The Nature of Wayfinding in the City: Waikiki

Laura, Brian
Ashraf, Kazi
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The focus of this study on the nature of wayfinding may reveal multiple unknown points in the terrain one traverses. This thesis entails a quasi-objective approach that enables a creative way of analyzing, synthesizing, and discovering these points of unknown desire and destination. For example, surveying the tourists and travelers to Waikiki may reveal the multiplicity of points that embed themselves in the urban landscape. Yet, these spatial points reveal themselves through the act of traversing, finding, discovering, and encountering along the way. In addition, the study reveals the spatial matrix in which points of desire and destination manifest for the visitor, a multiplicity of points with instances of departure and arrival. The visitor demographic can be a “lens” from which to understand how one uses wayfinding tools and finds their points of desire in the terrain. For instance, how do we as tourists and travelers find our way? Also, how do we traverse toward a given destination? Indeed, most travelers and tourists are using visual, auditory, and tactile cues to find their way. Yet, do these spatial signifiers of meaning help them find their destination or are they getting them lost? Focusing on Waikiki as a destination and site for this study will give insight into the phenomena of wayfinding, which influences the perception of the user while traversing a given terrain within a spatial matrix of desire. methodology The strategies and tactics that I will employ will be a combination of empirical and quasi-objective approaches, such as collecting evidence, taking photos, surveying tourists and travelers, and creating experiential maps from the site. This is my way of studying wayfinding, from the 6 evidence collected (brochures, maps, ephemeral artifacts) how does one find their point of desire in waikiki? what are the instruments of finding destinations in waikiki? what are the modes of traversing waikiki’s terrain? interpretive mappings and site photography surveying tourists and tourist mappings 1 2 3 triangulation empirical study (Experiential + interpretive) GRAPHIC A: TRIANGULATION OF COLLECTED EVIDENCE A I ABSTRACT 7 totally rigorous and scientific, to the subjective of scope. This will attempt to synthesize an understanding of how one wayfinds in urban environments with multiple points of destination. For example, in figure A, this method entails triangulating the surveys of the travelers and tourists, collecting evidence, such as maps and brochures, and creating interpretive mappings of Waikiki, to reveal and represent the spatial matrix of points as it relates to wayfinding. These tactics will help create experiential mappings, which can uncover information about the terrain of Waikiki that is unknown to travelers and tourists, advancing the notion that the urban terrain is multiple in response to the user’s ability to traverse, find, and encounter spatial points of desire and destination. goals One of the goals of this study will be to understand how one finds their way in dense urban environments, such as cities by using a variety of visual, tactile, and auditory signs. These signs come from the built and natural landscape as well as digital mobile devices of wayfinding. Yet, another goal would be to investigate the spatial matrix that embeds points of destination and desire for the visitors to experience and discover. For example, Waikiki is a destination for many travelers and tourists, thus manifesting points of desire, which are explicit, implicit, impulsive, and interstitial. The visitors traverse a spatial matrix of points, which is multiple and forms a network of pathways and nodal interactions. Indeed, maps and brochures afford the traveler and tourist the ability to traverse the terrain and find their destination or point of desire. Thus, allowing for spontaneity and discovery to manifest within the terrain, where one traverses and encounters spatial points, along the way, creating meaningful instances in space and time. theory These dense urban terrains create a need for wayfinding to occur because they contain spatial matrices of destination and desire. A complex system of built form and semantics is embedded in the DNA of the urban plan. Most urban spaces interconnect to each other and weave a network of circulation towards multiple points of desire. Each point can inform the experience and memory of the traveler or tourist while traversing, which influences how they map and perceive their terrain. This densification of the urban environment curtails users perception while traversing the terrain at different velocities, influencing the way these points of destination are found, made, and forgotten. Moreover, these systems of human movement along pedestrian and vehicular pathways, in the urban framework, create multiple spatial matrices of desirable points that layer within trajectories in the terrain.
155 pages
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