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Organisation: City ID
Name: Mike Rawlinson
E-Mail: info@cityid.com
Category: Wayshowing

Name of Project: San Francisco International Airport Program

Description of Project: The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Wayfinding Program combines ambitious changes to enhance the guest experience and optimise Airport operations with reimagined product, service and information designs that are intuitive to use, and more sustainable to manage and maintain. A $7B Capital Program, including a $2.4B redevelopment of Terminal 1, provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity to strategically rethink the role of wayfinding at SFO. At a time of accelerating growth in passenger numbers, the team were challenged to bring a fresh perspective, develop a collaborative design process, and deliver systemic changes to achieve exemplary airport-wide wayfinding. In response to this complex design challenge, the innovative concept of ‘Wayfinding as a Service’ was developed, linking design research insights and behavioural patterns, with the semiotics of placemaking. The concept repositions wayfinding as the foundation for the guest experience in response to ACRP research that establishes wayfinding as the single most significant factor in passenger satisfaction. The concept raises the status of wayfinding as a cross-departmental, multi-disciplinary design service, ensuring a holistic approach to creating positive and memorable guest experiences. The ambitious redesign of all wayfinding touchpoints across the airport leverages the layout of terminals and the design of environmental cues to integrate a new family of information products. The logical application of information builds guest understanding, giving people agency with respect to their time and choices. The design team brought 25 years of experience in strategic design for cities and worked collaboratively with planners, architects, typographers and others, using ´open-studio’ methods. Designs were tested with airport users and stakeholders throughout the process, establishing an evidence-based rationale to support design decisions. The result was a new Design Vision and Guidance System for SFO. Known as ´The SFO Way´, it provides the principles, guidance, and standards for a world-class experience, including: _A people-centred approach to architectural design, spatial planning and application of new products, _A new sophisticated range of contextually appropriate information products, _A new design language and visual identity for wayfinding that reflects SFO´s values and aspiration for ´Calm Confidence´, _A family of product forms, set-outs, templates, map-bases, pictograms and typography, _Establish a rigorous design management process, and _A new platform to manage and sustain the system. The project has already had a profound impact, including: _Influencing the architectural design of the new Terminal 1, _The overnight re-numbering of all airport gates to a new user centred alpha numeric system (understood to be the most ambitious project of its kind in global aviation history), _Improved placement and application of new information products, _A new suite of printed maps and guides that work alongside the in-situ product family, _The complete redesign of all flight displays and back-end systems, and _Improved connectivity to the wider regional movement system including public transit, taxis and TNCs (Uber/Lyft). Feedback from the airport community and guests has exceeded expectations since the initial launch, and SFO is planning to roll out the program airport-wide. For more information, visit: https://tinyurl.com/wrs96rd

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