Tongji University, formerly Tongji German Medical School, was established in 1907. It was given its present name and became a state university in 1927. It was one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education in China. The university has developed rapidly in all respects over the sixty-five years since the founding of China, especially since the country's opening-up policy.
Faced with a 77-meter-long red brick wall between Tongji University and the Siping Community of Shanghai, the university’s Public Design Lab, part of the College of Design & Innovation, wondered what kind of experience they could create for passersby. By leveraging the sidewalk and the unique raised pattern of the brick, the team conceived simple graphics that change as pedestrians walked by—creating a different experience from left to right and right to left.
Public Design Lab, Tongji University College of Design & Innovation
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.
Dr. Wu Duan is an associate professor of environmental design at College of Design & Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai. She is a leader and cofounder of Public Design LAB in Tongji and the leader of environmental graphic design studio in Tongji Tiandi Institute of Art & Design Innovation.
Wayfinding systems overcome language, cultural, and literacy barriers to help users make sense of the built environment. At Tongji University in Shanghai, a unique system designed by the College of Design & Innovation combines symbols and Chinese characters to help students navigate a new facility while building a sense of community identity. The project was a 2014 SEGD Global Design Awards winner. (Enter your work in the 2015 SEGD Global Design Awards!)
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.