Innovation, Change and Wayfinding

The wayfinding discipline, newly specialised and, as industries go, relatively young. This youthfulness considered, you’d expect an industry full of fresh ideas. Instead, wayfinding is all too often bogged down in the practices of yesteryear. So what has been holding back wayfinding from achieving the creative spark that comes so easily to other disciplines?

This discipline got its start through wayfinding planning, a practice where projects are manual, laborious tasks with complex pape based details and databases. To keep up with these demands, wayfinding teams are large and expected to use a multitude of different software. The complicated procedure of project management leaves little room for innovation or creative problem-solving.

Up until quite recently the complexities of this industry has resulted in a wayfinding becoming the domain of small, specialized firms with limited technological resources. Wayfinding is considered intellectual property, making it incredibly difficult for the discussion that fosters innovation and development being passed on person-to-person, much less between design firms.

These difficulties considered within the age of digitization, wayfinding has arguably been a bit slow on the pick-up – the conversion from paper to digital databases was slowly achieved process. To know where we are going we need to first, know where we’ve been.  Without historical information or digital databases wayfinding is left without a clear foundation to evolve from.

Hope is on the horizon though as innovators begin to present solutions ranging from GIS to physical asset management. Digital database management makes sharing information and system improvements easier than ever.

As changes like these become standardised within the industry, designers will be able to handle larger projects with less hassle, facilities can develop a better understanding of their systems and evolution can be driven from the inside.

Wayfinding may have struggled in the area of innovation in the past, but today we are starting to see significant changes in the discipline to allow room for change.

Everybody stands to gain from the development of digital, personal and indoor wayfinding.

Facilities will have the tools to maintain and build upon their systems making them more efficient and generate a better experience for their end-user.  End-users will be able to navigate environments safely, stress-free; ultimately creating better experiences in all amenities from retail to the magnetic university campus.

Now is an exciting time to be part of the rise of digitalisation with PAM. As technology increases and grow, we only stand to see improved data collection allowing us to learn more. As we learn, we can develop and create new solutions with will feed the cycle of innovation producing better and better solutions. We look forward to working towards a better future with every project.

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