These Walls Can Talk

By Leah King / Published by Dwell
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Congratulations, wallpaper…you no longer look or feel like my grandmother’s living room. Freed from a past of gauche ubiquity, wallpaper is now beautifully designed and updated with modern flair and functionality. Designers Mike & Maaike have taken wallpaper a step further by incorporating the basic universal communication system as a graphic element. It’s called Wayfinder. It can be used to guide people through complex transportation centers and office buildings. Or, simply direct people towards basic necessities such as…the bathroom.
The functional and decorative designs create new possibilities for architects, interior designers and space planners.

The functional and decorative designs create new possibilities for architects, interior designers and space planners.

This dynamic wallpaper is instantly recognizable from a distance and integrates decorative and symbolic designs known throughout the world. Be it a bustling airport, an industrial workspace, an art gallery, or college campus, this wallpaper instantly bridges the gap between form and function with a decidedly modern twist.

So go ahead…find your way.

The symbols used in the "Wayfinder" wallpaper series were designed in 1974 through a collaboration between the AIGA and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

For an interview with Mike and Maaike conducted by Sam Grawe, view our video

Leah King

@leahking

As Dwell's digital edition production manager, Leah King manages the creation of the digital replica of the magazine and sees it through as it transforms to be viewed on the iPad, Nook and Kindle. Shepherding through images and editorial pages, iconic designers and their designs, architects and their creations, and the photographers who shoot them, gives her a unique opportunity to see to the beauty and style produced in each issue of Dwell. Leah also contributes editorially to dwell.com. In life outside of Dwell, she indulges in her passions for photography, vinyl albums, collecting vintage electronics and calling it like she sees it over at Caught Looking.

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