Friday 10th May – Way Finding Workshop
We were introduced to two Ukrainian designers, who teach at a linked university over there. They also both do their own projects with companies in their country; one being the development of way finding. Way finding is the way you orient yourself based on the physical environment around you.
They went on to explain that everyones views on this is vastly different, due to each person looking at different things, visiting different places and remembering different aspects. These lecturers have looked into this and how design can help orient people better. For example one showed a photo of Ukraine with hundreds of sign posts, billboards and advertisement. Explaining that if your phone was dead and you didn’t speak the language or just forgot the directions it is so easy to get lost and disoriented, but through good design you can find your way.
They went on discussing how the world isn’t perfect but to figure out how to navigate through you need research. They looked at how everyone lives in a “fast world” meaning in context people just want to know their way when they want it not in 5 or more minutes. Through using a smart phone this has sped up our standards, so they brought up why we can’t just use technology. We still need road signs clarifying that there is a turning up ahead or you have to give way at that point; technology can not do that, thus we as designers have to create good signage.
When the lecturers did their research they noticed that London had 32 different systems for finding your own way around. However, since 2012 with the Olympics London had a deadline where to create an international map that can help others around. This is called Legible London – https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/boroughs/legible-london
From here they explained how they over came these challenges through looking at the user (the fast world), they want it there and then. They looked at the space, including the structure, function, names, danger areas, the light – all which effect the design. This design is looked at in fine detail when moved on to the production of it. They needed to test it in the real life. They are continuing to expand and take care of the designs making sure they work efficiently and updating when the world around expands.
For a little workshop we had to create a map of the campus from memory. Now this was a challenge as many of us haven’t been around all of uni. so I took it upon myself to use the campus map around, however I think this made it a lot harder as I was more interested on the precise parts instead of the over all function of the map.
Overall I have learnt that a good design can work across countries and can help people but on the other hand one that is not good hinders people more than it would without.