The design of education environments can serve not only aesthetic, inspirational needs but also practical ones. The integration of architecture and environmental graphic design communicates and reinforces core concepts and ideas related to the students’ ongoing studies. Importantly, this opportunity applies to all learning environments—low cost can yield high-impact results. We believe creative, unexpected design intervention can assist current schools that are struggling to keep students engaged, and also act as a catalyst for a new type of school environment that sets a precedent for high-performance learning facilities. The success of not-for-profits such as Publicolor in using design to improve student outcomes serves as inspiration for our ideas.
This paper examines the processes and outcomes of an educational project designed to explore new ways of thinking about experiential graphic design and interactive design. Through the pedagogical approaches of these two distinct disciplines, undergraduate design students unified user-generated content, social media, and virtualized reality not only as wayfinding and placemaking techniques, but as means to build a hidden, invisible city with its own shifting circulation paths, monuments and narratives weaving through the physical landscape.
Workplace safety is closely related to staff’s wellness, but they have been mostly approached as separate initiatives due to organizational conventions and operational constraints. Thanks to the rising awareness of health and wellness as well as advanced technology capabilities, corporate attempts are increasing for creating a safer work environment by monitoring employees’ physical and emotional conditions in relation to potential workplace hazards. This paper will present an integrated design approach to workplace safety and wellness based on the case studies of communication system design projects that explored digitally augmented warehouse work environments.
This paper presents the framework and outcomes of two transformative projects aimed at developing strategies for re-envisioning Cincinnati’s urban and historic core. Through a unique collaboration between University of Cincinnati’s DAAP students, adjunct faculty, the community, and key civic stakeholders, the projects brought to light the possibilities for creating a best-in-class visitor experience and transforming a derelict urban district once celebrated as the center for Brewing in Cincinnati.
Charrettes and critiques can be devised specifically for experiential graphic design course goals and assignments in order to inform design process and final project outcomes in particular and unanticipated ways. For the purposes of this paper, charrette refers to a planned, intensive and timed experience that is strategically directed toward the investigation and solution of a specific design goal or objective. The term critique implies a group dialogue, analysis or assessment of work during a particular phase of design process. Diverse approaches to these considerations are explored and illustrated within this paper.
This paper provides an in-depth overview of the process in developing the Bachelor of Experiential Design degree (BXD) in the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design (FAAD) at Sheridan College, located in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
Struggling downtowns and retail districts of small cities and towns have been completely overlooked by graphic designers, since these independent businesses often cannot afford, or aren’t aware of, the services of designers. In the graphic design department at Iowa State University, we see this problem as an excellent opportunity to engage our students in community-based design. For over 15 years, our senior graphic design students have been introduced to Environmental Graphic Design while working on the re-design of a downtown district--engaging with communities to reinvigorate their retail districts in efforts to enhance the quality of life for local residents.
Communicating a brand message extends beyond the information and visual content applied to a package. The package’s physical structure, materials, finishes, and interactions can also strongly influence the consumer’s experience and subsequent perception of the product and brand. This paper presents case studies of integrated package design by students in Graphic and Industrial Design at the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. It reflects on the methods employed, lessons learned, and impact on future interdisciplinary collaborations in Package Design within education and practice.
Many national and international service companies (such as retail stores and hotels) operate loyalty programs that offer points and rewards. Loyalty programs collect information on individual customer, but the information never reaches customer service representatives who could use it to personalize service. This paper investigates if loyalty program data can be collected and fed back to customer-facing employees to provide value to customers and improve their perception of their own job performance.
Street art emerges from the tensions and issues that face communities. It simultaneously reflects and confronts the viewer with the explicit intent to incite thought and action. Street artists work in spite of, and often on top of, space that has been monetized as they seek to present a counter-narrative to the mass-produced homogeneous corporate culture that has come to pervade many urban cityscapes.
The new College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University in Shanghai forms a multi-functional complex for college students and teaching staff. Opened in 2014, it was designed as a platform for promoting opportunities for dialogue, fostering design thinking, and triggering interaction between users and the environment. As part of the building design, a new signage program was developed and prototypes were utilized to test and encourage interaction with the signage design process.
Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall
Swinburne University of Technology
“Design translates values into tangible experiences. What are your values?” This is a question Dori Tunstall asks students who take her courses in the Design Anthropology Program. Marking the boundaries between respectful knowing and making, design anthropology lives across and within design’s desire to serve as a positive force in the universe by drawing attention across evolving human values, the making of environments, objects, communications, and interactions that express those values, and the experiences that give interpretation to those values and their meanings. But design must learn to tread respectfully in order to avoid becoming another colonizing practice. In this presentation, Dori Tunstall explores the teaching of design anthropology as a hybrid praxis of 1) critical anthropological and design theory, 2) anthropological and participatory design research methods, and 3) design studio and social systems making. She outlines eight principles of design anthropology as a decolonized practice that seeks to be respectful of different ways of knowing and making. The showcasing of projects completed by students in her Transcultural Aesthetics and Contemporary Design course marks the limitations and possibilities of the discipline as a bridge between respectful knowing and making.
Graphic and Industrial Design College of Design, NC State University
Research education in design is a timely topic given the current trajectory of design as a profession. Arising from trades, the field has developed over the last half century, now showing most of the behaviors that are common to well-established professions: documented history; code of ethics; interest in methodology; growing body of literature; and developing criticism. The work yet to be done, however, is to build a mature culture of design research, as all professions have individuals whose primary work is to generate new knowledge that becomes the basis of practice. And this is an effort that can be accomplished only through a partnership between professionals and educators.
Miami University (Ohio)
Breadcrumbs. Wayfinding, an amazing tool, deals with providing navigational “breadcrumbs” to travelers, helping them find their way between locations. Speaking the language of space, information, shape, and form, wayfinding addresses the communication of information within the realms of graphic design, architecture and interior design. But sometimes problems in clear communication arise, especially when the behavioral aspects of human navigation are overlooked. Luckily, we can address these issues early... Assuming we rethink the current wayfinding education model, and teach beyond the book.
By considering issues of navigation behavior, we can establish a wayfinding education model that seeks to help explain the how and the why behind navigation, regardless of the ultimate where. But how do we teach behavior and context in the static environment of a standard classroom? KNOWHERE, an immersive education model designed to teach wayfinding in a more hands-on manner, uses graphic design to establish educational events that communicate ideas of design elements in an immersive context and environment. Through the use of exhibit design and mobile studio equipment, the KNOWHERE model pulls students out of their chairs and immerses them in the world of wayfinding in ways that encourage exploration and creative analysis.
Social networking has quickly become synonymous with professional development. The architecture and design industry has the opportunity to harness this movement in new and creative ways in its drive toward integrated design practices. Integrated design1* practice by definition must serve the individual design discipline while engaging in a community of practice toward a common project goal. This research initiative is spurred by leaders in the field who indicate that a swift transformation to integrated design practice is required in the discipline in order for architecture and design practice to remain relevant in today’s global economy. Bridging architectural and design research and environmental graphic design provide the opportunity for both a broad and a distinct view of integrated design practice. Current research can inform the environmental graphic design discipline of best practices that promote excellence in design and professional practice as well as multi-disciplinary collaboration as an EGD core competency. As a researcher and practitioner, I am excited to engage the EGD community in dialog about innovative venues for knowledge sharing toward professional development and integrated design practices. As a campus designer and planner charged with EGD and the wayfinding master plan for the university, I understand the need for multi-disciplinary collaboration at a project level, as well as the challenges of timely professional development in a rapidly changing field. As a Ph.D. candidate my research focuses on harnessing social networking as a vehicle for collaborative learning which can be applied both at the design industry level as well as at the scale of an individual discipline such as environmental graphic design.
The University of Oklahoma
This paper discusses the potential for environmental graphic design (EGD) in emergent and small communities where both EGD and the value of design are unknown. When designers arrive in a community for the first time, they tend to notice things other people do not. Things like how information and experiences are integrated into a cityscape or neighborhood, or how a vision of a community shapes the delivery of their identity or message. When I arrived in Oklahoma nearly a year ago, I was told that there were huge opportunities for design to make an impact. Designers in Oklahoma are aware of what could be possible, but “the bridge” to make design a community focus had to date not been completed. Leaders in these communities have not been connected to the full potential that design offers. Without this knowledge base, the users of these communities do not understand what design is. A common misunderstanding that complicates matters is that design is equated as marketing. Design is mistakenly understood as the way to “dress things up” or make something “eye catching.” The incomplete part of “the bridge” is the notion that design can be a transformative mechanism that goes beyond the surface, and has the capacity to change the way we experience our present moment and envision our future.
Leslie Blum and Donna David
Fashion Institute of Technology/State University of New York
Before students can undertake sophisticated environmental graphic design (EGD) projects, they must learn very basic skills in visualizing three-dimensional space, working in scale and “making things.” Because these skills span traditional educational boundaries and departmental programs, they often fall between the cracks. This paper explains the design of an innovative interdisciplinary foundation program at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), a part of the State University of New York, which incorporates “learning by doing” and teaches skills that cross the disciplines.
The program contains the traditional components of an introductory Communication Design or Graphic Design program: typography, layout, color, computer skills, design history and a generous offering of liberal arts courses. In addition, the program concentrates on integrating three-dimensional visualization, incorporating the concept of “scale," introducing “time” and “space” as part of visual language and design basics, strengthening presentation skills and professionalism, and strengthening hand skills by “making things.”
San Diego State University
Commercial storefronts play a vital role in signposting and broadcasting the cultural identity of the urban landscape. Storefront signs address basic commercial communication needs such as naming and stating the type of business, marking the location, advertising services, and attracting customers. But they also fulfill a more important need: expressing the characteristics of a given culture, and defining how that culture is represented visually. They add flavor and authenticity. They let us know, culturally and geographically, where we are.
How a culture is perceived is largely determined by how it is presented. As cultural readers and interpreters, we look for signs and symbols to help us make sense of the space around us. In an ethnic urban landscape, commercial storefront signs are powerful coded symbols that communicate a wealth of cultural information. Sign painting has traditionally been the most common and effective means of conveying that information. In the past, such signs would have been hand-painted. However, since the introduction of plastic materials, and with the dominance of digital technologies, traditional sign painting has declined in popularity, especially in major commercial centers, where it is rarely, if ever, seen. But in many ethnic areas, sign painting has managed to survive as a vernacular form of design that operates on the margins of professional design practice.
This project examines the “membrane” that separates vernacular and professional graphic design, by investigating a particular form of indigenous hand-painted murals that advertise folk music concerts in rural Mexico, and by surveying the current state of storefront designs along University Avenue and San Ysidro Boulevard in San Diego, California. The main objective is to develop models for commercially competitive design solutions that translate the visual language of traditional handmade lettering into modern sign-making technologies and materials, in order to explore culturally sensitive ways to brand small businesses in ethnic pockets within urban areas. By creating design alternatives in the form of prototypes that expand the possibilities of modern technology, this project aims to foster cultural vitality and economic prosperity for small ethnic businesses, and to advocate for the preservation of visual diversity.
University of California Davis, Department of Design
How we navigate the streets has changed radically over the past decade, thanks largely to new technologies. To take just one example, smart phones have made an ever widening array of maps and information available to the public, enabling new ways of seeing and experiencing the urban landscape. iPhones allow the street to become a museum without walls, support pop-up events, and enable the creation of thematic journeys.
While our modes of navigating streets have transformed, the streetscapes themselves have remained fundamentally unchanged. We still have traffic signs, phone booths, historical plaques, and bus stops that look and operate much the way they did 20 or even 50 years ago. Why are our streets so slow to adapt? The time is ripe to reconsider how public infrastructure could operate and how it might transform the way we navigate and experience the public realm. Could there be alternative ways to access location-based information, beyond personal digital devices—ways that help make information more widely accessible to all and lower the digital divide? Could a public media infrastructure achieve secondary aims such as reducing carbon footprints and creating more habitable cities? How can the street itself learn from the open source, mobile platforms that characterize the latest turn of the digital revolution?
When following directional signs through a new area, how much do people actually learn about the environment around them? How could you design directional signs to help people learn more? This study examines how the design of directional signs influences spatial learning, by presenting information in different spatial perspectives.
Three sign types were evaluated: Separate (directional arrows, with roads and towns on different signs), Combined (simple arrow diagrams of the intersection, with roads and towns on one sign), and Cartographic (a highly simplified map). Participants viewed a sequence of signs as if driving through a fictional environment, making turn choices according to assigned goals, and then completed a mapping task. After a second sign viewing, this time without turn decisions, participants repeated the mapping task.
For the first mapping task, participants who viewed the Cartographic signs produced more accurate maps than those viewing the Separate or Combined signs. These results suggest that guide signs with simple maps can help people incidentally learn about the spatial configuration of the environment. There was no significant difference between groups for the second mapping task, which suggests that when people are aware that they will be tested, sign type does not affect how much they can learn.
This study not only has implications for the design of directional signs, but is also an example of linking research in spatial cognition with wayfinding as a design discipline. Carried out as an undergraduate thesis, this study is evidence of an effective interdisciplinary approach to design education.
This project explores the value that environmental graphic design elements can create to help promote and improve the perceptions of a neighborhood within a segregated urban landscape. Urban segregation occurs when a city’s diversities create perceived barriers around concentrated clusters of social groups. When these divisions are extreme enough, communities become shut off from the rest of the city and often fall into a perpetual cycle of struggle and degradation. Research has shown that the success of a neighborhood rests in its ability to connect with other neighborhoods and economies throughout a city. It also demonstrates that cross- participation enhances the overall capacity of a community to operate both socially and economically. In a segregated city, there is an opportunity to use environmental graphic design elements to help improve the perceptions of a divided neighborhood and reconnect it to the greater city population.
During this research, a case-study project was developed with the neighborhood East Liberty, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Historically a thriving neighborhood, East Liberty has been plagued by over two decades of neglect and failed renewal efforts. Despite recent development efforts, many locals still avoid this area. This case study uses a combination of research tactics and design prototypes to produce elements that attempt to improve the experience of East Liberty and create more positive perceptions surrounding this area. The results from this project measured a significant improvement to the negative perceptions of East Liberty and demonstrated the potential to entice more people to visit and participate within this neighborhood.
Miranda Hall and Nicole Bieak Kreidler
La Roche College
Design has undergone many changes over the past several decades. What was once a trade activity is now a practice-based profession that has diversified into very distinct disciplines (Buchanan, 1998). Design disciplines have worked independently until recently, when interdisciplinary collaboration has become increasingly valuable. Studies have shown that collaborative efforts can produce new and original ideas not possible in a uni-disciplinary setting (Nelson, Wilson and Yen, 2009). Too often design education lags behind what is happening within the design profession and it is for this reason that this collaboration was initiated. The decision to plan the interdisciplinary collaboration came out of a discussion of the crossover of content topics within two courses in the Design Division at La Roche College. After additional conversations and planning, it was also driven by the desire to better integrate students and initiate them as co-creators.
University of Cincinnati
Technology is presenting new opportunities for designers and educators to collaborate in developing tools for reading instruction. This paper shares a collaborative research study that leveraged visual communication design, reading literacy, and educational psychology research to help teach early reading skills through a multi-sensory experiential learning tool. This study demonstrates how collaboration and design problem-solving can contribute to addressing communication design problems and developing experiential learning methods.
University of Idaho College of Art & Architecture
This paper examines the potential for integrating Experiential Graphic Design (XGD) within the context of a traditional graphic design/visual communication curriculum. This shift will better prepare students to work in a constantly evolving, competitive, and expanding field of design. Through documented student projects, we explored the development of XGD strategies and methodologies through the blending of traditional graphic design foundations, interactive, and time-based media that transform a user experience beyond the page and screen. The success of this type of new curriculum model is made possible by the co-location of art, design, new media, and architecture in an interdisciplinary college.
College of Design & Innovation
This paper examines the sustainable challenges and opportunities in environmental graphic design through the lens of two projects implemented in Shanghai. The first, a wayfinding program for the Shanghai South Railway Station, is a study in using EGD to support and enhance sustainable behavior. The second, a signage and EGD program for a practice center at Tongji University, demonstrates EGD’s ability to support cultural sustainability, particularly in the use of typography and symbols to connect users and create a unique sense of identity.