Pediatric Wayfinding
Environmental Design
A wayfinding system for a pediatric hospital that improves the patient environment and provides navigational functionality.
From my personal experiences, hospitals can become ominous places that are difficult to navigate through. I spent time nearly each morning waiting inside a hospital just before the start of school across the street. From that time, I observed that the environment's rigid architecture created a that felt cold and alien. As a solution to this issue, I developed environmental graphics that implements the use of illustrations focused on theme of animal friendships. These grounded and very real relationships from nature provided warmth by not only showing inviting colors and shapes, but also telling stories.
Designed for a five floor hospital, each floor has one pair of animal friends with their own unique colors. They are purposely colored to be more engaging, identifiable, and be memorable for navigational needs. By using such unique colors, it helps subconsciously inform the view of which floor they are on. In doing so makes them confident in making the correct navigational choices.
Two types of signs exists within this system: small signs and large murals. Small signs are located at strategic junctions or along long hallways. They offer small snippets of contextual story to accompany the sign and the current interaction of the animal friends. This sign makes use of a grid system to maintain consistency.
Murals are used for large spaces such as elevators hubs, long hallways, or patient rooms. They are implemented to fill in large wall spaces that otherwise would remain blank. Mural backgrounds are based on the natural ecology of each pair of animals.
The illustration style of this system has to have appeal to the users of the hospital: the patient, visitors, and staff. With such a wide range of visual tastes to meet, a more "universal style" was created to appeal to all three. This style is a compromise between being too far detailed or abstract in depiction that it wouldn't alienate a group within the audience. A style that is basic enough for a young child to comprehend, but mature enough that an adult may still find appeal in it. The result of this style became a vector-like style with an emphasis on forms shapes. Textures are used to add visual interest and slight dimension.
This system of environment graphics was also brought into the patient room. Behind the headstand of patient beds are murals relative to the theme of the floor they are staying on. During daytime this mural may appear normal until the sun starts to set. When the sun does set, the mural dazzles with the stars and moon to keep the patient with some company.
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