Class Trip to Dubai

First of all, I really enjoyed the class trip we had. It was a great bonding time with both the professor and the classmates. As for the trip, we first went to the Etihad Museum, and it was absolutely beautiful. I have noticed that there was a smooth and clear/clean kind of theme to the building. Everything looked connected, they used the same color scheme for the entire building.

The building is designed to look like a folded paper, and it had 7 giant pens in gold to represent the 7different emirates. That idea seemed brilliant to me, where a designer creates a building with a story that connects with the art in the building. There were a lot of huge windows which, in my opinion, resembled the hope and the bright future of this beautiful country.
Across the building, you can see different quotes of the UAE leaders as well as parts of the constitution. It was beautifully designed and placed at the right places for the visitors to clearly see. The calligraphy was truly breathtaking and forced every one of us to stare at it.


As we were deciding on where should we take the group picture, the professor pointed out that we could actually recreate the picture of the leaders of the 7 emirates. And surprisingly, we were seven people in total which made the picture even more “believable”.

And at the end, we enjoyed our food at an Italian restaurant called Taste of Italy, the food was very tasty and delicious.



Different Wayfinding Topics

Global Village:

Global Village is one of the largest tourism, leisure, and entertainment project in the world that is located in Dubai. It claims to be the region’s first cultural, entertainment, family and shopping destination. It has over 5 million visitors per year in an area of 17,200,000 sq. ft. The global village started out in a form of a number of kiosks back in 1996 located o the Creek Side opposite to Dubai Municipality. Then it moved to the Oud Metha Area for 5 years in a row. Now, Global Village is located in Dubai Land. People tend to go there to either shop for unique products, enjoy playing games, or simply taste the delicious food there that comes from all around the world.
Being a person that goes there at least once a month made me realize all the “Desire Paths” that were created in the entire village. A desire path is a path that is created and usually represents the most sufficient and easy short cut route from one point to another. The path’s width can be determined according to how much traffic a path can receive. It can also be referred to as desire line, game trail, and social trail. Half of the Global Village’s land is green areas and it’s mostly covered with grass. This means that no matter how hard the workers try to maintain the area and keep it green, they will end up failing.
In order to make an area look appealing to the visitor’s eyes, a designer would automatically include huge green areas and flowers to the land. But this would mean that in a few months, the grass would eventually disappear and become all sandy and dull again. My suggestion would be to eliminate 50% of the green areas and keep it only on the areas where people don’t tend to walk or pass by the most, or include fences around the corners.

Bathroom Signage at Park Hayat:

This would be a smaller section of the blog, but I just wanted to include this because the design of the bathroom sign looked interesting to me. I went out to have dinner with my friends at the hotel in Saadiyat Island and as I was walking to the bathroom, I saw the signs and they caught my attention. They looked very sleek, clean and elegant, and that’s how the designer of the place wanted the customers to feel like.

Signage for the Arts Center

The Arts Center is known to be a very complex building compared to the other buildings on NYUAD Campus. It has different theaters, venues, and workshops laid out all over the building. As a result, the complex design lacks important way-finding strategies which tend to make the guests lost and confused. To make it easier for both the students and the guests, the “Finding The Way” students were in charge of creating pictograms for multiple problems. Some of the problems cover the toilets, balcony, exits, and places of the performance.

As I started planning the designs and the theme, I wanted to know what color schemes I should design my pictograms with. The first color that I knew I had to use is the maroon color that is used for the Arts Center logo.

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Later on, I tried to at least add two more colors to play with. I decided to get inspired by the website as well as the building itself. The second most common color was blue and then followed by black. So I came to the conclusion that maroon, blue and black would be the colors that I’ll be using for my pictograms.

Since it’s an Arts Center, I wanted to create something simple yet clear for the guests and the visitors. I wanted to include geometric shapes such as triangles and circles to make it look “artsy”. Using the same usual pictograms that you get to see everywhere wouldn’t look as creative in my opinion, so I wanted to add a twist to it by redesigning the pictograms and making them my own original pictograms.

While the designing process started, the toilets signage was the first thing to be designed, we had to design toilet pictograms for each sex separately as well as family toilets.

As for the seats on the balcony, I included one for the elevator and another for the stairs to lead the visitors.

Since guests can get confused on where the performance would be, I had to label the Blue Hall, Black Box, and Red Theater. I made sure to include a sign for where the performance would be. Also, the visitors can be lost after the performance and wouldn’t know where the exit is, so I managed to create a pictogram to cover that problem.

Lastly, I designed instructional signage that tells the guests to switch their phones off, to not bring food or drinks to the performance, and to not film or take pictures of the performance.

Short Cuts on Campus

A desire path is a path that is created and usually represents the most sufficient and easy short cut route from one point to another. The path’s width can be determined according to how much traffic a path can receive. It can also be referred to as: desire line, game trail and social trail.

Natural areas and parks are threatened by desire paths. Studies have documented that 15 passages walking over a site can have a huge impact/damage and would be enough to create a trail. There are techniques that can help block the creation of the path, and it includes fences and signage.

Noticing this problem across our campus made me research about the topic more. I searched across the campus and tried to find the different areas that we have desire paths, and how did people help solve this problem.

One of the biggest problem areas in our campus is the grass area next to D2 building. Students tend to cross the green area to get from any other buildings to D2, and that created an obvious pathway. At some point, they had to put temporary fences across the area to let the grass recover and grow again.

Apart from that area, there are some other places that face the same problem. Some of them are located next to the stairs, where you can see the corners of the grass fading away due to people’s foot steps.


If the design was planned and executed correctly, we wouldn’t face these problems. Some areas are designed and purposely ask people to step on grass. There should be curves rather than shapes with angles.

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A simple solution can start with a sign that would say “do not step on grass” next to the damaged areas. However, signs can be ineffective sometimes and wont stop people from doing the same mistake. So another permeant solution is to actually bury the grass and add blocks over it and actually create the desire path that people created for us.

Impossible Pictogram

I started thinking about this project as soon as professor Goffredo assigned it to us. At first, I didn’t have a clear idea on what pictogram I should create, as well as what problem I should focus on. It was challenging enough to create a familiar and standard pictogram by itself, so for him to assign us to create a pictogram out of the norms was sounded impossible.

Firstly, I started sketching some different ideas that might work for this project, my first idea mainly focused on the emergency door that is located on the first floor in the Art Center. The idea rotates around the bad designing of the location of the emergency door, knowing that this can cause obstacles for people to evacuate safely. And because of that, I started to sketch a pictogram that might work for this problem.screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-2-04-52-pm

Second idea, which is the one I focused on and chose to it to be my creation for this
Project, is about the pathway that a you have to take in order to reach the football field and watch the match. The pathway is really long in distance and looks and feels frightening,

especially at night. So a creative pictogram would be that an alien spaceship is the only way for you to get there in a matter of seconds.

So I started collecting some ideas from the internet on how I can design my pictogram, and here are some of the pictures I got inspired by.

As I was creating it, I thought that it would be interesting and cool to change the typical male pictogram head with an alien head, and so this is the result.

Finding The Way Presentation: The Art Center

Noticing the problem:

Ever since I became a student in this university, I have noticed that the art center has the most complex structure with the most complicated directions inside the building. Somehow it is acceptable and obvious that the Art Center should be more creative than the other buildings because it’s simply an “Art Center”. However, this does not give it the green light to make it more confusing for the visitors and the new students.

I once attended an Art Exhibition called “NYUAD Open Studios” and while I was enjoying the work of other talented students, it took me some time to know where and where not to go, and I ended up getting lost multiple times. But thanks to social media these days, I have noticed that some of my friends took pictures of paintings and sculptures that I didn’t even pass by or even get a chance to take a picture of.

This is my first time to enroll in a class that is in this building, I made sure on last Tuesday to attend class 10 minutes earlier, however, it didn’t go as planned. I did what any normal person would do, which is to look for directions. I found the directions board and it said rooms “101-154” are on your left side, and I followed the directions, but the directions weren’t as helpful as I thought they would be.

As I was following the directions, my mind was automatically observing things. I have noticed that it started with the rooms with the bigger numbers and went down, while usually, the numbers should go in order. That made the building feel like a never ending maze with complex directions.

Wayfinding Solutions:

So because of that, I have decided to use two “wayfinding” strategies which are: Track following and map reading. I would create a huge map on the inside of the building with the room numbers labeled on each room. Since there are two levels in this building, I will create two maps and label them by their level.


And by the Track Following, the building already uses this strategy, however, I will fix the errors of the directions and try to make them as simple as possible.

Also, I would put the directions next to each of the stairs to give the visitors an insight of what rooms to expect when they’re taking the stairs. This somehow also combines the “Route Following” strategy that allows the person to receive information before walking to the second floor.IMG_1884.jpg

Directions In The Art Center

I have noticed that the Art Center has a very complex architecture plan that makes it hard for students/visitors to find their final destination. The directions are very complex and they make the person spend more time into finding a room rather than making it easier. I will try to find a way to make it simpler for the visitors and new students to understand the structure of the building.