“Find a glove, leave a glove. Take a glove, leave a love.”
Sculptural seating that twists chairs and benches into playful, expressive forms
A multi-site public art installation and history tour that reveals lost streams buried beneath Baltimore.
A provocative, participatory design series for the Baltimore Museum of Art
A 25,000 sq. ft. underwater light and sound installation for the Light City Festival
A sculptural steel gateway to Baltimore’s Waverly neighborhood
Experiential design and signage for Maryland Film Festival’s landmark new film center
Visualizing the language of theater in a high-tech performance space
A signage family designed to create a distinct visual identity for the city
A Baltimore Museum of Art educational space exploring the use of text in contemporary art
Reenergizing a former industrial site with massive murals and colorful signage
A high-impact storefront for a new film archive and video rental concept
A cellphone-connected, participatory, print-on-demand exhibit
A Chrome browser extension that questions the journalism of otherness
An art action to activate a vacant lot and interrogate the practice of land banking
Instrumental duo and experimental sound project with William Cashion (Future Islands)
“Equally playful, mysterious, and oddly catchy... full of thrilling, inspiring soundscapes.” – PopMatters
“An instrumental album rich in textural layering, immediately engaging yet hypnotically serene.” – Pitchfork
“Past, present and future are unfolding at once, and Seltzer is their effervescent score.” – A Closer Listen
A new score for one of the earliest abstract films
New ensemble live score for the silent German animated masterpiece by Lotte Reiniger (with Sarah Hughes)
Post-punk bass/drums/vox trio from Baltimore with Dennis Bowen and Nolen Strals
An inside look at the Baltimore underground music scene through one of its most pivotal bands, Double Dagger
A virtual condo tour goes off the rails of reality
An argument for the power of serendipity and a critique of experience design dogma
A talk about my work and three themes that have shaped my practice for GMU’s 2021 Visual Voices series
Organized an influential panel discussion in DC on political campaign design
The first published article on AOC’s smart, effective political campaign branding
Successful advocacy for the creation of the Mayor's Office of Innovation, which was established in 2018
A smart-but-not-dense guide to creating and bending letters to one’s will
Turning broken things into joyful moments in the Greatest City in America
Featured presenter and panelist on design and interdisciplinary collaboration at dozens of conferences and colleges
The pleasures and pitfalls of an unlimited supply of free books
Bruce Willen is a multidisciplinary designer, artist, musician, and the founder of Public Mechanics — a design studio working in public and cultural spaces. Bruce collaborates with civic, arts, and design innovators on projects that jaywalk through the intersection of experiential design, placemaking, public art, performance, and civic design.
Bruce co-founded the acclaimed design agency Post Typography where he led high-profile branding, digital, public art, and experiential design projects that have shaped the visual language of Baltimore and the sustainable building industry. He is the co-author of the book Lettering & Type and has written for the Washington Post, Design Observer, and other publications. Bruce’s designs and illustrations have appeared on multiple covers of Time Magazine, The New York Times, and ESPN, among others. His work has received numerous fancy-pants design awards and has been published in dozens of design periodicals and books from Phaidon, Taschen, and Rizzoli, as well as a Post Typography monograph from European publisher Pyramyd Éditions. He has spoken at the Cooper Union, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, and Harvard University among many others.
As part of his interdisciplinary practice, Bruce composes and performs music and sound art, including several new silent-film scores. With the instrumental duo Peals, Bruce has performed in clock towers, museums, and living rooms on multiple continents and has released recordings with legendary indie label Thrill Jockey Records. Prior to Peals, Bruce contributed to Baltimore’s music scene for nine years as a member of the influential post-punk band Double Dagger, subject of the 2013 documentary film If We Shout Loud Enough.
Have an interesting project?