chapter  19
16 Pages

Wayfinding: backbone of graphic support systems

ByRomedi Passini

The circulation of people in buildings and cities was never a major issue in the eyes of architects and urban designers. The introduction of signage was, and often still is, a last minute thought and for many architects it represents a necessary evil, to be watched, so as not to ‘disfigure’ a building. Once sufficient circulation space was provided and signs were installed before opening day there was little more to worry about. Even if some settings, such as large hospitals, interconnected government buildings, and some transportation centres were known to be labyrinthine, it was taken for granted that circulation was no problem. People who had difficulties getting around were thought of as being deprived of a ‘sense of orientation’ and just had to blame themselves. It is only in recent years that the extent of circulation problems and disorientation, their nuisance and also their functional and financial costs are starting to be recognized.