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SDS on Tour: Sensory Wayfinding, Documenting Historical Signs and Birmingham Interconnect Case Study

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Composite image including photo of Geraldine Marshall speaker at the 12th June event

The SDS on Tour in Birmingham event promises a mix of academic and practice-based talks, a graphic design exhibition, Birmingham City University architecture and graphic communication graduate degree shows, graduate recruitment opportunities and a short city signage tour.

About this event

The schedule includes:

4pm-6pm – Tour of Birmingham City University architecture and graphic communication degree shows

4pm-6pm – Parkside Gallery graphic design exhibition (curated by designer Malcolm Garrett).

4pm-5pm – Graduate portfolio/interview session.
If you’re looking to recruit a new graduate, there will be an opportunity to meet and interview graduates. If interested please let us know at so that we make the necessary arrangements.

6pm-7.30pm – Three talks on sign design topics:

  • Sensory wayfinding, smellscapes & soundscapes: Dr Jieling Xiao
    Jieling will discuss the sensory perceptions embedded in place cognition from a theoretical perspective. She will illustrate her talk with examples of how sounds, smells and colours form street markers and can assist with wayfinding in cities. The last part will be a discussion about a collaborative project with students investigating the wayfinding in Birmingham New Street Station.
  • Documenting historical signs before they disappear: Geraldine Marshall
    Geraldine will present an overview of her Graphic DNA in Birmingham research and introduce the recently formed Birmingham Sign Museum + Archive. The Archive was founded to ensure the conservation, education and public engagement with British signage, whilst celebrating the historical and contemporary significance of the art of making signs.
  • Designing Interconnect, Birmingham’s Interconnect wayfinding system: Lottie Webb, City-ID
    Lottie will talk about her journey from undergraduate to fully fledged wayfinding specialist at City ID, and discuss some of the general principles and concepts used to design and tailor wayfinding to a place. She’ll delve into the development of the Interconnect Birmingham project, covering the design direction and how the system has now evolved across the city.

7.45pm-8.15pm – Short city tour
From the University to Birmingham Grand Central Station, a curated tour of interesting signs to challenge, delight and spark conversation.

About our speakers

Jieling Xiao specialises in urban smellscape and soundscape research, focussing on the perceptual/sensory qualities and design of public spaces such as railway stations, bus shelters, shopping malls and libraries. She has recently published a book Handbook of Research on Perception Driven Approaches to Urban Assessment and Design which brings together her interdisciplinary interests in environmental science, psychology and public arts with urban design.

Geraldine Marshall is a Graphic Communication lecturer and designer. Her PhD project Graphic DNA aims to establish a more flexible definition of environmental lettering styles and their usage in the 21st century. As part of her research she plans to record, classify and analyse lettering on buildings, to enable a more informed discussion about signage that uses research outcomes rather than simply aesthetics.

Lottie Webb graduated from Birmingham City University’s Visual Communication course almost 6 years ago. She now works for wayfinding and design consultancy City ID, who specialise in improving the experience of cities and transport systems with well-planned and functional design. By understanding users’ unique needs, City ID create design solutions that knit together people, movement and places. Lottie uses her knowledge of strategic planning and Geographic Information Systems to influence projects for major global cities, including London, Moscow and San Francisco.

Book Now to join us for this unique opportunity to meet new and emerging talent, hear from three speakers on a diverse range of sign and wayfinding related topics, network with your peers and enjoy a curated tour of interesting signs located within Birmingham.

Register for this event

LIMITED OFFER – BRING A GUEST FOR FREE (applies to the first ten applicants for tickets). Please email us to take advantage of this promotion.

This talk is free for SDS members and £25 for non-members.

If this is your first SDS talk/event, you can pay a special ‘taster fee’ of £10 payable on the door.

Anyone wishing to attend, must email to register.

Please note: This event will be livestreamed and available to SDS members via our SDS Live Facebook account.



Birmingham City University, 5 Cardigan Street, Birmingham B4 7BD


12 Jun 2018 16:00

Price : £25.00

Already a member? See details above for booking details.