NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, MEDICAL ARTS BRANCH

ENVIRONMENTS TURNING DISCOVERY INTO HEALTH

Residing in the Office of Research Services of the National Institutes of Health, the Medical Arts Branch is the in-house creative resource for NIH. With a team of experienced designers, illustrators, and production specialists, Medical Arts delivers high-quality work supporting the NIH mission. At times, the NIH’s demand for creative services can exceed the Medical Arts team’s capacity and W|W has been commissioned to provide assistance on particular projects. W|W was hired to provide design development and layout support for two substantial environmental graphic design projects for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Office of Cyber Infrastructure and Computational Biology in the greater Washington, D.C. region. The Medical Arts team managed the relationships with the internal NIH clients and facilitated the implementation of the approved designs. 

NATIONAL HEART, LUNG, AND BLOOD INSTITUTE

The NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is the nation's leader in the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders. As the Institute began renovations for its office in Rockville, MD, it made a deliberate focus on the physical space to be beautiful, to inspire the workforce, to help visually identify NHLBI and communicate its story (mission, research areas, and values), and to facilitate a sense of ownership and pride.

It was important that the typographic, color, and compositional design and graphic styles were in sync with the rest of the renovation (architecture, interiors, lighting, and furniture). The Medical Arts team provided W|W with the concept, foundational elements, and creative direction that W|W needed in order to deliver environmental graphics that achieved the project’s expressed objectives. Collectively, Medical Arts and W|W designed a cohesive, shared NHLBI visual language and enhanced wayfinding to complement standard signage that improved building circulation and navigation for occupants and visitors alike.

BRANDED SPACE

Overall the NHLBI project included over 50 murals and wall-mounted art pieces that spanned 5 floors and 100,000 square feet of space. The murals and artwork visually communicate essential aspects of NHLBI research in the areas of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorder research as well as expressing the vibrancy and energy of the institute’s workplace culture. The Medical Arts team handled oversight of the fabrication and installation process, as well as extending and augmenting the initial environmental graphics designed by W|W.

OFFICE OF CYBER INFRASTRUCTURE AND COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY

The Office of Cyber Infrastructure and Computational Biology (OCICB) manages technologies supporting the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) biomedical research programs. OCICB provides a spectrum of management, technology development, applications/software engineering, bioinformatics support, and professional development. As OCICB renovated its Fisher’s Lane facility into a research hub from an administrative operation, it wanted to rebrand and transform the location to facilitate innovation and creativity.

The environmental graphic system designed by W|W with Medical Arts helps tell a subtle story of the important work being done by OCICB with a timeless approach that leverages abstract representations that are based on scientific accuracy. The three hero murals were focused on themes of Cyber Security, BioVis, and Customer Service.