Finalist 2023

Port Phillip Creative Wayfinding

Arterial Design / City of Port Phillip

Combining creativity, functionality and usability, the design evokes an atmosphere, encouraging visitor engagement with the St Kildas local arts scene.

The creative wayfinding signage design by Arterial design for the City of Port Phillip, aimed to increase awareness of, and traffic between, the vibrant creative industries and communities based within and surrounding St Kilda. Identified as ST KILDA Arts Precinct, the wayfinding unites all creative industry locations, highlighting walking distances, accompanied by a simple “you are here” map. Standing tall at 2.4 meters, the sculptural signs are beacons, capturing attention, and enticing exploration of St Kilda’s flourishing creative arts industry. By combining creativity, functionality and usability, the design invites an atmosphere that encourages visitor engagement with the local arts.

Design Brief:

The City of Port Phillip were provided a grant to support and promote pedestrian traffic between pedestrian hubs and various local creative providers/venues. St Kilda was identified as a location that would particularly benefit from this project due to the large number of creative providers/venues in the area, with many located just outside or behind popular pedestrian hubs. As such, Arterial Design was engaged to design and construct new wayfinding signs within four major pedestrian hubs across St Kilda. The project was intended to increase awareness of, and traffic to, their vibrant creative industries throughout St Kilda and surrounds, enabling easy wayfinding between popular pedestrian hubs and encouraging creative tourism within St Kilda’s Arts sector. The installation/signage designs were to be creative, innovative and inspire people to stop and admire. Improving the general look and feel of the St Kilda area by adding art and activity to the streetscape.

This project was developed by:

Design Process

The wayfinding project in St Kilda was initiated with an active and comprehensive approach that commenced with on-site meetings, fostering relations with the City of Port Phillip, and assessing the existing site conditions. These initial meetings provided valuable insights into visitor usage patterns in St Kilda and identified opportunities for enhancement through wayfinding implementation. From concept development through design and construction, Arterial engaged rigorously with fabricators, engineers, and installers. This collaborative effort ensured a robust selection of materials, efficient processes, and improved user accessibility. Maintaining constant communication with the City of Port Phillip, Arterial adhered closely to the design brief. The project aimed to boost tourism for St Kilda's local creative industries by integrating current and shifting public and private creative businesses into the creative wayfinding. Arterial's innovative industrial design techniques allowed for easy and regular updates of the signs, featuring the latest local creative venues. These bespoke sculptural designs, approved by the City of Port Phillip, artfully captured the visual identity of the St Kilda Arts precinct, elevating the overall aesthetics of the area. Through Arterial's active and collaborative efforts, the wayfinding project successfully transformed St Kilda's navigation experience. The implementation of a flexible and visually appealing system contributed significantly to promoting local creative businesses, increasing tourism, and enhancing the general look and feel around St Kilda.

Design Excellence

Arterial's sculptural wayfinding beacons in the St Kilda precinct set a new benchmark for innovation in communication and wayfinding design. The project not only breaks conventions but also exceeds international standards for inclusivity, elevating the area's look and feel. Through extensive research, prototyping, and a commitment to accessible communication design, the signage became user-friendly for all ages and abilities. This imaginative approach incorporates leading-edge design innovations, advancing the profession and pushing the boundaries of new and innovative thinking in communication design practice. By blending wayfinding with public art, the project creates a new category, utilizing sculptural forms and vibrant colors that captivate pedestrians and enhance the overall user experience of walking. The sculptural design is uniquely original, featuring playful forms topped by a recognizable walking figure icon replicated across all signs, enthusiastically and intellectually engaging the audience. The strategic placement of signage encourages pedestrian movement between key arts venues, promoting a more sustainable and eco-friendly mode of navigating the precinct. Improving the area's walkability, and creative community's presence, fostering community well-being and social connections surrounding St Kilda’s creative industry. With clear visual language and representative symbology, the signage becomes accessible and intuitive, improving inclusivity for all users. The project's success showcases the value of good conceptual and strategic design, inspiring other industrial designers to pursue alternative approaches to wayfinding, ultimately creating better user experiences. By setting a new standard for how brands in the category enhance pedestrian experiences, the St Kilda precinct becomes a popular destination for both creatives and visitors to explore. Arterial's sculptural wayfinding beacons not only enhance navigability and aesthetics but also have a measurable positive impact on the environment. Through innovative design choices, this project exemplifies the power of design to foster inclusivity, sustainability, and community well-being.

Design Innovation

Arterial's project tackled the challenge of improving connections between diverse creative, live music, and arts venues in St Kilda in a highly innovative and imaginative manner. The project not only fulfilled a legitimate need but also created new opportunities to strengthen the presence of the creative community while promoting sustainable transportation options. At the heart of the project's groundbreaking design features were the sculptural wayfinding beacons. Departing from conventional signage, Arterial ingeniously blended wayfinding with public art, setting a new standard for communication design. These beacons, adorned with vibrant colours and distinctive shapes, drew the attention of pedestrians, inviting them to explore the hidden gems of the community. The user-centred approach was evident in every aspect of the design process. Arterial's team embraced inclusive communication and wayfinding innovations, ensuring that the signs catered to all members of the community. By incorporating visual cues, the beacons became universally accessible, enhancing the experience for individuals with diverse needs. Notably, the project's success extended beyond merely solving the connectivity issue. It enriched the fabric of St Kilda's social life, fostering community well-being and deeper connections among residents. By encouraging sustainable transportation methods, the design addressed the pressing concern of over-reliance on cars, contributing to a greener and more eco-friendly neighbourhood. This new and imaginative design approach has carved a new path in wayfinding solutions. The fusion of functional wayfinding with captivating public art creates an engaging experience for pedestrians. Demonstrating that innovative design can have a meaningful impact on communities, pushing boundaries and inspiring other urban projects to follow suit. The project stands as a testament to the power of imagination, creativity, and user-centricity in addressing real-world challenges and opportunities.

Design Impact

The project excels in its potential to generate a positive impact from Social, Environmental, and Commercial perspectives. The primary focus on accessibility stands out as a prime example of its commitment to inclusivity and user-centric design. By exceeding international standards in signage design, the project ensures that people of all ages and abilities can easily navigate and enjoy the St Kilda precinct. The incorporation of playful and recognizable sculptural motifs not only enhances aesthetics but also fosters a sense of community, elevating the overall experience for residents and visitors alike. From an Environmental standpoint, the project takes significant strides in addressing crucial sustainability issues. By tackling increased car usage and traffic congestion in Melbourne's outer-city suburbs, it actively promotes a lower-carbon future. The introduction of attractive pedestrian wayfinding and clear display of walk times to key destinations encourage individuals to choose walking over driving, thereby reducing carbon emissions, and mitigating the environmental impact. Furthermore, the Commercial benefits of the project cannot be overlooked. By enhancing the look and feel of the St Kilda precinct, it attracts more foot traffic and fosters a vibrant atmosphere. This increased pedestrian movement between arts venues creates opportunities for local businesses, particularly those centred around creativity and community engagement, to thrive economically. The project's adherence to Circular Economy principles is evident throughout its design process and execution. By prioritizing accessibility, it eliminates waste and minimizes materials, promoting a more sustainable approach to urban design. The focus on walkability and reduced car usage aligns with the principles of regenerating natural systems and reducing the overall environmental footprint. The projects contribution to Victoria's design and creative culture is undeniable. Arterial's meticulous research, dedication to accessibility, and innovative design exemplify the region's commitment to excellence in creativity and urban planning.

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