Monigle reflection: SEGD wayfinding and placemaking

Connecting people to places through branding, environments, communication, and experiences is what Monigle’s Environmental team does daily. But as good as we are, it’s important to participate in discussions that help us discover the latest trends, meet the people influencing our field, and gain inspiration and insight from our professional community.

Program Director Angela Serravo recently attended the 2022 SEGD Wayfinding + Placemaking Symposium which brought together innovators and experiential designers to share an intercontinental perspective of experiential graphic design. The virtual event featured presenters from the USA, Australia, the UK, and the Netherlands. Featured speakers shared project case studies that took conference goers into a deep dive into the philosophy, process, and passion behind the design and execution of their projects.

Here are some of the highlights from a few of the keynote speakers we thought were most impactful from the digital event.

Creating the Elizabeth line

When the New Elizabeth line opened on May 24, 2022, accessibility to London via the east and west grew. The new line stretches more than 100 kilometers, will stop at 41 stations, and serve up to 200 million people a year. Julian Maynard, Managing Director of the Maynard Design Group, demonstrated how they designed a modern, minimal, elegant, and functional passenger experience by developing a family of architectural components and wayfinding strategies to enhance the below-ground tunnel environments. They weaved the brand experience through architectural cladding, platform edge screens, seating, lighting, signage, and digital customer information systems.

Learn more: Integrating brand elements into physical space to elevate experience

Remembrance Design – Living History into Built Expression

Zena Howard and Kenneth Luker from Perkins and Will’s shared several project case studies that illustrated how they used the power of design to engage disenfranchised communities, unite disparate parties, and infuse cultural meaning into their projects. They created a more profound sense of identity and awareness for the communities they worked in and brought soul and passion back into the public realm.

Several community engagement efforts helped to provide information and insight for their projects. In one instance, they were able to work with the city to pay people to participate, which created a greater level of attendance and engagement throughout the project.

A Philosophy of Enhancing the Experience of Place

Like Monigle, at Frost Collective there is a culture of learning from your peers. Design Manager Kelly Glendinning and Senior Designer Tom Fowler shared three ways their firm creates fun learning experiences, including masterclasses, design competitions, and research projects.

Masterclasses are like what we do with Monigle University where our in-house experts educate us on specific subjects. External design competitions allow their team to work with different people in the firm and explore unique creative projects. With research projects, they will choose a subject matter they feel the firm would benefit from knowing more about, like sustainability opportunities in environmental design, and then select staff to investigate the current trends, opportunities, and constraints. This peer-to-peer learning creates more significant interaction among their designers and contributes to the company’s overall expertise and growth.

Learn more: Enriching environmental experience series – Part one and Part two

This is Your Wake-up Call – Return on Experience

Paula Rees, the Principal of Foreseer, has inspired the growth of the highest performing retail and large mixed-use neighborhoods with her award-winning designs and wayfinding expertise.

In her keynote, Rees emphasized the importance of the placemaking designer’s role in encouraging developers to raise the quality of architecture, landscapes, streetscapes, and communication in the environment to generate spaces people want to live in, work, and play. She said that by incorporating a vision early in the development process that is inclusive of color, art, textures, design details and by getting everyone involved on the same page, the cost of placemaking is offset by the tremendous value it can generate for the place, neighborhood, and region. She explored this important message through her project Assembly Row, which took a run-down industrial and manufacturing area and transformed it into a one-of-a-kind neighborhood and mixed-use shopping destination.

Learn more: Explore our Brand Experience offerings

Through these four speakers and their presentations (and more), we learned more from our peers about trends, innovations, and strategic thinking within the space of experiential design. While this is one of Monigle’s key specialty areas, it is always valuable for our people to experience, learn, and discuss what others are doing in the space.

We encourage folks who are interested in learning more about Monigle’s specialty in the space to visit our portfolio page. If you’re interested in learning more about SEGD and future events, visit their site here.

Did you see something interesting or worth further discussion? Want to discuss how we view experiential design? Reach out to us here.