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Web Only/Posted May 2010
This is an edited transcript of the BOMBLive!
: Matthew Coolidge by Deborah Gans at
Pratt Institute in the winter of 2010.
Deborah Gans Hi. Welcome, Matthew.
Matthew Coolidge Yeah, thanks, thanks for inviting me out here. It’s great, it’s a lot of fun.
DG Thanks for coming to your Troy East Coast office.
MC Yeah, though I’m not going to have time to go visit the East Coast office, unfortunately.
DG So just to get started I want to say, I love your logo. It has the kind of gloss of official-dom in this
reduced way. It has—it’s a globe, but it’s just longitudinal lines and latitudinal lines and then it says The
Center for Land Use Interpretation around it. It’s as good as the UN’s. But it does make me wonder
because it’s a global insignia, we’re in a world of globalization, and the global reach of everybody’s
economy, and yet you do focus it seems on not just America but on the United states in particular despite
your logo. You want to talk about that a little bit?
MC Sure. The logo itself is a kind of stylized globe in a sense, but it’s really about the layering of lineage
lines on the landscape so it’s about the kind of encapsulating space through delineation in a more kind of
formal, abstract way than to reference a global–ism. There is, you’ll notice too, in the logo a kind of
crosshair effect, which is the effect of a line of longitude meeting a line of latitude right at the center. So
there is this sort of concentration of the forms to create a central point in the middle of the logo. Because
everything that we deal with is about locational space, it’s about being able to point out phenomenon by
describing distinct sites, so the locate-ability, this kind of contraction of space to locate-able points is one of
the essences of our practice, but also about the logo. So the logo is in a sense referencing some progenitors
of such kind of institutional, global, I suppose, organizations, but also just about this sort of way in which a
centroid is expressed.
DG That’s really interesting. Isn’t it more a matter of a desiring to locate a landscape? Because you actually
deal with some landscapes that are hard to locate in certain ways, that have a more ambiguous perimeter or
MC I mean, if you look at other logos of that sort you might be reminded of a few if you look at ours—I
mean, National Geographic has a very similar logo for example. So that’s definitely one of the reference
points for us as well, this idea of—you know,
is an American organization, right?