Surface Design Wayfinding for The Beacon Centre

The Beacon Centre approached Art for Life to help resolve difficulties visitors were having once they arrived in the atrium area of the Centre. Many patients and visitors reported it wasn't immediately obvious how to navigate to their destinations.

The desire was to create a high quality, distinctive, welcoming, appropriate and sensitively considered environment that supports and inspires patients, carers, visitors and staff. Art for Life asked our Surface Design students to think creatively about the practical problems and present a solution.

Four students responded to the brief, and in February they presented their ideas to Babette Fuller, the Director of the Beacon Centre and Art for Life Co-ordinator Lisa Harty. Jan and Katie’s design was chosen from the submissions and work began, culminating in the installation of the wayfinding solution at the end of November.

Jan says; “The scheme we developed involved various artworks and includes window vinyls and floor trails. The vinyl provides privacy between the two waiting areas and floor trails help with directions.”

Katie adds; “My idea was to create floor trails using nature as an inspiration. This comprised clusters of flowers to create trails to different areas of the Beacon Centre. My concept went down well at the presentation, as did Jan’s colour palette and imagery, so we decided to collaborate on the final piece.”

“The initial concept of using flowers evolved into the use of plants in order to fit in with our chosen colour palette. We drew inspiration from the plant life you might find on the Quantocks, such as ferns and cow parsley. We also incorporated the Beacon Centre’s signature turquoise colour.”

Jan continues, “The Centre was in need of an injection of colour and warmth, and this was achieved by extending the theme to door signs and the walls. We were given complete creative freedom without having to compromise on the original concepts.”

“It was a steep learning curve for us both, in terms of managing client expectations, dealing with manufacturers and ensuring that everyone involved understood exactly what we were trying to achieve. It’s been a real insight into the design industry.”

Katie continues; “We are really pleased with the end result. It’s been a lot of work but the quality of the materials, the colours and the design have come together just as we hoped. The Somerset landmarks that we used are beacons in themselves, which helps pull the whole concept together.”

Jan adds; “We both feel privileged to have worked on such a big and innovative project with Musgrove and Art for Life, and appreciate the opportunity we were given.”


To see Katie and Jan's work click here

To find out more about Surface Design at Somerset College click here