On Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m., the Neon Museum will welcome Time of the Signs Scholar-in-Residence Stefan Al, internationally known architect, author and academic specializing in contemporary urbanization. He will deliver a presentation entitled, “Bigger, Better and Brighter: The Evolution of Las Vegas Signs,” at the Marjorie Barrick Museum Auditorium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Photo credit: Vox Solid Communications LV).
Al will discuss how the cutthroat competition between casinos, an unlikely source of architectural innovation, helped the Las Vegas Strip become the breeding ground of unprecedented sign design evolution. In the 1960s, signs transformed from a pole and a box to 20-story-tall structures encompassing miles of neon. Whereas in the 1990s, signs became replicas of iconic European monuments, including a full-size copy of the Bellagio bell tower and a half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. Today’s new signs include LED video screens as high as a skyscraper.
About Stefan Al
Al is a Dutch architect, urban designer and associate professor of urban design at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published various books about contemporary urbanization, including “Factory Towns of South China,” “Village in the City” and “Mall City,” and is currently writing a book about Las Vegas architecture, “The Strip.” His international career has included work as a practicing architect on renowned projects such as the 2,000-foot-high Canton Tower, the “Stratosphere” of Guangzhou. He has also served as an advisor to governments including Hong Kong, consulting on the development of the city’s harbor and external lighting guidelines.
Admission is free, with open seating available in the Barrick Auditorium. For more information, go to www.neonmuseum.org or call (702) 387-6366.