Donal McLaughlin's Little Button
Adam Bartos, Emblem in the United Nations General Assembly Building, from the series International Territory, 1989-1994
When Donal McLaughlin graduated from the Yale School of Architecture in 1933, the centerpiece of his portfolio was a design for an observatory in New York's Central Park, a domed building "one big circle," he remembered much later that would provide a window on the heavens.
His observatory was never built. But little did he know then that his most famous design would be another circular form, something you and countless people around the world have seen millions of times over the past half century: the emblem of the United Nations.
I had never heard of Donal McLaughlin when I got a call from Mark Branch, executive editor of the Yale Alumni Magazine
, asking if I'd like to interview him for an upcoming issue...