Have you ever driven down the highway and seen a road sign? It doesn’t have any words on it, but it has a diagram or a picture of what’s happening, like a lane merging in or a lane leaving the highway for an exit. And then there’s additional signs for what freeway or highway that you’re driving on, in what direction you’re going in those other signs for what township or jurisdiction that you’re driving through. Once you cross the township or county line, city line, there’s signage for how many miles it takes to get to the next major city or town. And there’s also signs for rest stops, food areas, recreation areas, gasoline. it tells you how far away you are to the next one of these places. And so architects in Michigan, talk about signage in the broader context of wayfinding. And so, road are one example of wayfinding. Wayfinding is a tool of designers that are the cross between solving design problems and navigating spaces beyond just the building. Architects in Michigan are trained in design thinking and spatial relationships so we are poised to help clients seek out the unique solutions to their individual projects.
Making sure that you know how to navigate your way from place to place while in your vehicle, as well as understanding, what place you are in currently, dependent on the township or city or an advertisement like a billboard along the side of a freeway. And that’s the road infrastructure for wayfinding is, something that, engineers and architects work together on designing. but if you also ever traveled through an airport, how, complicated and unfamiliar that territory might be, especially if you’re just in a connection. Well, there’s a lot of signage and wayfinding to help you navigate your way through an airport so that you can get to your destination on time. the, the concept of improving wayfinding was designed by Richard Saul Wurman, an architect who really explored the psychological and physical impact of how people perceive cities and places and buildings and architects in Michigan like to learn from Richard Saul Wurman to improve how anyone visits a building or a project and they can find their way through that building as quickly as possible. If you have ever been caught in a short airport flight connection you know how important it is to get from one end of the airport to the other as quickly as possible!
Architects understand how they can get from place to place. So if you’re designing a new building, you definitely look at, laying out that building in a very logical fashion that can engage the user of the building so they can find their way through it, find the room or a space or a particular business, if there’s multiple businesses inside that building so they can get to where they need to get to on time. And so just like in considering wayfinding in an airport, the, the graphic language, so thinking about the color Palette, the choice of font, the arrangement of the signs on, a larger wall or overhead sign. So that has multiple directions to go in. So you need to be able to quickly navigate to the particular direction you’re going in. Is All something that architects in Michigan have carefully thought out and can, can work with clients to develop better ways to move through spaces.
And we’re always looking at research and articles that can continuously teach us how to improve movement through a space. And one thing that is, become a valuable tool to architects in Michigan these days is three dimensional design software, that, that you can explore or spaces before they’re even built. And that way you can really examine the way finding that needs to occur. So for building a and your client and wayfinding is, is critical for navigation, for regular day to day traffic. But there’s also another layer of wayfinding that is a required by code and that just the building code but a fire coat. So exiting a building in the case of a fire Hashtag have a certain amount of light illumination at all times. If that requires a generator backup in a hospital for example, or a critical health care facility, then that is something that architects in Michigan could help you design into your project so that you are not only meeting code, but also making sure that the health and life safety of all your building occupants is protected so they can get out of a building in the case of an emergency.
So philosophically wayfinding and navigating the building through words and graphics diagrams with arrows or colors or patterns or something that have worked their way into our daily lives so that people have safer experiences in buildings and have more comfortable, psychological reactions to spaces. it’s been studied that, an unfamiliarity to a place, can, can create a higher level of stress. And architects in Michigan are, are aware that we don’t want better, or we don’t want our buildings to induce stress. We want our projects to reduce stress so that clients have, a space that is very comfortable, from, psychological standpoint as well as, the thermal properties of indoor air quality, which I’ve talked about in other articles. But, just one, one concept of, of wayfinding really finds its way through out all architecture and design projects.
Something that is critically necessary to making a complete building project for your client. So it’s not just does designing where the walls, windows and doors go, but architects in Michigan looked forward to, thinking through all of the various requirements for you and your building project so that you have a more complete and thorough set of drawings that guide a contractor from the first hole in the ground to the finished final name tag sign on a door for an office or a bathroom or a conference room. And architects in Michigan look forward to working with you at any time to develop the best possible project for your needs.