You Are Here! New exhibition opens this week

You Are Here celebrates the unique wayfinding concept of Bristol Legible City

Officially launched at a private view this week, the newly opened exhibition You Are Here at the Architecture Centre celebrates the world renown mapping project Bristol Legible City.

Now adopted in over 30 cities worldwide, the unique mapping concept of Legible City was first conceived in Bristol by forward thinking Bristol City Council planners. Devised 20 years ago, at a time before Google or smart phones even existed, Bristol Legible City was ground-breaking in its approach to wayfinding. It understood that ‘reading’ a city was more than road signs and icons on a map but was, and still is, an experiential, holistic and individual way of experiencing a place.

Speaking at the exhibition launch, Mike Rawlinson of City ID, one of the original instigators of the project, explains how there is so much more to the undercarriage of the project than the projects ‘poster child’, the readily recognised street signs. He recounted how Bristol was one of the first cities to identify the walking economy and put walking routes ahead of car priorities, and how the project actively improved the city’s public realm through de-cluttering spaces and commissioning public art. The rehabilitation of Queen Square and installment of Pero’s Bridge being two such public realm results.

Detailing the chronology of the Legible City initiative since the 1990s, the exhibition celebrates the international success of the original concept whilst also revealing future developments and research. As Bristol Legible City Project Manager, Nat Roberton explains;

“legibility is changing and the project is continuing to develop new approaches to city navigation. Pertinent to this year we are rolling out new monoliths across the city that will now include lightboxes for increased night-time visibility, and open source data capture to inform users of surrounding environmental ratings including air quality, temperature, humidity and noise. Moving forward, the project is also developing community mapping, royalty free mapping and tactile mapping for increased accessibility to all.”

The exhibition hosted at the Architecture Centre celebrates Bristol Legible City’s pioneering approach to navigating our built environment and showcases how future projects continue to put people-centred design at the fore of city wayfinding. Visit the You Are Here exhibition at the Architecture Centre until 17 Jun 2018.