Experience Design: Cultural Wayfinding
Messaging and Communications in Support of Cultural Identity
The multimedia content now appearing in facilities allows collective vision to be depicted and cultural values to be displayed with increased vitality, agility and saturation. The highly potent tools of pixels and bits can project a future and engage the present. New channels of communication allow us to better define the ‘Here’ in ‘You-Are-Here.’ Cultural wayfinding now has a more versatile global positioning system—and the positioning refers to where we stand behaviorally, philosophically and collectively—in lieu of geographically. These outcomes may require definition, redefinition or invention.
These visual totems and signals of cultural direction add a new mantra to architecture and workscape: Culture Follows Experience.
When we employ these marks on spatial maps, ‘Here’ has always been a physical place. This is the elementary answer to “Where Am I?” You-Are-Here can also be used in a timeline. Across time, you are currently here — benefactor of a storied past and on the cusp of an anticipated future. You-Are-Here, temporally in time, is now as easy to map as ‘You-Are-Here’ spatially.
Perhaps more evolved thinking would employ the plural: ‘We-Are-Here.’ Multi-generational, yes. Diverse humanity, yes. But in workplace this pronoun is more importantly thought of as multi-player and multi-site. Collective teams — whose connections ebb and flow — and whose interactions result in co-authored and co-produced value.
A richer, more informative marker would offer an explanation of where you are experientially. What ‘here’ is possible, promoted, prohibited, anticipated, accepted or applauded. The cultural wayfinding totems and organizational direction messages would fill in the blank of ‘We-Here-Are.’ Those answers would visually lead the way to maximizing organizational performance, optimizing collective culture, crystalizing cultural vision and actualizing brand personality.
CULTURE FOLLOWS EXPERIENCE