// Ideas

(Re)Brand USA: A series for SFMOMA’s Open Space

Volume partner Eric Heiman is curating a series of projects for SFMOMA’s Open Space blog leading up to presidential election in November. Four esteemed designers—Jeremy Mende, MGMT design, Playlab Inc. and Lucienne Roberts—will tackle the not-so-small problem of rebranding the United States.

As Eric writes in his opening essay:

“I’m not sure whether it’s our frontier mentality, the (un)healthy skepticism of government in our lives, the success of our democracy or a combination of all three, but the United States has mostly resisted such initiatives. Sure, candidates for public office are constantly trying to reshape themselves in the context of an American ideal, while cities and communities are perpetually looking for new ways to attract visitors and residents. The American identity as a whole, though, remains stubbornly retrograde. Old Glory, the Founding Fathers, O Say Can You See, hot dogs, apple pie, fireworks—the symbols and stories we use to celebrate (or, in the case of the equally retro-named Tea Party, protest) the U.S. have rarely evolved since its inception 236 years ago…However the [designers] wish to attack the problem—whether a hypothetical traditional top-down proposal from the government itself, a grassroots movement or any combination thereof—is up to them. It can be celebratory, critical or anywhere in between. Who is it for? For what purpose? These are just a few of the questions these talented designers will be asking…”

See the whole series as it unfolds here.