Thesis: Wayfinding in Architecture

Conceptual Design Phase

Existing Site Conditions

Potential Architectural Implications

Potential Wayfinding Solutions

Final Design Solution

Site Section

Diagram Explaining How Vegetation is Used to Orient Users

Diagram Explaining Common Paths Taken by Each User Type


Rietveld Academy of Design – Amsterdam, the Netherlands

In many of today’s modern educational institutions, architects have designed spaces that are disconnected and difficult for users to navigate. The underdevelopment of directional guides more accurately describes common issues of wayfinding. Wayfinding is a term used to describe user experience and orientation within an environmental context. When done well, wayfinding successfully creates a point of reference, and helps users locate information while navigating through space.

Currently, the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, a design institution of higher learning, lacks the components necessary for an effective wayfinding system. Once highly ordered through Bauhaus tradition, it is now spatially segmented and intrinsically disconnected due to added structures, parking, and poorly designed exterior spaces. Evidently, the school’s programmatic relationships are issues facilitating the need for redesigning. The goal of this thesis was to identify these issues and propose a solution designed around a comprehensive wayfinding system for the school’s campus.


Rietveld Academy of Design – Amsterdam, the Netherlands