Posted by Michel on 21.05.2012


At the end of 2009 ID/Lab was asked by one of our clients, STH, to discuss the wayshowing strategy for the Niagara Hospital in Ontario, Canada with Ian Dickson–the wayshowing strategist for the job. The Niagara Hospital is a Plenary development, and STH were the architects. They were interested in us sharing with Ian some of the paradigms we use in developing strategies that make wayfinding in hospitals more intuitive.

From the many phone and Skype conversations we had it seemed that we thought alike when it came to strategy development, and how it needs to be a complete, holistic approach, not just focused on signage. A year later, when Ian was looking to start his own business, he approached ID/Lab again, and asked if we would be interested in a collaboration. At the same time, we were talking to Elise de Jong, a Dutch (yes, another one!) wayshowing designer who used to run the New York office of ARUP/Mijksenaar. She was also looking for a new start in her career, and she was also interested in the collaboration.

Both Ian and Elise have many years of experience in strategy development and design of wayfinding systems. Ian’s expertise, with more than 20 hospital projects under his belt, is mostly in health and government, while Elise has lead all the major transport infrastructure wayfinding projects for the ARUP/Mijksenaar office such as Washington Dulles, JFK, La Guardia and Newark International airports, Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) in San Francisco, Fulton Street Transit Center in New York, plus the TTC Spadina Subway Extension in Toronto, since its inception in 2004.

The three offices bring together a broad range of talent and experience and work collaboratively on large projects; an international design think tank with progressive ideas, creating and leveraging best practices from around the world.