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signage for new york city WalkNYC program by Pentagram

How New York City Developed its Wayfinding Signage

Our City Living issue, due out on newsstands September 10, focuses on design and architecture in urban locales. Here we turn our eye to the challenges of navigating a city and how graphic design can improve the experience, especially when it comes to walkability. As more cities seek to encourage multi-modal transportation—walking, biking, public transit, etc.—the need for good signage to make those activities easier becomes more and more apparent. At its simplest, wayfinding is defined as spatial problem solving—knowing where you are, where you want to go, and the best route to get there. Cartography, or mapmaking, has existed for thousands of years, tracing its roots to cave paintings, but the demands of modern cities and diverse populations call for more than a sign emblazoned with compass rose and a few street names. Today, effective urban maps require layers of information relayed in a clear, consistent, and concise manner so that anyone can quickly assess how to get from point A to point B. The New York Department of Transportation launched its WalkNYC program in the summer of 2013 to "provide a clear visual language and graphic standards that can be universally understood, encourage walking and transit usage by offering quality multi-modal information, and provide consistent information across a broad range of environments in the city." Lauded design firm Pentagram's PentaCityGroup developed the identity. We sent a few queries to Michael Bierut, a graphic designer and partner at the firm, to lean more about the program, what it means for the city's identity, and how technology does and doesn't factor into the program. "I feel strongly that one of the best things about the signs are that you don't need a smart phone to access them: they're right there on the street, as democratic as can be," he says. Read on for more.
August 29, 2013
egiboin

Promo Daily: Emilie Giboin

Today's Photographer Promotional Piece We Love and Why: Emilie Giboin
August 29, 2013
one space house closte view from living room

5 Surprising Clothing Storage Solutions

Sure, clothes can go in a standard-issue dresser or closet, but where's the fun in that? Here, five unconventional and surprising approaches to clothing storage, from pegs on the walls to cubbies in the floor.
August 28, 2013
lema passive house exterior side stairs

Sustainable Living: Chicago's First Certified Passive House

Take a tour through Chicago's first Passive House built by Brandon Weiss of Weiss Building and Development LLC, with the help of architect Tom Bassett-Dilley. Part of Chicago's inaugural GreenBuilt Home Tour, which occurred in late July, the Passive House was one of 16-award winning Chicago area homes—recognized for its sustainable, practical, and affordable building practices—to be featured in the tour. Click here to view a comprehensive Q&A with Brandon Weiss, president and founder of Weiss Building and Development, as he discusses everything from what a Passive House is to tips on how to minimize losses and maximize passive gains.
August 28, 2013
de waart dop residence living room portrait thumbnail

5 Dining Rooms We Love

We take a dive into our archives for five of the best modern dining rooms from a breezy, glossy-tiled eating space to an outdoor gathering area fit for two dozen. Bon appétit!
August 28, 2013
off the grid

Dwell Homes: Off the Grid

Off the Grid, a recurring feature in the Dwell issues, focuses on modern homes that tread lightly on the earth.
August 28, 2013
eames time machine 5

5 Dwell Stories at Dwell on Design 2013

We invited architects, designers, and residents who have appeared in the pages of Dwell to join us onstage at this year’s Dwell on Design, which took place in June. Here’s a recap of those who took us from the page to the stage.
August 28, 2013
hughston studio thumbnail

6 Hip and Innovative Manhattan Homes

Ah, the Big Apple. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. These 6 residents are not only making it, they're doing it with style, innovation, and that little something extra that only New Yorkers can accomplish. Take a look!
August 28, 2013
Texas house with open interior including bathtub and storage closets

10 Tips for Creating a Well-Designed Bathroom

Dwell-approved tips for designing a modern, functional, and harmonious home bathroom.
August 28, 2013
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