A special report on Wayfinding in buildings, towns and cities has been commissioned by ‘Direktoratet for byggkvalitet’ (Norwegian Building Authority) and ‘Statens Vegvesen’ (Public Road Administration). The firm of landscape architects Bjørbekk & Lindheim together with Narud Stokke Wiig (NSW) architects were asked to produce the report.
The report focuses on Wayfinding as the overall and optimal solution in what is commonly known as ‘Universal Design’. Whilst Universal Design has traditionally focused on barrier free solutions, Wayfinding illustrates how to find your way by the use of well considered architectural elements.
The main purpose of the report is to stimulate architects and planners to ease the orientation for the public in buildings and in the urban realm. Through convincing Wayfinding solutions, one should easily be led to entrances without the need for signs and on a detailed level the report illustrates how walls and handrails, floors and vegetation, water and lighting can be used as carefully chosen architectural elements to ease Wayfinding. Such natural guidelines are as important in Wayfinding as artificial ones.