2023 GFD 🏆 Awards

Gold Winner – MCNY Centennial | Studio Joseph

The exhibition celebrates the Museum of the City of New York’s 100th year. Founded in 1923, the institution provides high-quality exhibitions and programs. Encompassing the museum’s entire third floor, “This is New York” consists of four autonomous spaces that together tell the story of the city during a time that embraces the spectrum of humanity from personal suffering to heroic achievement for a growing population that speaks almost 200 languages.

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Gold 🏆 Winner
Global Future Design Awards 2023

MCNY Centennial
Interior Design Exhibition (Built)

Studio Joseph

Wendy E Joseph

Design Team
Wendy Evans Joseph, Monica Coghlan, Jose-Luis Vidalon, Sharon Li

Project Location
New York, NY

United States

©Studio Joseph

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Each gallery is dedicated to a specific theme and housed in a unique environment devoted to New York lifestyle activities as reflected in arts and culture. The central gallery stretches the entire length of the building, a 200-foot-long city block. Over 400 works of art, music, literature, film, and multi-sensory experiences tell a powerful history. “This is New York” is the New York of our imagination—its spirit and iconic character.

Central Gallery

A continuous undulating armature serves as the framework for emotional themes such as joy, fear, loneliness, menace, and struggle. Based on these ideas, the gallery is densely populated with art and punctuated at the southern end by a physio-digital interactive. The music gallery encourages visitors to stand on a map of a borough (projected on the floor) to trigger music inspired by that specific location and culture of the city. A digitally printed fabric supports subtle shifts in color along the over 200-foot length of curving walls. The interpretation hangs on translucent sheets of cloth, giving an impression of softness that supports the more ethereal narratives of imagination and feeling.

Library Gallery

The gallery is dedicated to living in NYC as portrayed in books and media. As the basis of being at home in the city, the room’s historical mahogany cases and window trim set up a warm palette and residential feeling. There are three distinct engagement strategies.

  1. A linear table: The form undulates to create surfaces where visitors can sit and read.
  2. Embedded casework: Iconic books and artifacts from the museum’s collection.
  3. A video interactive: At the end of the gallery, a visitor can place one of the books embedded with an RFI chip at a station. The video will play a short narrative. For example, one can watch a scene from “Friends” or “Seinfeld” or listen to “Eloise at the Plaza” or “Bright Lights, Big City.”

South Gallery

New York is where people gather, whether for entertainment on. Broadway, play at the beaches, BBQ on a rooftop (tar beach!), or nightclubs are all iconic parts of NYC’s energy. The display is dense, bright, and exuberant. The design echoes the dynamism of the art with a dramatic palette. A dark perimeter sets off shimmering silver, curved walls. They focus views from one area to the next, driving visitor circulation while creating pockets for signature objects such as John Travolta’s white suit from “Saturday Night Fever.” The labels are colorfully printed with translucent scrims that hang in vertical formats.