WAYFINDING, INCLUSIVITY & THE GREEN MOVEMENT.

January  29th – 2021.

“Wayfinding is the process or activity of establishing your position and planning and following a route.”

How Modulex integrates all these factors in Wayfinding strategies.

In the simplest definition, Wayfinding enhances a person’s understanding and can enrich their experience of a specific space. Architecture is only getting more innovative and as buildings continue to get more complex, so do the pathways throughout them. Wayfinding exists so that individuals can be navigated safely through a building regardless of how intricate it may be. All Wayfinding programs irrespective of the complexity of the architecture should follow the fundamental pillars.

Can I see it?

Can I read it?

Can I understand it?

Can I trust it?

Wayfinding indeed allows you to get from point A to point B, but it also allows you to experience everything in between. In some strategies, that is key. An employer perhaps wants the most efficient path around the office building, so employees are not distracted or disrupted. Other businesses strategically want users to follow a course with specific intent. We have been through airports where we must pass by a retail onslaught to get to our destination. These are all understandable strategies from an owner or stakeholder point of view. But is it the right way? At its heart, user inclusivity should always be the goal and creating a Wayfinding strategy that benefits first and foremost – the user.

Using universal symbols and user-based language is critical. It is essential to avoid internal terminology or acronyms on Wayfinding signs when seeking a user-driven Wayfinding experience.

But what about materials? Unfortunately, not all materials can support tactile elements. It is an essential consideration as an inclusive Wayfinding strategy should be compliant with local equalities laws/acts.  An inclusive, neurodiverse Wayfinding strategy should be the ultimate goal in the context of your plan. Once inclusivity is achieved, working with materials that support it follows.

Sustainability has become a key element in all our Wayfinding strategies. Modulex was about sustainability before it was a household word and a global issue. Our modular signage systems, built on the concept of Lego building blocks, are made for upcycling. We have been building our system signage this way for decades.  All brands evolve, and modular systems built to update graphics and led lighting on the existing framework of the sign allowing the old components to be recycled.

Users + System + Materials = Wayfinding

Lastly, Wayfinding is not complete without materials. To have a full wayfinding experience, you need the signage itself. Wayfinding can use many different materials depending on the solution required. Each wayfinding solution will need to consider weather conditions, the users, the software involved, and so much more. If you consider all the above, Wayfinding is not complete unless you implement inclusive strategies for users, the system, and the materials involved.

Sustainability and Green Product Solutions for Wayfinding Plans:

Upcycling: Our modular products are designed to contribute to a circular economy. Modular systems allow us to disassemble and replace sign elements easily, ensuring that old panels are detachable and recycled. By designing our products as modules, signs can be upcycled into new sign systems by simply installing a new set of panels and reusing structures that would otherwise become by-product waste. Upcycling minimizes waste and enables customers to transform their signs into new ones with an added environmental value in a competitive way.

Etronit: Etronit has excellent tactile capabilities. It is a material made of FSC® and PEFC® paper from Nordic forests infused in synthetic resin and put together under extreme pressure and heat, that combines environmental consciousness with high-end aesthetics.

Greenbond: Greenbond™, a tactile eco-friendly product is made of FSC® paper and polyester film. This material is a standard UV-printable material. As its name indicates, GreenBond™ has been developed as an alternative to aluminium composite (ACM) signs.

Supply: Sustainable practices and green materials are always at the forefront of Modulex signage solutions and are used wherever possible.

Material choice: Modulex chooses and uses suppliers to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum. Modulex also chooses durable materials that last decades, limiting the need for replacements and wasted materials.

Optimized Wayfinding: Modulex evaluates a customer’s needs and implements efficient and implemented solutions with as little waste as possible.

Chrome Free Coating: Aluminum is a fantastic product and has an excellent finish but is usually pretreated with chrome before it is painted. This chrome coating is very harmful to the environment. Modulex has created a chrome-free pretreatment that gives the same excellent finish and is much safer for the environment.

Greenguard Certified: Modulex uses Greenguard Gold Certified inks in all of our UV-inkjet and eco-solvent printers. This certification ensures that our printed signs produce a meagre amount of VOC emissions, making them much safer for the environment.

Sources:

Examples of Wayfinding Materials/ Systems:

Occidental Diagonal Barcelona: Read more here

The University of Alberta, Canada: Read more

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science Miami, USA: Read more here

The Meininger Hotel Amsterdam Amstel: Read more here

New Nursing Home for the Municipality of BÆRUM, Norway: Read more here

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