Developing a research based application concept

Focus 01

How might we aid designers in analyzing project sites?

Wayfinding designers plot a multitude of objects and information on floor plans - either printed or digital - when analyzing buildings. Among those are points of interests of visitors entering a building for example and their routes as circulation patterns. Preliminary sign locations can be part of this analysis as well.

Understanding 3D space is important when dealing with signs and messages. Intersections, visibility and lines of sight have to be considered for signs to be of use for visitors.

Decision Points

The structure of imported floor plans is analyzed by the tool to automatically find decision points on each floor.

Key Locations and Routes

Rooms can be selected and highlighted, their properties edited and routes created.

Placement Analysis

Along routes Destinations provides a placement analysis based on various factors such as decision points, visibility and visitor movement.

Sign Location Planning

A "sign location" tool lets users place signs and add them to routes.

Focus 02

How might we eliminate repetitive tasks and simplify management of signage databases?

Once routes and sign locations are determined, they are entered into a database. This database is the central store for all information such as individual signs, their location, type and messages. They are then referenced on floor plans. The fact that both plan and database need to be kept up to date manually when the other changes, makes it prone to error and tedious.

Messages and their content change during development and existing designs need to be updated. In larger projects with a lot of signs this can be time consuming.

Specialized Objects

Since Destinations anticipates change and provides specialized objects for wayfinding systems, every element is editable and independent from others.

Object Hierarchy

Objects are organized in a hierarchy and are dynamically linked. Decision points are assigned to routes and signs to decision points. Messages in turn are assigned to signs.

Editable Messages

Messages are editable and changes are carried over to every sign on which they occur.

Message Plugin

Signage designs are developed in applications like InDesign and Illustrator. A plugin makes messages usable in those apps as well.

Design Templating

Designs can be imported as templates and assigned to signs. The corresponding messages are then automatically inserted.


All finished signs can be exported for production with one click.

Focus 03

How can we use simulation to preview sign concepts before production?

Signage designs go through a number of design iterations and evaluation. To assess concepts, they have to be prototyped as realistically as possible or placed into the future context.

To achieve this walls are printed in original size, rooms are built with cardboard and a select few prototypes are built. To evaluate designs in context, they are inserted into renderings of buildings. Building prototypes is costly and time consuming so they cannot be built for every iteration. Building whole rooms with cardboard requires a lot of space.


To achieve realistic simulation, 3D-Models of new buildings are imported, otherwise floor plans are extruded.

Wall Unwrapping

Based on available 3D-Data, walls can be unwrapped and designs placed onto them.


Buildings and designs placed in them can now be viewed directly in Destinations. Designers can move through the building like a visitor and evaluate lines of sight and the context around each sign.


In the future the 3D-view can be extended with a VR mode. This way designs can not only be viewed in context but designers can experience how they appear in 3D space.