2021 SEGD Wayfinding + Placemaking Symposium: Connecting People to Place—Globally

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This month, SEGD hosts its annual Wayfinding + Placemaking Symposium, bringing together innovators and award-winning experiential designers from across the globe who create meaningful experiences which connect people to place. This year’s event, scheduled for June 23–24, takes place virtually, making it even easier for members to attend and converse with their colleagues from around the world.

The 2021 SEGD Wayfinding + Placemaking Symposium (June 23–24) promises to bring a global perspective to experiential graphic design. At this virtual event, presenters from India to Australia and from Hong Kong to the UK will reflect on design through a dynamic cultural lens. They promise to feature a variety of projects including airports, corporate headquarters and public spaces. Presentations and Q&A sessions will provoke conversations about cultural sensitivities and nuances, while exploring processes and design solutions that help build meaningful connections and thoughtful representation.

The following expands on some of the 2021 Wayfinding + Placemaking sessions, introducing readers to the symposium’s participants and the subjects of their presentations.

Enjoy! (and please attend!)


Welcome to Wayfinding + Placemaking 2021
Day 1 — June 23 at 3:00pm EST
The symposium kicks off with a welcome address from two continents on opposite sides of the planet. Cybelle Jones (CEO of SEGD) and Despina Macris (DOTDASH) welcome attendees from their respective cities of Washington, DC, and Brisbane, Australia. The theme of their address reflects the intentions of this year’s event: engaging attendees in conversation and discussing how design can better reflect the cultures and communities it serves in both form and function.

Keynote: Graphic Life: Celebrating Places, Telling Stories, Making Symbols
Day 1 — June 23 at 3:30pm EST
Michael Gericke (Pentagram) presents the day’s keynote address which focuses on his newly published book Michael Gericke: Graphic Life. This 520-page publication celebrates Michael’s life as a graphic designer and his 35+ career at Pentagram. You can learn more about Graphic Life in this recently posted SEGD article.

Beyond the Binary: Setting the Wayfinding Standard for Inclusive Restrooms
Day 1—June 23 at 4:15 pm EST
To those accustomed to standard public restrooms (divided by “Men” and “Women”), the idea of an all-inclusive restroom (accommodating people of all sexes and genders) might make many uncomfortable! But Carla Ramirez Sosa and Anna de Jonge (Mijksenaar USA) present their firm’s recent designs for all-gender restrooms inside Amsterdam’s Schipol International Airport based on comprehensive audience research. You can learn more about “Beyond the Binary” in this recently posted SEGD article.


Welcome to Wayfinding + Placemaking 2021 (Day 2)
Day 2 — June 24 at 10am EST
Cybelle Jones (CEO of SEGD) and Baarish Date (Graphics Beyond) of Mumbai welcome attendees to Day 2 of the symposium. The second day of speakers focus on what tools and best practices designers need to utilize when celebrating cultural diversity and identity in environmental graphics and branding. Day 2 presentations showcase solutions, from artful expressions of customized typography to the use of color and materials paying homage to heritage and authenticity of place.

Keynote: Mexico City Then and Now
Day 2 — June 24 at 10:15am EST
SEGD Fellow Lance Wyman (Lance Wyman Ltd.) delivers Day 2’s keynote talk about the evolution of his work in Mexico City, beginning a half-century ago at the 1968 Olympics (still considered Gold-medal-worthy) and continuing today, collaborating with the Mexico City Government for their Integrated Mobility project.
Moderated Q+A with 2021 SEGD President Anna Crider (Entro)

Local is Global – Multilingual Branding
Day 2 — June 24 at 11:15am EST
Sarang Kulkarni (White Crow) of Mumbai, provides a fascinating overview of the firm’s work across India, creating multilingual branding for the world’s most well known companies along with custom fonts and calligraphy that represent many of India’s lesser known languages and dialects. 

Representing Cultures Through Design
Day 2 — June 24 at 12:00pm EST
Spaceagency (London) has created an extraordinary breadth of work designed across many sectors around the globe. The firm’s Sarah Manning and Peter Feldman discuss and share EGD projects and how they ensure that their design teams understand, respect, and represent local cultures appropriately through their work.

Want to participate in SEGD’s 2021 Wayfinding + Placemaking Symposium and converse with your colleagues from around the world? Register here to take part in the global conversation.