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Wayfinding

Wayfinding

Raphael Arar / USA
IBM Research
rarar.com

In his seminal work The Image of the City, Kevin Lynch coined the term “wayfinding”, which describes the process of using spatial and environmental information to orient oneself and navigate to a destination. Lynch elaborated to define four unique stages in this process: orientation, route decision, route monitoring and destination recognition. Throughout history, many approaches have been used to accomplish the four stages of wayfinding, and one of the most powerful devices and symbols has been the compass. While we have all experienced wayfinding and its four stages in a spatial sense,how does this principle analogize to the path one chooses in life, and its potential ever-changing influences by society? Furthermore, how does the notion of wayfinding evolve and morph as our sense of destination is largely unknown and ultimately impacted by the people we meet and their subsequent aggregate of chosen paths? By abstractly paying homage to the design principle of wayfinding coupled with the theme of metamorphosis, this responsive installation serves as a metaphoric representation of an electro-mechanical compass that seeks to reflect on the paths one chooses in life, the individual and societal offshoots and the subsequent periods of chaos and harmony.