Designers transform the city

According to urban trend hunter Nathalie Jager it is a trend: the clear application of graphic design in urban design. “It is both functional and very beautiful. Creative decorators and stylists gain ground on the actual builders.”

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In the underground car park of design hotel Puerta de América hang no standard parking or exit signs with arrows, but appealing graphical figures who show you in which way to go by their moving in a certain direction. These figures are an integrated part of the parking design. Architect Teresa Sapey was responsible for the transformation of the parking and made it also possible to use the parking for hotel events. Her nickname is Mrs. Parking Lot and nowadays she is a popular parking area designer who has transformed many European parking spaces.
Other underground spaces also use striking graphic design. Antwerp Central Station has framed huge figures in concrete showing the emergency exit. And NS (Dutch railways) did numerous tests on pilot station Leiden, to make the station-of-the-future safer and more attractive. It turned out, among other things, that graphic visuals of persons are better guides than arrows. To create an aesthetical synergy between the shops in the station hall all logos above the shops have been colour stripped and logo shapes are only displayed in the overall used grey wall tiles.
He is an industrial designer and a product designer and his remarkable designs have brought him worldwide fame. One of his most extraordinary pieces of work is the University subway station in Napels. Visitors are confronted with new types of words, graphic symbols, soft and bright colours and round shapes. Thus arises a decorated space in itself, in fact averse to a metro station.
The graphics trend will spread quickly. The theme of one of the last campaigns of Dutch department store campagne van De Bijenkorf was typography, Louis Vuittons Marc Jacob launched graphic prints in a tribute to artist/stylist Stephen Sprouse (referring to his Monogram Roses collection in 2008) and during the design- and fashion weeks in London and Milan locations were marked with graphic symbols and logos. When integrated well with the rest of the urban interior, graphics strengthens the feeling of originality, attractiveness and wellbeing. Urban areas can thus stand out and distinguish themselves. That also means that the designers of the city change. Creative decorators and stylists gain ground on the actual builders. They become more serious partners in designing the urban area.

Parking metamorphoses

Graphics at the station

Trendsetter Karim Rashid

Urban Graphics integrates