Three different signage design systems were implemented in the new campus of Chiba University: Design Research Institute (DRI), to facilitate space navigation and enhance the building identity. This project has a certain level of complexity considering the two main functions of the space: a) A Communal space that can be used by Sumida´s community members to organize open events and b) Studio Area restricted to Chiba University members where academic research and design projects are conducted. Thanks to this joint effort between the community and the educational institution, Chiba University proposes a collaborative approach that can have a positive impact on society.
Since the space is divided into two main areas based on their function, we can define two types of users that coexist in the space:
Sumida Community members can access the common areas without any type of restriction. It is expected that these areas will attract many users during specific events.
Members of the faculty of design and architecture are regular users of this space, including students, professors, staff and other collaborators of the University. All of them use this space as a hub for creative and educational projects .
In a broad sense, the signage system must consider the accessibility and function of the 2 different areas (Common and Studio Space), as well as the needs of both kinds of users. In order to meet the needs of all different users, three different signage systems for specific areas were generated.
This signage design project was approached as a participatory and academic process where students from different design backgrounds (who are also users of the space), had the opportunity to work together and discuss the issues and opportunities provided by the new building in order to create a meaningful identification signage system that allows customization and flexibility.