December 2, 2016
New signs help visitors navigate UW’s Seattle campus
Navigating the University of Washington’s Seattle campus just got easier, thanks to 23 new wayfinding signs — and a major cross-campus collaborative effort.
The installation of the signs earlier this fall marked the culmination of a five-year-long project led by University Landscape Architect Kristine Kenney and Associate Vice President of Facilities Services Charles Kennedy — the original visionary and sponsor of the program — who recognized the need for a strong wayfinding system on a campus as large and highly trafficked as the UW’s.
With the help of a long list of collaborators and stakeholders, including Studio Matthews, UW’s Division of Design within the School of Art, the Welcome Campus Experience Committee and several working groups comprised of faculty, staff, students, alumni and others, the new signs were created.
The signs, which are map-based and therefore widely accessible, were strategically placed throughout the UW’s 700-acre Seattle campus, not only benefiting the University by helping visitors find a destination, but also guiding people to discover parts of the campus they may not otherwise explore. This is especially important for student, faculty and staff recruitment efforts since ease of navigating a place and discovering all that it has to offer can ultimately influence a visitor’s desire to come back for a second visit — or to stay.
Built to last and easy to update, the signs are intended to become an integral part of the campus landscape. Along with the physical sign structures, UW’s campus map will also be updated to make wayfinding easier and more convenient and will include icons that direct visitors to viewpoints, dining options, lecture halls and other locations — good news for the nearly 8,000 visitors that come through the UW Visitors Center each year, upwards of 70,000 fans that arrive for each Husky football game, and thousands of UW students and employees who are on campus daily.