Princeton International Initiatives

Isometric Studio

The design begins in the center of the atrium and emanates outwards in all directions.
We used the delicate and distinctive Danmark by A2, a serif stencil typeface that is itself comprised of lines and dots.
Here is a floor plan diagram showing the areas in which the design is applied.
As the visitor walks over the porcelain tile, quotes, lines, and dots begin to appear. As they move away from each section, the design recedes from view.
Looking down into vertical openings, visitors can clearly read the quotes on lower-level hallways.
After the careful application of the silver vinyl letters, the entire floor area was coated with epoxy that turned it glossy. Then, a thin coat of polyurethane restored the original matte appearance of the tile and offered added protection.
Stair landings also have the same concentric motif applied to them, following the same arc as the atrium.
Throughout the day, sunlight travels across the atrium, illuminating different quotes at different times.
Quotes placed on the lower hallways are illuminated by direct sunlight.
Because the content is poetic rather than didactic, people visit and revisit each quote, taking in new lessons each time.

To commemorate the new Louis A. Simpson International Building at Princeton University, Isometric was asked to create a distinctive spatial identity that celebrates Princeton’s international approach to education and research. We designed a floor installation that spans three levels and 7200 sq. ft., featuring quotations from global authors. The concentric pattern comprises thousands of dots, lines, and silver vinyl letters sealed beneath permanent coats of epoxy and matte polyurethane to appear engraved directly onto the tile. Subtle and evanescent, the design is inspired by these lines from Ulysses: “All experience is an arch wherethro’ / Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades / For ever and forever when I move.”