Newark Rhythms is a three-year research, commemoration and public history project about the Rutgers University-Newark campus, timed for the 50th anniversary of its construction and official dedication in 1968. Combining archival research, exhibitions, sonic-spatial and visual arts performances, and community outreach, it aims to recover, document, and make present the history of the campus’s modernist architectural design as part of urban renewal in 1960s Newark, and how these developments related to concurrent social issues and artistic movements. Taking its inspiration from urban geographer Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis, it explores how a space becomes a “place” imbued with social meaning. By examining the rhythms that influenced the campus’s modernist design and construction from 1961-1971—Great Society idealism and artistic practice, migration and social mobility, displacement and segregation—Newark Rhythms surveys the history of the university and its surrounding Newark neighborhoods in post-war America.
The Newark Rhythms logo creates a gestalt through repetition of the letter’s formal qualities establishing rhythm through typographic flow. Additional movement is generated by the icon’s single line creating variations of wave gestures in a continuous flow of the title’s initials. This grants flexibility and permutation to the logo’s icon. Modernist qualities are present in letter’s single weight strokes, perfect curves, straight axis & geometric shapes.
The logo is composed by the icon and wordmark, customized after the curvature and spacing of the mirroring lower case "n" & "r." The icon can be applied in isolation as long as the wordmark also appears on the same printed or digital environment.
Complementary visual elements derive from the icon’s formal attributes and can be applied to print and digital layouts, objects, merchandise and moving images. These elements help keep the identity continuously evolving within the same system.
Historic photographic collection of the Rutgers University-Newark campus’ construction, appear on promotional materials and in the inaugural NR publication “Making a Place.”
The publication expands Dr. Eva Giloi’s (Associate Professor of History) exhibition, Making a Place: Rutgers University-Newark as a Microcosm of 1960s America, at John Cotton Dana Library (Oct. 2016 - Apr. 2017), into a self-reflection on the university’s post-war legacy. It reinterprets archival material about the architects’ and university administration's intentions; process/timeline of campus construction; how students carved out a meaningful place; Art's role in community cohesion; and the real/contrasting effects on the city. A structural two-column, modular grid layout corresponds to the narrative about modernist architecture, interjecting subversive typography to reinforce connections between words, photographs and graphics. Further, it emphasizes the layers of the university’s founding and exposes underlying realities through an interlaced insert within the pages, highlighting the complex relationship with the surrounding community.
Newark Rhythms has continued its public outreach to extend this historical knowledge. Prof. Eva Giloi has given lectures on the campus and urban renewal, using the site’s architectural design to explore themes of urban development, in multiple university courses and conferences in the US and Europe.
Over the course of 2019 and early 2020, Newark Rhythms opened a dialogue between sound and space, between avant garde music and architectural modernism, by hosting a series of sonic-spatial and participatory performances around the Rutgers-Newark Plaza and in the building interiors.