Designing Minds: Clifford Selbert ’71

Together with his wife, Robin Perkins, Selbert heads Selbert Perkins Design, an international multidisciplinary design firm with offices in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Shanghai. Creating “logos to landmarks” for cities, corporations, institutions, and developers, Selbert Perkins is known for its monumental works, including the gateway pylons at LAX airport and the oversized furniture at the Pacific Design Center. The firm integrates art, communications, and environments to create what it calls design for the public good. A fellow of the Society of Environmental Graphic Design, Selbert has lectured around the world and received widespread professional recognition for his work.

Education: Colgate University; B.F.A. and B.L.A.(Landscape Architecture), Rhode Island School of Design

Examples of his work: In addition to its distinctive landmarks, Selbert Perkins has developed a comprehensive street sign plan for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi; the entry gateway, streetscapes, and median sculptures for the Fremont East District in Las Vegas; the exterior and interior signs and facade for the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta; and numerous signage and graphics projects for colleges and universities. Of special note: In the early 1990s, Cliff redesigned the area around Williston’s Victory Bell.

Favorite places at Williston: “The main quad and the lake, because those places really give you a sense of place. They are centers. If people can feel comfortable and engaged in knowing where the middle is, they usually can find everything else they are looking for.”

In his own words: “We create landmarks to orient people in their spaces. Landmarks are now selfie moments. People want to stand next to the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower or the LAX pylons and take their picture and send it out to the world, so everybody can locate the landmark they are next to.”

For more: