Print Email Facebook Twitter Finding the way to safety: A framework providing insights for application of emergency wayfinding based on human behaviour in emergency situations Title Finding the way to safety: A framework providing insights for application of emergency wayfinding based on human behaviour in emergency situations Author Van Casteren, Q.A. Contributor Van Mourik, F. (mentor) Boersema, T. (mentor) Roefs, F. (mentor) Faculty Industrial Design Engineering Department Industrial Design Programme Master of Science Design for Interaction Date 2012-12-14 Abstract This master thesis describes the development of a framework for wayfinding designers. The framework provides them structure and insights for applying emergency wayfinding based on human behaviour in emergency situations. The project is commissioned by Delft University of Technology and the company Mijksenaar in Amsterdam. Mijksenaar is a design agency specialized in wayfinding, more specific in the design of visual orientation, navigation and information systems to support people in finding their way. Next to wayfinding solutions for “normal” use, Mijksenaar advises more and more frequently on the design of wayfinding solutions for emergency situations. Emergency wayfinding applied today is strictly regulated and Mijksenaar wants to be able to offer their clients solutions that go beyond the straightforward application of the legal safety requirements. In an emergency situation something happens that poses a threat to the lives of the people involved, which changes their behaviour at that moment. An emergency wayfinding system should be based on this complex behaviour. Practical examples of emergencies have shown that wayfinding systems meant for evacuation are not always effective in guiding people to a place of safety in the event of an emergency. This raised the following question that became the basis for this project: Are the regulated emergency wayfinding systems applied today sufficiently effective in supporting people in finding their way to a place of safety in the event of an emergency? A thorough analysis on human behaviour in emergencies and the currently applied emergency wayfinding system show that the conventional system is built on assumptions about human escape behaviour that do not correspond to the escape behaviour people perform in practice. As a result people do not often (primarily) use the conventional emergency wayfinding system when trying to find their way to a place of safety. In addition, the current way of warning people for an emergency situation does not lead to immediate escape behaviour of people. The chance for a successful evacuation for everyone increases when people start escaping immediately. The conclusion of the analysis stage was clear; emergency wayfinding can be improved. The vision on new emergency wayfinding was phrased as follows: A new emergency wayfinding system should stimulate escape behaviour immediately after perceiving the first warning signals of an emergency and support people effectively in finding their way to a place of safety. This by taking into account people’s automatic and impulsive behaviour and by giving them the confidence they will find their way to a place of safety using this system. Emergency wayfinding that meets this vision and is applicable in different environments, cannot be fitted in one standardized system. Different environments require different emergency wayfinding implementations in order to effectively support people to safety in an emergency situation. This resulted in the following design assignment: Design a framework for wayfinding designers that provides them insights in the possibilities for emergency wayfinding based on human behaviour in emergencies for different types of environments and that takes into account actual emergency conditions. The framework brings together and presents the relations between: - environment characteristics, divided into characteristics related to the building and the users of the building - emergency wayfinding design, divided into guidance elements and locations for placement of these elements - requirements from human behaviour in emergency situations, with a subdivision into guidelines - emergency conditions (e.g. presence of smoke). The objective of the framework is to provide structure and food for thought for designers. They can explore solutions by playing with all characteristics in a structured way. Subject EmergencyWayfinding designFrameworkHuman behaviourEvacuation To reference this document use: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:21a6d565-b039-458f-bcab-f8d07a1ca506 Access restriction Campus only Part of collection Student theses Document type master thesis Rights (c) 2012 Van Casteren, Q.A.