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DESIGN PROJECT ONE

PARAG CHITALE GUIDED BY

MR. RUPESH VYAS

FIND YOUR W AY !

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YES

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It was overwhelmingly awesome.

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Documentation of Design Project One in the second semester of the M. Des. programme in graphic design at the National Institute of Design, India.

Parag Chitale S1401104 parag_c@nid.edu Guided by:

Rupesh Vyas

Senior Faculty, Graphic Design rupeshv@nid.edu

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Anchor Faculty:

Tarun Deep Girdher Senior Faculty Graphic Design tarundg@nid.edu


Acknowledgement I can not start this journey without thanking some very important figures who helped me find the right direction. Firstly, I am undoubtedly thankful for my guide, Mr. Rupesh Vyas. Without his enthusiasm and encouragement and crystal clear guidance, working on this project would have been very difficult. I would like to thank all the faculty members and the students in the Paldi campus, specially my batch mates for their support and involvement in the project. During the process, I had some interesting talks with my family, which always helps, so yes, I would take this opportunity to express my gratitude towards their constant support. Thank you all for showing me the way.

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Wayfinding Stakeholders Campus

Research

Brief YOU ARE HERE

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Inclusive Design Explorations Simplification of maps and color coding Observing Delhi Metro Anamorphic signages, an attempt Visiting CEPT Maps all over the place

Learning by doing

The proposal

Locational Directional Orientational Inclusive

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Given Brief FINDING YOUR WAY The Heritage campus (as the Paldi campus is known) of National Institute of Design has a monolithic building housing its core academic activities. The campus has serveral other buildings and residential area spread over 18 acres. The interior of the building offers a certain modularity in it’s function and space division making it vry convinient to create new studios/ office spaces as and when required. The current signage and wayfinding system is dated and not befitting the stature of a premier design institute. Conferred with the status of ‘Institute of National Importance’ in 2014, it becomes imperative for the institute to showcase best practices of design, atleast on their own campus. The project deals with examinig the navigation needs of various stakeholders and designing a system for both directional and locational signage, for the Paldi campus. #wayfinding #inclusivedesign #systems #usability #navigation

Brief

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Reworked proposal Introduction The Paldi Campus of the National Institute of Design is known as the Heritage Campus. The institute provides design education at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. The paldi campus has both academic and residential buildings spread over 18 acres. The existing wayfinding system at the paldi campus is inefficient. The system is monotonous hence the journey does not become enjoyable. The redundant information on the repeating signage makes the system unlikable. NID has gained the status of an Institute of National Importance. The institute lacks a way finding system; which will fit the stature of a premier design institute of India.

Target The Paldi Campus is the only campus of NID with both undergraduate and post-graduate students. There are frequent visitors and design educators, students from all over the world visit this campus quite often. The system to be designed should consider needs of the stakeholders which include students, staff members, visiting faculties, exchange students and guests.

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Brief The project deals with understanding and examining the current way finding system at the Paldi campus of the National Institute of Design and designing an efficient and appropriate system, which will fulfill the needs of the stakeholders.

Scope The project should come up with final outcomes including efficient way finding system at the Paldi Campus with a proper visual Language, Icons, Colour coding system and ergonomics and the placement of the signages.

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Methodology Phase 1 - Research Information and Data collection and Analysis Phase 2 - Explorations Exploration of different approaches and solutions Phase 3 - Selection of the approach Analysis of the explorations and finalizing the approach Phase 4 - Execution Working towards the final outcome for the system Phase 5 - Documentation

Timeline Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ///////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////// ////////////// ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5

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Why? is the question.

The Motivation behind taking up this project was to learn as much as I can about signage systems. The Paldi campus has different kinds of structures and a varied user group, hence formulating a system which will fulfill the needs of all the stakeholders was going to be a challenge. I came to this campus for the first time during my studio test and I remember how lost I felt in the beginning. It is the necessity of the time that the new system for way-finding should become more intuitive and inviting enough so that people can use it easily.

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Research stage was the most important part of this project. Understanding the current system in the campus would help me to understand the location specific decisions to be taken. The research consisted of extensive study of the campus, the current signage system, the stakeholders, understanding the concepts and get informed about the need of the current situation. I had to ask some basic questions to myself before starting with anything. Those questions helped me to chalk out the things that I needed to know. Where is the need? Who has the need? How are the existing signage systems? How a way-finding system should be? How it should be for NID, Paldi?

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Research Recognizing and understanding the context, working on the content and connecting the two with you design solution are the tasks one has to do perfectly. If we fail to do any one of them in a desired way, the whole process might get disrupted. For this project I tried to understand the context from three different angles, The location The people The system

The study of the location dealt with understanding the paldi campus. The study of the people related to NID helped me to understand the stakeholders and their relation with campus. The study of the system involved understanding the signage systems through primary and secondary research and examining different strategies of way-finding. As design process is not made up of air-tight compartments, the research phase continued during the exploration phase and it helped me to have a better direction for further iterations.

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Understanding the campus Working on a signage system needs an extensive study of the location. The area to be covered has to understood properly. There are different buildings in the campus in which specific kind of work is done. The functional aspect of those buildings and their locational advantage had to be considered while studying the campus. The buildings are distributed in two major areas, The main building area and the residential area. The main building area again has a number of buildings with specific functions. The residential area consists of the faculty residences, boys hostel, girls hostel and the mess. In addition to the structures the paldi campus has a lot of area covered by trees which add up to the whole open-brick, free look of the heritage campus.

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The main building and the peripheral area consists of the buildings related to academic and administrative functions and all the buildings beyond the middle gate are built for residential purposes. The main building has three floors and is the central structure in the paldi campus where all the academic work is done. This structure is the most critical and interesting part of the campus with its modularity and changeability. The Peripherals of the main building include NIDUS, a store for showcasing and sale of the products made by NID students. Next to NIDUS there is NDBI, which stands for National Design Business Incubator and ICIC, which is the International Council for Indian Craft. Just above NIDUS there is the Design Gallery which is very frequently visited by visitors. The public relations office has its entrance just outside the main gate and is an important part of the institution.

The Extensive study of the campus made me realize the large area it covers and for the first time after coming to NID, I visited every single place on the campus. I categorized and grouped the buildings as per their locations and their functions. This classification further helped me to decide the strategy for the system. I reworked on the existing map near the main gate to visualize the classification of the buildings based on their functions. The separation between different areas for different functions can be seen very clearly in the adjoining map.


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Listing the locations

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Grouping of the structures

As per the locations

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Main Building

Peripherals

Hostel Area

Ground Floor First Floor Second Floor

Security Offices NIDUS, ICIC, NDBI Amphitheatre BMW Eames Plaza

Boys Hostels Girls Hostels Residential Areas Backfield Area


As per the logical activities

Academics

Administrative

Student Hostels

Faculty Residence

Main Building Amphitheatre

Security offices NIDUS, ICIC, NDBI Monument at the Eames Plaza Mess and BMW Store rooms, etc.

Boys Hostels Girls Hostels

Director’s Residence Faculty Residence Senior Faculty Residence Guest House

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Stakeholders National Institute of Design is not just an institute which teaches to be a good designer but it also teaches you to be a responsible human being. This institute is not only about the campus but very much about the people. The people associated with the institute have a very strong relation with the campus. This connection was a very important insight for me. The undergraduate students have hostel facility yet postgraduate students live off campus. The institute has residential area where many faculty members live with their families. This area is connected to the main

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building area through the middle gate. They live on the campus and know the campus like the back of their hand. The visiting faculties on the other hand stay in the guest house during their course. Each member of the NID community has different need when it comes to wayfinding. This situation was the most challenging aspect of this project. As an NIDian everyone has a different view and opinion about how the campus system should be and finding one common thread through all of their views was going to lead me to an optimum solution.


Students

Current Students New Students Exchange Students Visiting Students

Faculty

Current Faculty Visiting Faculty

Visitors

Guests Parents General Visitors

Non-Teaching Staff

Administrative Satff Maintenance Staff

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Signage System Unique identity for each location Landmarks Structured pathways Fewer information at each step Visual Character to each region Directions at Decision Points Clear vision of the path

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Wayfinding Visual references Associations with the locations Memorable journey Enjoyable experience Knowledge of the bigger picture Helpful when and where needed Should give you the feel of the place Strategic placements of signages

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What to do for

NID?

Understanding the current signage system and behavioral patterns of the stakeholders was one of the major tasks in this project. Given a huge campus and a vast range of the persona of stakeholders, the study of these elements of the system made it clear the spectrum of the need is quite large. The Paldi campus has a considerable number of people who use two wheelers and four wheelers as their mode of transportation. The need of directions for drivers and pedestrians is different and hence checking how much area is approachable for people with vehicles and how much is only for pedestrians was my first step.

Pathways for vehicles as well as pedestrians in the campus

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I examined the whole campus thoroughly and visited every little place on the campus and tried to understand the strategy of the existing system. The signage system is quite well in theory but over the period the time, it has become less and less interesting. NID being a design school, demands something more, something better from everything and the current system misses the mark. While roaming around the campus, I kept the maps; which I got from Mr. Nikhil, from admin, with me. I started to note down the points where there were directional signages and also the points where there was a need of one. I found out that the distribution of the signages was good on the ground floor, but for the first and second floor of the main building, there was complete absence of the directional signages.

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Clockwise form top left: The plan of Paldi Campus, The plan of Second floor, The plan of First floor, the plan od Ground floor

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When I put all the locations of the directional signages in the campus, I found out that there are some efficient signages which need to be reworked. The distribution of the signages was done on the basis of decision making points in the campus, but there was no concern about the vicinity of the locations. This created a lot of confusion for newcomers. There are some signages which have redundant information on it while some signages lacked directions to nearby locations. I realized that the modular structure of NID makes it quite difficult to have a rigid signage system. The changeability in the structure of the campus has to be reflected in the signage system to make it appropriate for the campus. Over the next few pages we’ll go through some of the important examples of the existing signage system. I found some commonalities in the system and tried to tackle them one by one in my project.

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The map at the main gate

Directional signage which needs relocation for better visibility

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Directional Signages with redundant information

Directional Signages near old canteen, barely visible, completely unreadable

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Directional signages near the foyer

Overhead directional signages

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No uniformity in the signage system

Directional signages with heavy information

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Insights from the research Though the research never stopped, I combined all the things I learned and put them together as a strong foundation. There were some very interesting things that came up through the interaction with the stakeholders. One of them was interpreting the philosophy of NID through the system. NID has a feel of newness to it and the system should have that essence. Coming inside the campus is not an easy job, as a student and also as a visitor, it is a kind of privilege and so you need to take care of that in some sense. The modularity of the main building is a challenge and also an opportunity, There are many empty spaces around the campus and those can be used for directional signages. The system should be able to help you when in need and should not interfere otherwise. There was one common thread that the system should be interesting and should be able to give you the WOW feeling.

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WAYFINDING FOR NID

ACADEMIC AREA

STAKEHOLDERS

STRUCTURE

RESPONSIBILITY

PHILOSOPHY

CLASSROOMS

STUDENTS

MAIN BUILDING

INCLUSIVENESS

LABS

FACULTY

RESIDENTIAL AREA

DESIGN ORIENTED THINKING

STUDIOS

GUESTS

BMW AND MESS

WORKSHOPS

EXCHANGE STUDENTS

PERIPHERALS

ADMIN AREA ACCOUNTS SECURITY

NON-TEACHING STAFF

RECREATIONAL AREAS

EFFICIENT SYSTEM MODULAR SYSTEM NATIONAL IMPORTANCE GOOD DESIGN PRACTICE REASONABLE USABILITY

INTERDISCIPLINARY INDIVIDUALITY

HERITAGE SOCIAL STATUS ACADEMIC STATUS

ADMIN OFFICES

LEGACY

STORES

HISTORY

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Learning by doing

As I was thinking about the situation in the campus I found one blank space in the whole navigation system which is ‘Knowledge of the Global system‘. One can not understand where he is in the campus just by looking around. There should be some provision made so that it’ll be easier for him to get the proper orientation. Many a times we do not need to be told to do something, we just need some information of where we are right now. I decided to take this concept forward. Again there was no charm in the present system and though it looked dignified, it did not reflect the enthusiasm of the whole campus through it. I had to do something about it. There were a lot of unusual location which were perfect for signages, I had to give that a thought. I wanted to have an interactive system which will give you the needed information. There were a lot of ways coming together and I did not know which one to choose, and firstly, do I choose just one way?

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I understood that there are a lot of things and approaches which can be tried out to see if they help or not but I did not know what to do about them. When I talked to my guide about these approaches he introduced me to the term ‘sacrificial concepts’. Sacrificial concepts are the ones which we need to validate by trying them out in real life situation and depending upon the result take the decision to follow them or leave them. This was a totally new concept for me, but when I started thinking it made so much sense. We need to experiment with the given space and our proposed idea to check whether it works or not before following them blindly. Sacrificial concepts are the ones about which we are not supposed to get too attached and forcefully make them work. If they have what it takes they’ll surely work, if not learn from them, make them better if possible or just move on.


Maps all over the place I decided to put some maps in the main building area which will help people know where they are and what are the possible ways to go their desired location. It was a new experience for me to just go ahead and do something without knowing what response I would get. I was just doing things which I thought would be helpful and hoped that they turn out just the way it was supposed to be. I guess, this was the idea behind the concept being sacrificial. I found out the locations where we need some kind of information about the whereabouts. I shadowed people in the main building to find out the most frequent and closest pathways to certain locations. There was just one little problem, I did not know how will I make those maps, and being a very early concept, how much time should I spend on making those maps. But then I realized that I need not make them very elaborate right now and just validate the map concept.

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I had the architectural plans of the main building, very technical ,very detailed. I simplified them a little bit but I caem across a very disturbing fact that the maps were made in 2002 and those were the lates plans on the main building. NID changes the locations aof the studios as per the requirement but

Map for the ground floor

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that did not reflect in the plans I had. Some departments shifted to gandhinagar camus but they were still shown in the plans. This was quite disappointing to me. So, I made the maps look as less technical as possible and indicated the most frequent pathways on each floor. I followed people

around to check if they follow the same path or not and majority of people did go by the same pathways. I placed such maps in different locations in and around main building where people need directions.

Installed map near GG Square


The locations of the maps were as follows:

Ground floor: Foyer GG Square Old Canteen

First floor: Graphic Design Lab KMC Workshop junction Second Floor: Auditorium Exhibition Studio Foundation Studio

Feedback on the map

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For the second floor I dicided to do some colour coding. There are several departments on this floor with a large space given to each of them. I gave the space one solid colour. One clour for each department and added the pathways with it. It looked a little more simplified and attracted attention also. It gave you the idea of where things are in a single glanse. I understood the role of colours in navigation systems.

Colour coded map for the second floor

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I needed the feedback of the NID community on the maps to get a clear idea about the workability of the approach. I printed the maps on A3 size paper and put them in the decided locations. I had given some space for people to write their feedback. To make sure that people take a look at it, I sent a community mail informing the students and faculty members about the project and the maps. Now I had to just wait and see.

Installed map near the foundation studio

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Feedback from the community After a weeks time I took the maps down. I started going through the commentsand feedbacks of people. I had to keep one thing in mind that each feedback is an opinion of a stakeholder and I need to consider that opinion as and when needed. Each feedback is important. People have associations with the term ‘You are here‘ and they search for it in a map. People do not need architectural details in a map. People do not need just a map, they want something interesting in it. People appreciatied colour coding, they found it very helpful. People wanted selective information in the maps and not the whole system. People wanted to know the relative location with all the three floors.

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Visiting CEPT CEPT is a very important institute in India when it comes to education in planning and architecture. As a leading educational institute in India, I had to visit the campus in Ahmadabad to see how are they dealing with the navigation in their campus. The experience was very interesting and taught me a lot in those 2-3 hours. The institute has its campus surrounded by trees and greens just like NID. It has an open brick structure, just like NID. It is an institute which teaches design, just like NID. But the signages were totally different. There was just one directional signage on the road and the directional signages in the buildings were very peculiar. I had no idea about the navigation pattern and system in the campus and so yes, I felt out of place in the beginning, but when I tried to understand the strategy it all fit quite well together.

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I could get just these two photographs from the CEPT campus as photography was not allowed in the campus. Unaware of this rule, I started clicking pictures and a guard came running and requested me not to do so. The only directional signage was the one in the adjoining photograph. It was an L shaped panel with 4 and 6 directions on the either sides of the panel. They had building numbers along with the names.

The entrance of the building had basic acrictectural plans of each floor with room numbers. That was it. Nothing else. Each room was numbered with the following strategy, Initials of the department + floor no.+ room no. Room FD203 will be room number 3 on the second floor of the building ‘Faculty of Design’.

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CEPT did not need an elaborate signage system because of the similiar qualities of its user group. Most of the frequent users have a knowledge of basic architecture and hence providing them with a plan to navigate was the simplest solution. Minimal in its essence, CEPT signage system finds its usefulness in the way it presents itself. Providing the user with the needed information at neede time is what I learnt.

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Anamorphic signages, an attempt The students of NID are creative people who sometimes do not like to follow ‘regular’ ways. After talking to a lot of students I figured that they have a tendancy to do something out of the box and they look for it everywhere. I took this as a motivation and started to try out very unexpected ways to show directions. I was thinking about paintings, installations, abstract clues and hints and very loud ‘in your face‘ kind of visuals.

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After a lot of reading in KMC, I found out one perfect way in which I can give direction to people and aso add an interesting element in the environment of the campus. ‘Anamorphic visuals’ are the kind of visuals which look perfect from a cetain view angle from a certain pont in the space.

I planned to try out the same principle but with text, not image. It will show you the direction if you are at the right position.

I finalised the location for this attempt as the entrance to the second floor from the stairs. When you come from the foundation studio, you can see a huge sign If you are standing at the indicated telling you that FOYER is on your location, you can see the exact left. Now I had to actually try it out image, otherwise it’ll look distorted and see how it looks. and that gives an enchanting feeling of achievement, to see the As an iteration to the final work, exact image. I made a prototype with paper which helped me to understand the process to follow.


I aquired a projector from the department and set up the whole assempbly in the hallway. I had to get the perfect angle of the projector from a perfect height so that a walking person will be able to read the text easily. After setting up the projector, I marked the outline of the text on the paper that I put on the wall. As it was a sacrificial tryout I was not going to paint the wall. I thicknned the marked outlines with blacktape and then there it was. A huge sign sayin FOYER with an aroow pointing towards left. The excitement and appreciation of people supported my vision that there has to be some ‘more than just a sign’ element to the signage system.

Above left: The setup for the experiment Above right: Anamorphic signage Left: Size of the sign, chair for scale. 55


Observing Delhi Metro

I had the opportunity to visit Delhi, the Capital of India for the first time and it was an important learning experience. I had to walk, I had to travel via metro and could very well observe the way finding system at the metro stations. Firstly, I could not appreciate the identity of delhi metro. It looked like a prohibitory sign rather than an inviting identity. Anyway, The way fiinding system was a little better. The colour soding of the specific lines was done quite efficiently and I found it helpful to find my way to the desired location. The overhead signs were on the other hand were very chaotic. They were showing so many directions at the same time that I was overwhelmed and it took me quite a while to check if I was going in the right direction. The individual signs were very clear but the way they were put together, they did not help.

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Colour coded map for the Delhi metro


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I got to see two important things though, one of them was a textured pathway for visually impaired people to find a way. It started from stairs and elevators and went till a specific location on the platform where the special coach would arrive. The straight path was indicated with tiles having a linear texture while at a junction or a turn it had a pattern of small circles. When I was searching for a way finding system for differentlyabled people and I read all the theoretical part of it. When I was in Delhi, I got to see and feel the textured path and how the elevator had a braille enabled system installed in it. It gave me a better understanding about the provisions to be done to make a system inclusive.

The second interesting thing was somewhat related to the experiment I did on the second floor, the anamorphic text as a directional signage but in Delhi Metro stations, instead of making it anamorphic, it was loud enough to be visible from a distance. Anamorphic text requires a lot of space to get a desired effect but a regular text with considerable size will use much less space and comparable visibility. The adjoining photograph gives an idea about the way the directions are put on the ground. Metro stations are used by pedestrians only and hence the sign on the ground are very useful for short journeys.

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Tactile path for visually impaired people

Directions on the ground

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Simplifying the maps Considering the feedback on the previous version of the maps, which were very technical, I decided to make them as simple as possible. The first thing I did was to remove the boundaries. When we find our way we do not look for the complete space occupied by the specific room, we look for the entrance and the path leading to it. I figured if I just whoe the pathways on each floor it’ll be the simplest form of a map. A diagram which shows the location of the desired room. NID has the modular structure and hence the locaton of the studios change with time but the designated path never changes. The way and the rooms remain there and just the contents in the room changes. This made the whole complicated map very simple.

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The less amount of information you give at each steps helps the user to understand and follow. The cluttered maps were absolutely chaotic in comparison to the new schematic map which showed the pathways without walls of the rooms. I simplified the map further to make it look aesthetically pleasing and having a better hierarchy of information so that people can understand it without much load.


Removing the walls from the existing map

Showing the entrances on each floor

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Interactive display During the simplification process I was triying to go through the whole experience of finding a room in the main building as a newcomer. I was planning to have the three maps installed on each floor so that wherever you are, you can understand what to do. And suddenly it hit me, why not make it interactive. We can have kiosks on each floor with the maps and you can just click on the source and the distination, and the way will be lit up. Yet, this seemed to complicated for the time. I was trying to use existing elemnts in the space as a medium of communication rather than adding something more to it and then I found a grand solution. Using the large empty wall of the auditorium as a screen. This wall is very big in size and is completely unused. It is very clearly visiblie from the foyer as well as from each floor. We can have an interactive display on this wall and use it as a navigation guidance system.

There will be a set of tiles on the foyer area, dedicated to each part of the main building, on pressing of which the path would be lit up on the huge wall. This idea seemed very amusing but after a meeting with mu guide I understood the difficulties and nuances of such a system. A system like this will work quite well for a short event where people from different places visit the campus. However when we talk about a way finding system for the whole campus, it becomes a misplaced element. I learnt a good lesson that though some new thing sounds interesting and workable, we need to keep the context in mind while validating it.

The empty wall of the auditorium

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Learning from hexagons Continuing the simplification process I started to think about maing the form of the map ‘mean something’ rather than being just a map. I started to think about the culture and values of NID. NID celebrates its inclusiveness, Interdisciplinary approach, Individuality. It admires Intelligence and creates a responsible designer. The status of the institute has risen to the institute of national importance. I tried to incorporate these six elements through hexagons in the maps I was making. The concept seemed to fit well. I started to make the maps and then suddently I found out that these maps look like a huge aromatic compound. The hexagon has a very strong connection with chemistry and so using that ona larger scale would give an indication that the campus has something to do with science. The associations we have with shapes and meanings make a great impact on your perception. Semiotics. True.

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Colour coding Colours play an important role in way finding. You recognize the space with help of colours, you can locate something from a longer distance.Colour coding is a strategic plan to give a space a certain identity through colours. I decided to give a different colour to different department so that you can easily understand which room it is. When I started giving the colours I found out that it was a little too much for me only to cope up. I imagined so many colours in the campus and I felt troubled. I remembered the rule of 5 +/- 2 my guide once told me. We can remember only 5 things at a glance give or take 2. It will become very inefficient if I use so many colours for the system. I decided to divide the locations on a different basis. Instead of coding them regarding the department I decided to colour them in on the basis of their physical and logical importance.

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There are places in NID which are most frequently visited by outsiders. I decided to give them one colour. One colour for the residential area where there are hostels and faculty residences and three colours for each floor in the main building.


For the star locations in NID. It includes NIDUS, Design gallery, NDBI, Public Relation Office, ICIC, Seminar Hall, Design street, Auditorium, Aquiarium and Boardrooms.

Blue colour for the ground floor of the main building where all the administrative and financial work takes place.

Green colour for the first floor of the main building where there is KMC, IT centre and Workshops where all the concepts are actualised.

Red colour for the second floor of the main building where the foundation studio along with product design, textile design and graphic design studio is situated.

Brown colour for the residential are as it gives an earthy feel and homely, calm environment.

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Locational signages

Locational Signages play the most vital role in any way finding system. When you follow the directional signages and reach a destination, locational signs lets you confirm the location. These signages help us to treat the environment as an aesthetic element. Currently the locational signs in the campus look the same and do not follow any colour coding system. I had to incorporate the colour coded system in the strategy for the locational signs. I had to design a system which will go with the environment and also stand out as a sign.

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Typefaces Selecting a typeface which is clear, easy to read from a long distance has different weights and goes with the environment was a tricky task.

I selected some typefaces after a lot of reading and printed out dummies to check the usability ofthe typefaces. I chose Myriad Pro, Avenir, Helvetica, Calibri, DIN and Frutiger.

After considering the feedback from the viewers and examinig the typeface I shortlisted Avenir and Frutiger.

Avenir Frutiger

THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPED OVER A LAZY DOG. THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPED OVER A LAZY DOG. the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. the quick brown fox jumped over a lazy dog.

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The current signage system uses Frutiger as the primary typeface but considering what NID means to the stakeholders, I decided to go for the one which is more easy to read, the more open one and the one with a little less hardness, Avenir, designed by Adrian Frutiger.


Exploring and compairing the typefaces

Exploring and compairing the weights

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Form The form of the locational signages are the physical shape which you are going to add in the environment. The structure of NID is modular and hence quite angular. To think about it not even just angular, its rectangular to be precise. I thought about making the signs rectangular but then they would just merge in the environment and they might become monotonous to look at after some time. When I thought about the difference in NID and other institutes I found out that the approachability of the space and people sets us apart. You can discuss about any subject with your faculty and you are always welcome to do so. I decided to put that thought out through the locational signages. I tried a form which literally looks like a talk bubble but it was looking very informal, not good enough. The second form I worked on was a rounded rectangle with one corner. The one corner goes with the rectangular architecture of NID and the rounded corners make it look very approachable.

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Exploring and compairing the forms

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Directional siganges NID has a need of directional signages for two kinds of people. People driving a vehicle and people walking on the road. I am concentrating on the people walking on the road. People walking on the road need directional signages at decision making points. The decision making points are the ones where more than one road cross each other or come together and you need to choose one path to follow. When a person is walking he need not look above his eye level to find directions. The most normal position of head while walking is slightly tilted downward while walking in an enclosed space. As the paldi campus has a lot of trees and a large structure, the main building, not putting the signages on a vertical panel seemed a right choice. Inspired by rangoli I tried out some scenarios in which the directions will be shown on the floor. This approach seemed promising as most of the people are walking and if we add something on the floor, it would not affect the feel of the openbrick structure of the building.

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The directional signage will follow the same colour coding for the entire system and it’ll give an idea about where the desired loactions are. I decided to paint rangoli like compositions at decision making points to let people know the directions. I tried segregating the different locations on different floors and adding different colours as per the colour coding system. This would help the pedestrians to check if they are going in the right direction just by looking under their feet.

schematic drawing of information distribution

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When I visualised it it sort of looked complicated with a lot of colours and a lot of information. When you give too many choices, people take longer time to make a decision. I had to drop the idea of making the elaborate rangoli and think of a simpler form for directional signs on the floor.


Simplified directional signage with colour coding

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Inclusive design the Paldi campus has a wheelchair friendly pathway through which people can navigate in the main building and all around the campus but the missing link is that there is no intimation of such pathways. I was thoroughly surprised when I studied the system that there is not provision for a way finding system for visually impaired people to navigate. Though NID does not have any such student or faculty member the provision has to be there to make sure that if such a person comes to visit the campus he/she should be able to move around without relying on others. I had to take care that this system shuld not feel like an extension but will be a part of the whole system.

Exploring the provisions for inclusive design

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Mapping out the wheelchair friendly paths on the ground floor

I checked the accessible pathways for wheelchair and found out that if I combine the navigation guides for visually impaired people and differently-abled people it will be avery good strategy as both of them can make use of the elevator. The elevator should be the central location of the system and the pathways should lead to and start from the elevators on each floor.

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Accessible paths on the first floor

Accessible paths on the second floor

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The Proposal

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The first journey should be unforgettable. After that you follow the path without relying much on the signage system. I am attempting to do just that.

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Locational I finalized the form with three round corners and one corner with 90 degree as it blends with the environment and yet stands out because of its round corners. The typeface that I chose is Avenir and the hierarchy of the information had to be maintained in a proper sense. I concentrated on the signages on the doors of the faculty cabins. The name of the faculty should be visible from a considerable distance hence kept heavy with a point size as large as 60. The department has the second most importance and so keeping it medium with point size 36. The designation of the faculty is an important information which can be provided when you are actually entering the cabin hence 36 point size with light weight is enough. The signage fits perfectly on the doors of the cabins with proper alignment.

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The arrow set is one of the important elements of the signage system which will be used in directional signages to be installed on vertical panels for drivers. The arrows should not look misplaced in the whole system but should not be too different that it’ll be difficult for people to understand what they mean. I am planning to use arrows with a flat bottom end and rounded arrowheads which go perfectly with the whole system. The icon for elevator is kept very literal and minimalistic. An ‘E’ inside a square with two arrows pointing up and down over it.

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The icons for the washrooms are quite minimalistic. Using circle as the basic form, I tried to differentiate the male and female by the generalization of the hairstyles. The forms are very easy to understand and locate.

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Directional There are a few locations in the campus which are visited quite often by visitors. I decided to treat the directions of these locations quite differently. The directions to the Design Gallery, NIDUS, NDBI, ICIC, Public Relation Office, Auditorium, Aquarium and boardrooms will be put directly on the road. A bright yellow coloured band starting from the main gate will lead you to the respective locations. You can follow the line without thinking twice and you’ll reach your destination without any hassle. These lines follow the closest possible path to the desired locations and can be used as an exit strategy in the case of emergency.

The form of the signages is based on circles and lines. A circle indicates that you are at a junction or you have reached the location depending on the text in the circle, the lines are accompanied by text so that everyone can find the way to the desired location.

Following pages contain the mockups of the directional signages for the frequently visited locations paldi campus.

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You are here sign at the main gate

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Direction towards Public Relation Office PRO

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Direction towards NDBI and NIDUS

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You are here sign at the main gate Following the path towards the main building 92


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Direction at the design street Introduction to the colour codes


Following the same path towards the foyer

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Direction to the auditorium via elevator The line entering the foyer area

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Orientational

Orientational approach is about letting people make use of the directional signages by making them understand their relative position from their destination. I propose strategically putting maps of the nearby area in certain area so that people will understand their location in a better sense. As per the results and feedbacks of the explorations and iterations I did on the maps, I understood that the people do not want very elaborate, technical maps but a simple map showing only the needed information. The maps will follow the same colour coding as the directional and locational signages to create a homogeneous system.

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The simplified map of the ground floor of the main building. It has illustrations of the landmarks so that visitors and easily navigate.

Stairs, elevators and washrooms are shown in orange colour to stand out in the whole map.

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The first floor has the ramp which can be used by people in wheelchairs and we get introduced to the spiral straicases.

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The map of the second floor to be placed near the staircase so that anyonoe coming up from the stairs will understand the location.

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Inclusive Design

To provide access to differentlyabled people, I am planning to add textured pathways in and around the main building which will provide a definite way of navigation. The textured path will lead to elevator on each floors which helps people with visual impairment to find their way around. The same path will provide a way for people with wheelchair as it will lead them to the elevators. The elevators are braille equipped and one panel showing the information about the current floor in detail and a brief overview about the other floors in braille and English script will be installed just outside the elevator. People will be able to find their destination with least help from other people with the use of this system.

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This is still an ongoing project. The scope of the project is too large to cover in a time span of six weeks. I have explored some possibilities which are workable and are suitable for the given context. Some major components of the system still need to be explored like the directional signages for people driving a vehicle and the signages in the residential part of the campus. The implementation details of the final signage system need to be figured out. The ultimate goal of the project is to have a full functioning way finding system at the paldi campus of National Institute of Design.

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Future Scope

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A long way to go...


Set in typeface Avenir, designed by Adrian Frutiger. Printed at Siddhi Printers, C G Road, Ahmedabad March 21, 2015


M. Des. Graphic Design 2014

Profile for Parag Chitale

Find your way  

Documentation of design project one, guided by Mr. Rupesh Vyas

Find your way  

Documentation of design project one, guided by Mr. Rupesh Vyas

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