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natasha jen

natasha jen

PARTNER, PENTAGRAM

Natasha Jen was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1976. She studied graphic design at the School of Visual Arts where she received her BFA with Honors in 2002. Prior to establishing her own studio Njenworks in 2010, Jen worked at Base Design, 2x4, and Stone Yamashita Partners as senior designer and art/creative director. She joined Pentagram as a partner in 2012. Her work is not bound by the constraints of various media, but developed through contextual exploration. She draws on references from a diverse range of cultural, historical, aesthetic, and technological sources, creating a unique and precise body of work encompassing brand identities, environmental design, multi-scale exhibitions, signage systems, print, motion and interactive graphics. Clients have included Kate Spade, Chanel, Nike, Harvard Art Museums, Guggenheim Museum/Foundation, OMA, REX, Wexner Center for the Arts, Target, Puma, Kiki de Monparnasse, SoHo/Tribeca Grand Hotels, AIGA, MIT Architecture, Vitra, NYU Kids at Langone, Tess Giberson, AIA New Practices Committee, Slought Foundation, Nuit Blanche New York. She has earned a variety of awards and appeared in a number of publications, including Dwell, Print, Creative Review, and Metropolis. She was an Art Directors Club Young Gun, and has been a guest critic at Yale University School of Art.

Where were you born and where do you live now? How does that affect your design sensibility?
I was born and grew up in Taipei, one of the most populated cities in the world. I’ve been living in New York since 1998. I can’t say how living in metropolis has shaped by sensibility as a designer, but I do know I get bored very quickly when I am away from cities for more than two weeks. I like everything about a city: the traffic, the tempo, the speed, the density.

Who would you say is the most influential graphic designer of the past 50 years? How have they influenced your design?
I don’t think I can summarize the list by ranking. There are just too many. Each has influenced me in different ways.

What is your greatest strength and weakness as a designer or design manager?
A designer and a design manager are very different roles. As a designer I am interested in what’s happening in our time and I spend a good amount of time looking at and thinking about what’s going on. Depending on how you look at it, it can be a strength as well as a weakness.

Favorite Color?
Rainbow
Favorite Typeface?
Don’t have one
Favorite App?
Probably Pinterest, I pin alot
Favorite TV Show?
I don’t watch TV much but I like the old Twilight Zone by Rod Serling
Favorite Books?
Books by William Gibson and Philip K. Dick,
Empire by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri,
Simulacra by Jean Baudrillard, Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas
Favorite Movies?
Blade Runner, movies by Michelangelo Antonioni, Ingmar Bergman, and early Soviet movies
Favorite Musician or Band?
I have a lot of 80/90s pop and hip-hop on my iPod.
Favorite Fine Artists?
Too many. Neo Rauch, Gerhard Richter,
Sigmar Polke, Rosenquist, David Salle,
Rothko, Robert Ryman, Bernd and Hilla Becher,
Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Yayoi Kusama . . .
the list goes on and on
Favorite Gadget?
My iPhone
Bookmarked Websites?
Hundreds over the years. I lose track of them
Talent You Wished You Possessed?
Kung fu, at Bruce Lee’s level.
Mantra or Saying You Live By?
Follow your intuition

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