When The Cooper Union Office of Admissions approached us in early 2002 to re-imagine their by-then pretty antiquated printed Viewbook (a viewbook btw, is a booklet a university gives out to potential students to give them an idea of what attending the school is all about), we were thrilled at the prospect of working on such a project – especially for our own alma mater.
An alumni of the Cooper Union School of Art, KMIP’s Agnieszka Gasparska says of working on the project: “How do you communicate the essence of a school like Cooper Union to students about to make such a big decision in their lives? There are so many different angles you could approach it from – thousands of different stories you could tell. The experience of going to Cooper Union is so different for all of us, but yet, it is undeniably one of the most unique, and one of the most defining, experiences of our lives. It absolutely changed the course of mine.”
With that goal in mind, we embarked on conceptualizing an experience that would not only take the Viewbook off of the printed page, utilizing state-of-the-art interactive media to its full advantage, but would also allow us to tell this multi-faceted, vibrant story of what attending the Cooper Union means.
Using a non-linear narrative structure and layering visual content with audio and animation, the interactive space allowed us to convey an experience that print could never support. In lieu of using lots of text, we decided to instead narrate the whole presentation with audio of students, professors and alumni talking about what attending the Cooper Union meant to each of them. This led to an incredible array of fascinating personal stories and insights that we ultimately strung together to assemble the fabric of the interactive Viewbook. Accompanied by visuals of the school and its surrounding neighborhood – because the energy and culture of New York cannot be separated from the experience of the school itself – and a soundtrack that combines other sounds of city life, the resulting audio-visual experience conveys the spirit of the Cooper Union in a way that exceeded all of our expectations.
As you may have heard, The Cooper Union is currently experiencing a difficult financial crisis.
To find out more and learn about ways you can help, go to: www.freecooperunion.com
- Information Architecture + User Experience
- Art Direction + Visual Design
- Sound Design + Animation
- Flash Development
Cooper is unconventional thought. That's evident from the very beginning, from the home test. They’re really putting you on the line to see what you’re made of and that’s the fun part, cause that’s what you want to do - that’s true education to me. ”