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Getting a good grip on spatial organization and perception

‘Zicht op Ruimte’ is a new handbook for architects and building owners eager to get a good grip on spatial organization and perception.

Shortly after the Rijksmuseum reopened, the museum’s board of directors opted for a thorough redesign of the white stairway in the atrium after a visitor had fallen on the stairs and suffered a head wound. That’s just one example of how people can stumble, fall or lose their way in situations that are visually confusing.

‘Zicht op Ruimte’ is the must-have manual for everyone who wants to prevent such incidents. The authors – winners of international awards for safety, design, wayfinding and ergonomics – are from VU University and Mijksenaar wayfinding experts.

The book is a valuable source of information for building owners and managers for whom the safety and comfort of their visitors is paramount. Others who are sure to find the book interesting are user organizations and government authorities engaged in the design of the built environment. Above all, however, this practical book is ideal for architects and designers. It explains what people want to see, what they’re able to see, and how architects and designers can use this information to improve and enhance the spaces they create.

The third chapter, ‘Wayfinding’, was written by the designers of airport signage for Schiphol in Amsterdam and JFK in New York. It describes the design process that leads to a good wayfinding system – a process that includes the contributions of interior architects and graphic designers. In every wayfinding project, the underlying principle is to make sure that all visitors, including those who are stressed out or visually impaired, can walk into a vast building complex that seems to go on forever and find their destination easily, on the basis of visual information.

This article first appeared in our newsletter Flows nr. 1, 2014

Order the book at Silvur

Read a review in De Architect magazine (Dutch)