Wayfinding, as defined by SEGD, is information systems that guide people through a physical environment and enhance their understanding and experience of the space.
“the hospital uses color to assist with wayfinding”

At WORKSHOP8, wayfinding is more than just giving direction. It adds a whole other aspect to the built environment that serves multiple purposes including giving a unique identity, creating a motif and incorporating the community just to name a few.


Casa Redonda de Vigil, a senior housing project we are currently working on, is a good example of unique identity. There are 3 apartment buildings that look very similar; we are planning to use a different color for each building to help with wayfinding and to give a unique identity to each building. The residents there will be able to easily say “Oh, I live in the blue building” as opposed to saying the address. If they have a visitor, the visitor will see the blue building and automatically know that is the building where the resident lives without having to search for the building number.


The Olin Apartments have a strong motif that you can see carried throughout the building. The motif of these spanish style patterns are incorporated in the built environment through the tile on the fireplace or on the stairs. It is continued through wayfinding such as the floor signage and room identification. This signage, not only helps people understand where they are, but also brings the design full circle.


We partnered with Arts Street, a non-profit for “high-risk youths (to) channel their artistic talents and natural curiosity into professional activities,” for some of the signage in the Gateways as well as our past project, the Aerie. The students we worked with were learning about photography. We sent them basic guidelines for what we were expecting and they did a really great job shooting and editing their photos. We love that they are a part of our Gateway team, their artwork can be seen on the unit signage throughout both buildings.


Wayfinding is universal. I could navigate an airport in Spain easily by just looking at the graphics, because I didn’t know much Spanish. In the Gateways, we have used infographics on our signs to show what the sign says. This way, people that don’t speak english, children or people that can not read still can understand what is behind that door.


I grew up right off of the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Even there, in the middle of nowhere, there is wayfinding and it’s my favorite form of wayfinding to this day! A series of white, blue and yellow blazes indicate the 2,170 miles of trail. The white are simply for the Appalachian Trail (AT), blue for other trails off of the AT, and yellow blazes for driving, hitch hiking, or walking on roads.

Thanks for reading!

Sydney Angel | Architectural Designer
08 MAY 2021