International Education

Where I'm Going & Why (Part 2)

Apart from enjoying life on the Italian coast, a big reason why I'm in Genoa and will be visiting several other Italian cities (and hopefully a few other European ones!) is to collect data for my upcoming thesis project. 

The focus of my project is wayfinding design. Wayfinding is how people orient themselves within a given space. It tells you where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there. It is a cultural constant, meaning it exists in all scenarios and cultures, although the form it takes can vary greatly. What I want to study is how factors of culture influence the expression of wayfinding. Specifically, how the visual aspects of American and Italian wayfinding differ. 

I hope to visit the following cities to collect my data:

Turin
Milan
Bologna
Verona
Florence

And as many other places in Northern Italy as I can get to! 
As a student majoring in both the School of Communication and the School of Design at RIT, visual communication is a big interest of mine, and wayfinding is at the heart of what visual communication is all about. I was inspired by the work of ID Signsystems, a generous sponsor of my current trip. My hope is that my research can help future wayfinding designers (myself included) in creating effective systems for inter- and cross-cultural purposes. 

So that, in a nutshell, is one of my primary motivations in being here. But I must say, life on the Italian coast is something I could get used to...

~ C.