Finding the Way: Promoting easy navigation and the intuitive exploration of your buildings

Have you ever gone someplace and experienced the frustration of not being able to tell where you are or how to get to your destination? Have you witnessed visitors in your own community looking confused and bewildered in the parking lot or lobby? When people are able to navigate your community with ease—without feeling lost or asking for directions—you know you have good wayfinding. While many people look for signage to provide guidance, there are also several types of environmental cues that provide clear communication and intuitive wayfinding.

Wayfinding strategies are important design considerations that should be explored during the initial design stages of a project. The design of a building should consider a comprehensive approach to wayfinding and include the following four components of environmental communication to help individuals form cognitive maps.

  • Perceptual Access
  • Architectural Differentiation
  • Plan Configuration
  • Signage
“The interior design and architectural teams who initiate design charettes on wayfinding opportunities early in projects create the best environments to minimize confusion and anxiety,” says Rachelle DeGeorge, principal of Studio 121.
If good wayfinding strategies are considered early and communicated in multiple ways, the result is an environment where Seniors are able to wander and have positive, memorable experiences.

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Contact Andrew Alden – aalden@agarch.com for more information or to set up a meeting to discuss wayfinding strategies that should be explored during the initial design phases.