University of Arts Geneva


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Romas Stukenberg

La Unión Organization by Romas Stukenberg


A Mex­i­can cit­i­zen orga­ni­za­tion with 600 mem­bers work­ing to advance the social, eco­nomic, and cul­tural rights of the neigh­bor­hood of Sun­set Park in Brook­lyn, NY—one of New York City’s largest Mex­i­can immi­grant neighborhoods.


To gear the organization’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools towards bolder impact; strength­en­ing self-confidence of the entire project and thus, facil­i­tat­ing the acqui­si­tion of novel part­ners and par­tic­i­pants. To atten­u­ate the organization’s “Mex­i­can sig­na­ture” in order to unify the neighborhood’s entire eth­nic and cul­tural diver­sity and enable broader iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. And to make the organization’s efforts tan­gi­ble, to build com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools acces­si­ble for all participants.


Being the organization’s most con­cise claim, the notion of “Unión” was pre­des­tined to become a res­o­nant word­mark that rep­re­sents the com­mu­nity as a whole. The wordmark’s inte­rior was opened to carry vari­able infor­ma­tion, which payed trib­ute to the indi­vid­ual par­tic­i­pants and their cul­tural back­grounds. The final sym­bol mir­rors both Sun­set Park’s street blocks with their shared back­yard inte­ri­ors, as well as the way humans form orga­ni­za­tions by “shar­ing a com­mon ethos” with­out los­ing their indi­vid­ual cul­tural identity.

Romas cre­ated a con­tex­tu­al­ized design pro­posal within an ongo­ing urban plan­ning done by a multi-disciplinary design team of inter­na­tional stu­dents. Core to this process was com­pris­ing analy­sis, based on soci­o­log­i­cal and urban inves­ti­ga­tion, car­ried out by the stu­dents. Thus, the design process didn’t start with a brief but with its for­mu­la­tion. Romas’ aim hereby was to strengthen La Unión’s orga­ni­za­tional struc­ture by estab­lish­ing a sym­bol for social cohe­sion, which embraces a max­i­mum of cul­tural diver­sity while still being focused on com­mon objec­tives such as improv­ing life qual­ity in Sun­set Park. — Imke Plinta and Ruedi Baur, instruc­tors at Uni­ver­sity of Arts Geneva

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