Brains Behind the Brawn

Ted Moudis Associates’ Information Design Strategist Macaulay Campbell talks about his atypical trajectory into the world of A+D.

05/03/2016

Contributor

Macaulay Campbell is a man after my own heart:

AnnMarie Martin: What makes you happy?

Macaulay Campbell: Family is an easy one. Family makes me happy, albeit tired. And simplicity. I like simple things and projects. I appreciate simple.

AM: What about angry? What makes you angry?

MC: PowerPoint.

Said without missing a beat, I might add. I also heard some grumblings about New Jersey Transit on that one too.

While many of us can relate to his responses above, he is admittedly an unlikely character cast on our A+D stage, whose potential has only just recently been realized. It’s been a winding road to his current role at Ted Moudis Associates as an information design strategist.

“It was a challenge coming into architecture,” he explained. “My skillset and previous roles were not a clear translation. There have been key people in my career who have really taken a chance on me.”

Lofty ideas of being an illustrator led him to graphic design in college, where he remembers noticing members of the interiors program. “I didn’t understand why people were putting up these boards with carpets,” he laughed.

He was discovered by a local newspaper during a “portfolio day” at school, after a rep reviewed the work Campbell had done at an internship with a prosthetic limb company. “They told me that the rep said my portfolio had great infographics. I said, ‘That’s amazing! What’s an infographic?’”

It’s a form of visual storytelling that he has perfected over the years to bolster branding, marketing, client presentations, communications, publishing ventures, and more.

He honed his skills as a graphics editor over at The New York Times, and took on more page design at Fortune magazine. But he was still yearning for a way to merge his two passions: fine arts and information-driven design. He found it at NYU’s master’s program on interactive telecommunications, which he described as a fun exploration into how we interact with technology through various portals. More importantly, it was there that he took an interest in sustainability, which finally led him to architecture.

“Over the past few years, it’s turned out to be the perfect place to flex a lot of design muscles that I wasn’t using,” he added.

At TMA he helps numerous teams within the organization, particularly assisting interior designers in developing presentations that relay their ideas and concepts to clients in the most effective and impactful way possible. He was also heavily involved in the firm’s recent rebranding initiative.

So while it might have been a process for him to “fit in” with this industry, one thing can’t be argued: “There’s always a need to help explain an idea,” he said. “If you can’t express your information in an engaging way, it’s not helpful to anybody.”  

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