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Better Orientation is on the Way

A direction sign programme will be introduced at the TU Chemnitz – The winner of the design-competition is the agency Neongrau from Dresden

  • The concept plans a “Campus-Hub” which will become a central starting point in front of the Weinhold-Building and provides an overview of all four university sites. Picture: Neongrau
  • The design by the agency Neongrau is characterized by an approach which places the user in the centre and has examined the issue holistically, according to the judgement of the selection committee. Picture: Neongrau
  • For example, it has planned paths over the campus which are connected with expressions of time and so provide orientation on which places can be reached within five minutes starting at the Campus-Hub. Picture: Neongrau

In order to offer students, employees and visitors of the Technische Universität Chemnitz a better chance of orientation on the campus and within the university buildings, a direction sign programme is to be installed. “For a public institution like the TU Chemnitz it is an obvious need to have an up-to-date appearance and to meet modern requirements. It is a pleasure for us that a consistent and sophisticated direction sign programme will replace the various signs which sprung up on a generic basis over many years,” says David Laux, Head of the University Communications Department. The winner of the nationwide design competition is the agency Neongrau from Dresden. Its concept will now be further developed. It is characterized by an approach which places the user in the centre and has examined the issue holistically, according to the judgement of the selection committee. The targeted structure aims at people of all ages; the selected design is a technical one.

The concept plans a “Campus-Hub” which will become a central starting point in front of the Weinhold-Building. The great variety of the agency’s ideas ranges from marked ways via consistent signs to appropriate names on the doors of the individual rooms. Tables in the Campus-Hub provide an overview of all four university sites for wheelchair users as well as pedestrians; reliefs of the texts make the information approachable for persons with visual disabilities. Information will be written in German and English. “In addition, the concept plans paths over the campus which are connected with expressions of time and so provide orientation which places can be reached within five minutes starting at the Campus-Hub,” explains David Laux. An App is planned to complete the direction sign programme, for which the agency Neongrau will formulate a handout within the next few months, giving more substance to the conditions of the single elements.

The competition was held by the Staatsbetrieb Sächsisches Immobilien- und Baumanagement (SIB) – a federal company that operates all university buildings –, which is also responsible for the implementation of the direction sign programme. The organization was assisted by the architects’ office Schubert Horst Architekten Partnerschaft BDA. Agencies from all over the country took part. Some of them already have extensive and award-winning experiences of the implementation of direction sign programmes at other universities. The selection committee consisted of representatives of the TU Chemnitz and the SIB as well as external experts from the graphic design agency Haus E and the Faculty of Design of Dresden University of Applied Sciences. The agencies had the chance to convince the selection committee of their concept by means of a 20-minute presentation before three concepts reached the final round; from those one was finally chosen as winner. The selection committee rated the drafts – among other things – for their functionality and communicative quality as well as their innovativeness and accessibility.

All drafts which were submitted are being shown in an exhibition on the ground floor of the Weinhold-Building of the TU Chemnitz at Reichenhainer Strasse 70 up to December 3rd, 2015. Additionally, they can be seen online: https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/uk/luos. They will also be presented during the next “Kommunikationsforum” on November 19th, 2015, at 3:30 p.m. in the central lecture hall building at Reichenhainer Strasse 90, room N101, which can be attended by all university members. In these ways the students, employees and visitors of the university – and that means the prospective users of the direction sign programme – can see the range of ideas and can offer constructive feedback.

For further information, contact David Laux, Telephone 0371 531-11111, email kommunikation@tu-chemnitz.de.

Katharina Thehos
11.11.2015

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