For my wayfinding system for the Ferment event, I chose to create a theme centered around Birds and bird watching.
The catch though, is that the Nelson Atkins Birds are the guides that help the child navigate through the garden and discover the highlighted sculptures and events.
I thought this to be the most appropriate direction to go in for the event for several reasons. Given the nature theme of the event, having friendly wildlife characters to help narrate appeal to the children. Also, birds seem to be a logical character to choose to introduce the tree-like Dendroid.
Visually, these birds are brightly colored, to match with the map, and their nests are a photo collage of each sculpture. Because of this, the children will be able to make the visual connection between the birds on their wayfinding map, and the sculptures they represent.
First and foremost of the event materials is the Sculpture spotting map with events page. The inside spread contains the map, and the corresponding schedule with events is located on the back page.
The visual style of this is very geometric, with bright colors and a combination of photography and flat vector shapes. Not only are the bright colors visually stimulating to children, but I feel like they also capture the bright, playful feel of a summer day in a garden. Think popcicles.
Back to the map spread though. This is where the magic starts to happen. along side the map, are the Nelson birds! They give the children easy-to-read clues as to where to find the sculptures. The clues are easy enough that younger children can read them, but not so simple that they’re off-putting to the older kids.
Upon arriving at each of the featured sculptures, the child will be presented with their OWN nelson bird. The birds have the name and artist of their corresponding sculpture, but also a spot for the child to give their bird its own name. This component of the materials bridges the map to the sculptures.