Abstract

Within the latest decades, geographical and navigational information has formed the basis for the design discipline of wayfinding. Until now, this field has mainly been characterized by a visual approach through static, two-dimensional signs, symbols and typography on signposts, walls and buildings in the urban space. With the advances in computer technology and the rising complexity of available embedded information in public places, a new approach to wayfinding and navigation is emerging where the traditional static and visual wayfinding is supplemented or replaced by multisensory and digital communication. This paper coins a new term: sensogram and outlines how technology and theories about the body allow a multisensory and intuitive approach to wayfinding. By means of pervasive computing, the pictogram used in wayfinding is transformed from analogue to digital, from visual to multisensory and from signposts to the physical space. The sensogram suggests a new holistic approach to the body and to human perception in architectural space, which seems absent in both traditional pictograms and contemporary wayfinding. We analyze this approach from a multisensory perspective. Through a discussion of the former visual dominance within the field of pictograms in wayfinding, this paper considers how the twodimensional and visual phenomenon can be rethought and redesigned by incorporating established design knowledge and pervasive computing in architectural space. In closing, two design experiments are used as the basis for discussing what further research the experiments enable within the context of pervasive wayfinding and the design of atmosphere or ambience.

Keywords

graphic design, interactivity, mediation, pictogram, sensogram, wayfinding, pervasive computing

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

From Pictogram to Sensogram: Wayfinding through pervasive computing and multisensory perception

Within the latest decades, geographical and navigational information has formed the basis for the design discipline of wayfinding. Until now, this field has mainly been characterized by a visual approach through static, two-dimensional signs, symbols and typography on signposts, walls and buildings in the urban space. With the advances in computer technology and the rising complexity of available embedded information in public places, a new approach to wayfinding and navigation is emerging where the traditional static and visual wayfinding is supplemented or replaced by multisensory and digital communication. This paper coins a new term: sensogram and outlines how technology and theories about the body allow a multisensory and intuitive approach to wayfinding. By means of pervasive computing, the pictogram used in wayfinding is transformed from analogue to digital, from visual to multisensory and from signposts to the physical space. The sensogram suggests a new holistic approach to the body and to human perception in architectural space, which seems absent in both traditional pictograms and contemporary wayfinding. We analyze this approach from a multisensory perspective. Through a discussion of the former visual dominance within the field of pictograms in wayfinding, this paper considers how the twodimensional and visual phenomenon can be rethought and redesigned by incorporating established design knowledge and pervasive computing in architectural space. In closing, two design experiments are used as the basis for discussing what further research the experiments enable within the context of pervasive wayfinding and the design of atmosphere or ambience.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.