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Taking a Different Direction with Wayfinding: Going Beyond Architectural Signage

Architects design structures to be functional and be a “work of art” for the community and the client whenever the budget allows. These goals serve both the client’s needs and the public’s desire to have an architectural structure that is unique in appearance and positively contributes to the overall image of the community. Obvious examples of architectural “works of art” are the Chrysler Building or the Empire State Building in New York, the Sears Tower in Chicago, or the Space Needle in Seattle. These are easy examples, but these are also “once in a lifetime” opportunities.

What is more impressive are the annual building efforts that occur everyday all across the country and how architects and designers are doing more to create works of art in seemingly mundane projects by exploring the use of natural light, decorative materials, and free-flowing space. One interesting development is that architects, designers and clients are looking for new and innovative ways to improve wayfinding plans. They are trying to move beyond traditional wayfinding directional and information signage and moving toward intuitive wayfinding solutions based on the natural flow of the interior space and the integration of pictograms and directional information into the actual interior design of the interior space.

If you are interested in the going beyond traditional wayfinding, you should check out this article on a Dutch company that has integrated LEDs into carpet. Here is a short excerpt from the article:

“Normally, we don’t see loads of innovation in the carpet industry — how much can you really do with a bunch of thread that exists only to be stepped on? — but Holland’s Lama Concept has managed to produce something pretty fresh: Cell+LED, a carpet that doubles as a customizable wayfinding system.”

Click here to read the full article.

A few months ago, we also posted an article about how interior designers and environmental graphic designers integrated pictograms and directional information into the wall coverings and the decor of a facility. Click here to view the post and images.

Tell us what you think and let us know about wayfinding innovations you have seen.

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