In 2010 we had the fortunate opportunity of working with The University of Technology Sydney, a dynamic and cosmopolitan university that marks the gateway to Sydney – Australia’s economic, multicultural and creative global city. The University engaged BrandCulture to design a wayfinding and graphics system for the Design, Architecture & Building Faculty (DAB) located in Haymarket in the heart of Sydney. In early 2009 the facility started a major upgrade, primarily in the Fabrication Workshop and Photomedia Laboratory. Highly acclaimed architects, Gardner Wetherill redefined the spaces into a modern environment more suited to this highly regarded institution.
The design had to fulfill the OH&S requirements of the space, whilst at the same time navigate, inspire and engage students through the workspaces and fabrication studio. BrandCulture wanted to reflect on contemporary technology and culture through the use of environmental graphics and so the task began.
The workshop is divided into three main areas; a 24 hour studio, the laser room and the main workshop floor. For OH&S requirements, the 24 hour studio workshop and laser room were required to maintain a clear line-of-sight across the workshop. It also required a level of seclusion so occupants would not be continually distracted by other activities.
Our research looked upon and was inspired by the visual tribute to modern architecture (Herzog & Demeuron) who states “We are interested in the surface, not as pure decoration but for its capacity to have an impact on the space.”
With the addition of pattern or, at Dominus, of texture, a building takes on a different character under different conditions, emerging or receding as the light changes, becoming more solid or less substantial. “So that it’s not the geometrical space you give it once and for all as an architect,” Herzog explains.
From this the stretched form graphics were created with a large dot screen running throughout to allow for visibility. The ’slick industrial’ concept is underpinned by the juxtaposition of blatantly obvious wayfinding and ultra-modern graphic wrapped workspace glass walls. The graphics on the glass of the workshops, represent a modern interpretation of the screen used in traditional printing methods. Optically clear film printed with white UV inks create a clean and bright space to work.
The industrial in-floor graphics needed to offer two journeys, which in itself would resolve two issues; YELLOW line directs you to various display cabinets celebrating the students work and the RED line needed to direct you to machinery and other equipment. The workshop floor required a clearly delineated walkway for safety, this feature became the key graphic wayfinding interpretation. A key influence was the London Underground “tube’ map originally created by Harry Beck in 1931.
Importantly the wayfinding solution was addressed and the key decision points were made completely obvious to the users of this often loud and otherwise engaging environment, the overall result paid tribute to modern iconic graphic styling with an engineering influence, featuring bold use of the flooring area. The client was delighted with the end result and because we thrive off developing creative and appropriate solutions this project has been awarded internationally and recognised globally.
As our work fills such a large part of our lives, we know the only way to be truly satisfied, is to do what we believe is great work. To do great work we, have to be proud of and love what we do. We really do love it!