Facilities Services workers are installing new building signage as part of a comprehensive effort to make it easier for people to navigate the Knoxville campus.
The year-long project involves installing a wayfinding system that aligns with UT Knoxville’s brand standards.
New exterior building signs will be installed through November. Parking and Transit signage and UT-owned street signs will be in place by the end of fall semester. Pedestrian signage, which will provide more detail about key venues and popular campus spots, will go up next spring.
“We are trying to rethink how a new student or a first-time visitor first enters campus and then how they navigate our campus and how people, in general, find that information,” said Associate Vice Chancellor Dave Irvin. “Unless you know your way around, our campus can be a confusing place and a tougher place than it needs to be.”
UT’s online tools, like the campus map, are getting an upgrade so that people coming from off-campus locations can get more precise directions along with information about the best place to park from their mobile device.
“People are so used to having information at their fingertips,” said Irvin.
The wayfinding framework divides the campus into seven color-coded and named districts to make it easier to give directions in a broader context of the campus layout. The districts are called the Village, the Hill, Neyland, Cumberland, Volunteer, Torch, and Ag & River.
Part of the online upgrades will allow people to use QR codes on pedestrian signage to locate specific departments and offices within campus buildings. Signage inside buildings will also be improved so that it correlates with exterior signage.
“Thinking about the whole process of how to get around campus involves a whole lot more than just putting up a sign. It’s much more complex, and our job is to make sure that our campus is more visitor friendly—whether for a prospective or new student or someone who lives nearby and comes here to see a show or musical performance.”
Irvin said the plan works hand in hand with UT’s master plan and the landscape vision and site standards.
“This fits in well with the improvements we’re making through new construction and renovation,” said Irvin. “We aspire to be a Top 25 public research university, and part of that involves improving how we look—but also thinking about how to serve the public better and how to ensure that interacting with our campus is a positive experience.”
Irvin added that the new pedestrian signage provides opportunities to celebrate the campus’s historic points and spirit-filled traditions. The wayfinding system supports UT’s master plan goals for becoming a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly place by promoting transit as the best way to move through the center of campus.
For more information, contact Ted Murphy at 865-974-2178.