society.

Schema collaborated with Small Stuff, our partner on the main Ennead Architects site, to continue uniting our complementary perspectives on branding, content strategy, and user experience. 

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Questions highlighting the thinking process behind projects
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For this project we were faced with the twin concerns that Ennead Lab needed to relate visually to the main website but also be able to tell its own story for projects still under way. A central organizing feature became issue-related questions as the headlines to different projects, drawing on the Lab team's own research and design process. A new logo and typeface were developed to create a related but distinctive look and feel for Lab. Individual project updates, which can be added to each project page, were also introduced to showcase Lab’s ongoing engagement with many of these organizations and issues.

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Project page
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The site helps audiences see how the work of Ennead Lab extends the mission of Ennead Architects by providing thoughtful narrative and key images that put each project into a greater context. It gives visitors insight into the Lab’s interests, methods, and concerns. It showcases, in a clear and simple way, how architects might apply their skills and the know-how to the most urgent questions of our day.