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  • Manda Villarreal

The Problem Child: Adopting a Campus Building

Over this last week, I've tried to investigate which buildings on campus need some navigational help. Of course, I have my ideas of where I'd like to work, but this assignment is more about which building NEEDS the work. Here is what I discovered.

My first idea was to look at museums, because I'm really interested in exhibition design and art history. First, I took a visit to the Kelsey Museum of Archeology. I've always loved this building ever since I assisted Jim Cogswell on his mural project here. Here are some images from my visit here:

Walking through the museum, I discovered there isn't much navigational signage, but the building is also very small. They have the signage for their current exhibits, but I'm still unsure where the bathroom is, where meeting rooms are. The exhibition signage itself is clear, but it's still hard to tell what you're looking at (where it's from/ location/ time/ etc) without reading the artifacts label. I think this building would be a great place to tackle, but I'm wondering if it's too small to consider. Still, it's probably top on my list as a possibility for this assignment, as it fits my interests and I think it could benefit from additional signage.

Instead of focusing on an ideal place to redesign a navigational system for, I've decided to go back to my personal experiences. Where have I struggled to find a clear navigational system? My first thought goes to Stamps. As an employee and student at Stamps, I've always struggled with connecting places to room numbers, and don't even get me started with trying to give directions! Unless you know where you're going, this building can get difficult to navigate. Even as a senior, I still struggle. My only hesitation with this building is it's a little safe as a student here. But at the same time, I know very well what navigational flaws the building has, and I KNOW it needs help. Still undecided, but Stamps is a strong possibility.

My last consideration at this point for this project would be the student publications building. It is not a building on campus that is commonly visited, but for the student orgs that take up the space, we all know it is not clearly mapped out at all. The occupants of this building are mostly busy students, some administrative workers. Because not many "new" or "unfamiliar" visitors enter the building, navigational systems are not implemented. Most people going in already know where they are headed. Even though the building is smaller (2 floors) I think it could benefit from signage. Many small student orgs and publications use the space, and many spaces overlap and that can get confusing. I have a meeting here tonight so I will make sure to investigate the signage of this prospective building further.

- Manda V.

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