land shapes animating into a hand

Library Field

art direction
web design & development

cultivating interconnectedness with our environment and one another

We were approached by Nate Hill from the METRO Library Council in New York to develop a visual identity and contribute to the strategic development for the Library Field, a public land project that will bring library programs and services to open space in Westchester County.

Our work together began by convening a group of stakeholders to articulate a vision for librarianship in the natural world and culminated with the public launch of the Library Field in February 2024.

Learn more about the Library Field and help shape the initiative

Visit the Library Field

guiding principle

Relationality over extraction

Throughout the design process, we were drawn to the limitations of human-centered design as a framework to address ecosystem-level challenges. This exploration led to three themes which in turn shaped the visual language.

  • Assemblage of Natural Metaphors
  • Confronting Constructed Boundaries
  • Encouraging New Perspectives
visual language

Assemblage of Natural Metaphors

We began by studying fields in order to derive a series of natural metaphors that we could extend across the project. The themes we arrived at also shaped the participatory design process: nurturing tangents, celebrating change, and honoring that which is beyond our capacity to understand.

concentric rings that suggest tree rings or a topographic map a trail splitting into three different paths

Paths of Varying Definition

birds eye view showing roads, game paths, and trails birds eye view showing roads, game paths, and trails

Change as a Constant

photos of each season photos of each season

Recusive Natural Patterns

birds eye view of grass birds eye view of grass













photo of a plaque

Above — A plaque from the Massachuseuk People, gently suggesting an alternative way of being to the busy commuters shuffling through the bowels of commerce at the Arlington T Station in Boston (transcribed below)

visual language

Confronting Constructed Boundaries

Like any place-based project, the Library Field must grapple with parcels of land as both arbitrary (what does a sunflower care about a fence?) and very real (every border implies the violence of its maintenance).

A guiding principle therefore becomes imagining alternative relationships to space while remaining grounded in the very real conditions that shape land and land ownership in the United States today. This exploration also pushed us to consider non-linear concepts of time and the way that elements such as topographical maps and tree rings can invite deeper exploration into notions of what's "real" and what's human-imposed.


In Native understanding of our place in the universe, there is no concept of linear time. Many Native storytellers begin with the words, "In a time before the present..." indicating that the story could have happened 5,000 years ago or just a few days prior. We exist all time, spiritually and physically.

We do not see in terms of archaeological time. All time is the same. The fish that is caught this year is no different from the fish that was caught last year. It is the same fish, living out its drama just as we do.

In relation to the fishweir, our people lived with the earth not upon it. At the proper time, the fish would return to us and this was a time of celebration and thanks.

Harvesting fish from the weir was not considered sport but a basic activity of community life in which all members participated. The fish we received were honored for their part in the cycle of life. The fish were caught in the weir, collected, salted, dried and eaten, with some stored for future sustenance. The fish were also used to fertilize our fields of corn, beans and squash.

In short, as Native people to this land, we lived with the earth and all of its animal people. We celebrated all creatures. And, in the present day Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we are still here.

  • Gill Solomon (Nanepashmequin)
  • Feather on the Moon
  • Sac'hem to the Massachuseuk People
Visit Website

Space is overlapping

three land shapes rotating forming a new shape in their overlap

Space shapes us

land shapes animating into a hand

We shape space

several land shapes connected by trails

Space is interconnected

exterior of Aarhus Public Library


Aarhus Public Libraries

person tending to plater boxes at Library Farm

Library Farm

Northern Onondaga Public Library

children pumping rainwater atop Greenpoint Library

Greenpoint Library and Environmental Center

Brooklyn Public Library

people engaging with nature at Nature Library

Nature Library Project

Anythink Libraries

concentric rings highlighting varying scales of engagement line connecting to the outer-most concentric ring line connecting to the second inner-most concentric ring line connecting to the inner-most concentric ring line connecting to the second outer-most concentric ring

Above — Recognizing some of the partner organizations who we consulted with throughout this project. Their relative location to the center speaks not only to their distance from the NewYork metropolitan area but also establishes a framework for programming and community engagement at the Library Field: hosting local events weekly, regional events monthly, national events quarterly, and global events annually.

visual language

Encouraging New Perspectives

Creating conditions for equitable access to discovery and wonder quickly emerged as a central goal of the Library Field. For the design language, this led us to introduce a wide range of imagery that introduces the Field across seasons, time of day, scale (micro/macro), and point of view. As the Library Field finalizes a location and gets underway, this imagery will become peopled.

person looking out at the stars

Looking afar

person looking down at a flower

Looking closer

photos of various natural elements collaged into the letters of Library Field photos of various natural elements collaged, as the page is scrolled, these images fade revealing the words Libray Field

The Library Field logo is comprised of photos from the field captured across a variety of perspectives and scales.

organic land shape



tilt neon



unfinished paths


variable perspective

look around

New perspectives on the field

a juxaposition of perspectives: left, a bee in natures; right, bees preserved in a museum

The Library Field is a place to deepen our relationships—between institutions, communities, and individuals—and the earth. By probing the ways that we choose to observe, record, organize, access, and preserve the natural world, we have the opportunity to think critically about our role in natural systems and advance the field of librarianship.

Above — The introduction to the Library Field website brings together each of these themes and articulates a unified vision for librarianship and the natural world.

Visit the Library Field


A Pattern Language

Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein

Antidotes for Ecological Forgetfulness

Jason Mark

Braiding Sweet Grass

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Fieldwork for Future Ecologies

Bridget Crone, Sam Nightingale, Polly Stanton

From Dominance to Stewardship

B. 'Toastie' Oaster

Fungi: Web of Life

Gisela Kaufmann, Joseph Nizeti, Paul Phelan

Future Library

Kate Paterson


Richard Mosse

Invisible Cities

Italo Calvino

Listening to Ice

Susan Schuppli


Claude Nuridsany, Marie Pérennou

On Trails

Robert Moor

Parable of the Sower

Octavia E. Butler

Powers of Ten

Ray Eames, Charles Eames

See No Stranger

Valarie Kaur

Soul of an Octopus

Sy Montgomery

The Conquest of Space and the Stature of Man

Hannah Arendt

The Disordered Cosmos

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

The Hidden Life of Trees

Peter Wohlleben

The Library of Babel
Short Story

Jorge Luis Borges

The Modern Invention of Information

Ronald E. Day

The Mushroom at the End of the World

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

Elisabeth Tova Bailey

The Trouble with Wilderness

William Cronon

What is Documentation?

Suzanne Briet

What You Get Is the World

L. M. Sacasas