Legendary Italian design duo Massimo and Lella Vignelli have donated their personal design archives to the Rochester Institute of Technology, where the collection will be available to professional designers and scholars. Containing original source material, along with examples of finished work – including design for corporate identities, jewelry, flatware, and furniture – the archive will be housed in the new Vignelli Center for Design Studies.
One of the world’s leading educational design institutions, Rochester Institute of Technology created a new global design initiative with the goal of increasing the world’s awareness of the important role design plays in people’s lives. Located on the RIT campus in upstate New York, the 24,000-square foot, five-level facility was designed by the Vignellis themselves to house their archives.
The Vignellis have influenced the world of design for more than four decades through the scope and integrity of their work, and their philosophy of integrated design. With the creation of this new center, the campus now has a dedicated facility for design education, research, and critical examination.
The facility will enhance a variety of the school’s educational programs by extending the important modernist design values instilled by the Vignellis. In addition to housing their personal collection, the center will also cooperate with the school’s Wallace Library to make available other significant design collections to scholars and professionals. The university is already home to the archives of American graphic design pioneers Lester Beall, Will Burtin, Cipe Pineles, Alvin Lustig and William Golden, among others.
Opening September 16, the state-of-the-art center is complemented by study classrooms, staff offices and a small retail shop for Vignelli books and products.