Local Color: Boston
Role: Art direction UI & UX Design (Thesis)
How do you highlight the structures and elements of neighborhoods people take for granted while fostering a deeper appreciation for them, and guiding through them?
My thesis concept was driven by my experiences creating murals and public art in Boston, including it being the means by which I came to learn more the city; an interest in the interactions between art, environment, and the people within them; and in navigation and wayfinding.
After months of exploration into public art and spaces, navigation, and how people interact with them and their environments, a general idea for my research came into focus for my studio work. I ran a survey to help narrow which sections of the city to focus, and with a sketchbook and camera, explored and took record of those neighborhoods. I constructed a scaleable kit-of-parts system that could be drawn from and adapted to different neighborhoods. I compiled materials, colors, and patterns from each neighborhood, with typographic elements to unify them all. Those pieces were used to create wayfinding tools and installations.
The resulting wayfinding system is inspired by the communicative and deconstructive elements of murals. Each neighborhood is represented with a set of materials and patterns based off the architecture and structures of the neighborhood, along with a color. Aimed at both tourists and residents (who are often like tourists once out of their own neighborhoods) alike, Local Color aims to highlight the structures and elements of the neighborhoods that people take for granted and foster a deeper appreciation for them, while helping guide through the city.
The system includes informational panels located by T stations to orientate and introduce people to the city and the system, informational kiosks, mural installations at various landmarks, and redesigned crosswalks and sidewalk graphics, along with a mobile app, website, and advertising campaign.