Design Out Drowning
by Imagemakers, for RNLI
Though it features some unparalleled views and beaches, the coast of the South West of England is also dangerous for those without knowledge of the tides. Over the years, countless campaigns, signage and initiatives have been employed to warn people of the risks, but still the RNLI is faced with tourists falling victim to unpredictable waters.
Such a situation demanded a radical new approach – and that’s exactly what Imagemakers did. Researching into behavioural principles, as well as meeting with lifeguards and volunteers, the team settled on an innovative new way to get people to understand the dangers of tides and rip currents.
Using the sand itself as a canvas, Imagemakers devised signwriting techniques and stencils with which staff could write out their warnings, referring to tide behaviour
or timings on a given day, on a large scale which could be seen not only from the beach but from the overlooking cliffs too. While certainly not a new phenomenon – most beachgoers will have written or at least seen a message scribbled into the sand before – such a technique was a humble, emotive and unmistakable approach to the problem.
The judges said: “This is an absolutely brilliant project, showing clear innovation, fitting with the environment and audience for an overall beautifully carried out piece.”
UCL – Disruptive Thinking since 1826
by Jack Renwick Studio, for UCL
University College London (UCL) has, since its inception in 1826, worked to confront some of the biggest issues facing the world. With a new building for the college under way in Stratford, east London, Jack Renwick Studio was brought in to design wayfinding and signage for the construction site.
Since UCL is the 8th best university in the world, the team needed a system that could show off this status, while also enhancing the site and staying relevant to local audiences. It also needed to be easily updateable as the site continued to change during its construction, which is scheduled to continue into 2022. The finished result uses interlocking contrasting images – one depicting a current problem the world faces, and another with UCL’s response. The university’s logo is integrated into each set of images, giving the impression of graphically disrupting the problem and leading the way to the solution.
Science Museum, Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries
by Holmes Wood, for Science Museum
Opened last year, the Science Museum’s newest permanent exhibition, Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries, comprises five collections which explore medicine’s relationship with the human body, history, community, and existential ideas of hope and fear. With such a diverse range of artefacts on show, Holmes Wood was asked to design environmental graphics that could sew a thread through such a complex story.
Beyond successfully navigating visitors through hundreds of years of medical history, the Holmes Wood team had another challenge: as a permanent exhibition, the wayfinding graphics needed to be able to hold up for 25 years. The finished project then uses a clear information hierarchy to create a story narrative throughout the visit, while large-scale beacons introduce each section. Throughout the space, a limited colour palette of blood red and bone has been used.
WAYFINDING AND ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHICS
by Dn&co, for The V&A
As one of the world’s premier museums for art and design, creating the wayfinding system for the V&A’s seven miles of gallery space is a huge undertaking; Dn&co's approach, using a total of 400 signs, was to simplify navigation around the museum’s three buildings, keep artefacts centre-stage and, perhaps most importantly, direct attention to the fee- generating exhibitions.
To do this effectively, the team first took on the colour scheme – punchy colours are used to direct visitors’ attention. Beyond steering museum-goers in the right direction, the team also worked to make the “airport-scale” museum – which houses 145 galleries in South Kensington – feel smaller. By redesigning the map, and re-numbering the floors, seemingly “far-flung” galleries appear closer and more accessible.
The Project at Hoxton
by This Works, for BlackRock
The motivation behind This Works’ project with BlackRock, they say, was to create a building full of “happy students”. As a 270- room undergraduate residence in London, The Project operates in a competitive and over-supplied market – so to ensure the work connected with students, the team began the project with research that consulted experts in architecture, psychology and neuroscience, as well as international academics.
What came from this, was a focus on flexibility and the ability for students to shape their own space. The wayfinding system took cues from this too. Key areas in the building were renamed, and a shape code was installed to differentiate between events (social, creative, learning). Additionally, such lengthy research pointed to the benefits of mixed materials. The finished product uses warm wood to induce calm, contrasted with acrylic to ensure it can be easily updated in the future.
Layers upon Layers
by Imagist, for Argent
The history of Coal Drops Yard stretches far further back than its modern shopping facilities, having been built during the Victorian era to handle the eight million tonnes of coal delivered to London annually.
While updated drastically over the past decade, the walkways continued to feel “old, dark and unwelcoming”. To fix this, the creative team at London-based Imagist were brought in to create an installation which explored the lengthy history of the Yard.
With this brief in mind, Imagist created a series of palimpsests to tell the story. To further add to the idea of time passing, the team went on to fly-poster the boards around the Yard, hand-ripping each layer so that “a piece of each era was always preserved and on view”.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
by Populous, for Tottenham Hotspur
Though it will be best known as a home for football, the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium has also been designed to host both NFL games and concerts. Such a multi-purpose venue required a modern wayfinding system and international design studio Populous was brought in to achieve this. The wayfinding system blends the new with the familiar: taking its cues from the new stadium’s perforated façade, while also being underpinned by the recognisable Tottenham Hotspur brand.
LED technology has been incorporated into the system to allow for variable digital signage, which can help with the aesthetic transformation of the stadium in different contexts. Though there is an emphasis on modern, Populous stress that the focus of the project was in highlighting the history and heritage of the brand – for this reason the club’s motto, “To Dare is to Do” takes pride of place on the North Stand.