Identity, Wayfinding and Construction for an Underserved Population in Quito, Ecuador (Aida-Leon)
2018; David Smith (Principle), Allan Bugg;
McWhorter Fund for Excelence ($5000)
2020; David Smith; 'Identity, Wayfinding and Construction for an Underserved Population in Ecuador'; AHFE 2020: Advances in Industrial Design, pp 234–239.
2020; David Smith; 'Identity, Wayfinding and Construction for an Underserved Population in Ecuador'; 11th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE), San Diego, CA. Paper presented July 28 virtually due to Covid-19.
Project partners include Auburn University Building Science faculty Alan Bugg, Scott Kramer, Junshan Lui, and their service learning class; Project coordination by Sifat International Missions of Lineville, Alabama.
Through service learning classes since the fall semester of 2017, Auburn University Building Science faculty have been working on a project in Aida Leon, a poor neighborhood of Quito, Ecuador. The original purpose of this ongoing project was to build a new building for an afterschool program utilizing very limited traditional Ecuadorian construction methods and materials. The new building is an addition on the Iglesia Bautista Esperanza Eterna property to be used for community service in cooperation with Compassion International. The construction aspect of this service learning project will greatly enhance the facility’s ability to improve the lives of the low income/poverty level population it serves. However, there is a lack of awareness and confusion about this community service. Utilizing graphic design to improve site identification and navigation to the various buildings (new and existing) can help solve this problem.
The need for a cross disciplinary overlay became evident during the site construction phase of the October 4–12, 2018 fall service learning class through a collaboration of Auburn's McWhorter School of Building Science(BSCI) and School of Industrial and Graphic Design(SIGD). Site evaluation and interviews by SIGD and BSCI faculty and students with stake holders revealed obstacles to optimal end user experiences. Thorough job site documentation has been achieved through conventional, aerial, and 3D photography. Extensive interviews have been recorded through video documentation. Key to the success of this project will be the interdisciplinary cooperation of construction methods and technologies informing design decisions. This preliminary research and data gathering exposed the need for facility identification and wayfinding.
Problems with facility user experience stem from political, social and physical issues. In addition to the after-school program, a preschool was also on the Iglesia Bautista Esperanza Eterna property. The political issue arose when the pre-school needed to be separated from the church in order for it to be funded by the Ecuadorian government. Ongoing social issues are caused by unstable community dynamics of poverty, high percentage of dysfunctional families, and lack of funding. These first two issues are exacerbated by physical issues of odd architectural features and property lines, changing location of services, and low visual access to the general community.
The solution was external signs that more clearly identify the church, the after-school program, and the pre-school as well as clarify how to find the entrance of each one. The system includes four identification signs and two directional signs.