Designing the wayfinding experience for the Museum of the Future

Wayfinding design for the Museum of the Future in Dubai

In a team at Mijksenaar

For the Dubai Future Foundation

Images by Phil Handforth ©

Architectural design by Killa Design

What is the right approach of shaping a wayfinding design for a building that is already so monumental and almost overwhelming? Where calligraphy covers both internal and external cladding and with an near lab-like illumination and materialisation?  

As the lead designer of a team we shaped the wayfinding experience for visitors on the notion of colour clouds. Have colour appear where information is needed, with respectful distance to the expressive environment.  Implement dashes of colour that lead visitors to the immersive and impressive exhibitions. 

I was involved from the early concepting stages to the implementation of the design, working on strategy, concept, product design, materialisation pictograms and implementation. Within the project I worked heavily on the design of wayfinding objects with colour exploration, form study, prototyping, quality control and manufacturing.

Guiding visitors by dashes of colour

The vision on the wayfinding experience was embodied in a family of semi-translucent objects with calm colour clouds that make the information visible. By making colour such a vital part of the way people move around the museum it became crucial to do extensive material testing and prototyping to get the right appearance. The effect of having a semi transparent colour cloud with faded edges needed to be spot on for it to be convincing, but also opaque enough for the information to be legible. 

A collection of objects

The need of information constantly changes during a visit to the museum and its surroundings. But also the museum constantly evolves around you, from impressive open spaces to more intimate areas with warmer materials. We developed a collection of wayfinding objects that is able to solve every situation of the user journey. 
We designed a form language that was straightforward but delicate, allowing the colour to take the stage. This was applied throughout the collection of signs, both for interior as well as exterior.

International standards with unique elements

To serve the wide variety of visitors in the museum we decided to work with both Arabic and English text, accompanied by a pictogram. The pictogram is important when communicating accross languages and cultures and a specific set was designed to match the typeface, museum and overall character of the wayfinding. 

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