MijksWise in a nutshell
MijksWise is a knowledge institute focusing on wayfinding as a discipline. We are dedicated to developing and strengthening the body of knowledge in the field of wayfinding. We do so by initiating and conducting relevant research and bespoke educational programs.
While operating independently as an institute, we’re also proud to be linked to one of the world’s leading agencies in the field, Mijksenaar wayfinding experts and design consultancy.
To develop new knowledge, we conduct research and set up multidisciplinary partnerships that stimulate innovation and collaboration.
We share knowledge by educating students and (future) wayfinding experts.
And finally, we deploy our expertise to support both clients and professionals in wayfinding-related projects and activities.
Images: MijksWise / Roberto Gualini / Timo Volz
What is Wayfinding?
Wayfinding is about connecting to a place. It’s about orientation (understanding where you are) and navigation (knowing how to go to your destination). The simpler or more familiar the environment, the easier it is to find your way.
Everyone is a wayfinder
People ‘read’ environments, picking up cues and clues that help them find their way. Navigating a station to get to the right platform, reading a map to get an overview of the museum, finding your way to the right meeting room, figuring out where the nearest toilet is—these are wayfinding tasks we all engage in.
A wayfinding expert’s job is to develop solutions to help people find their way, making their experience as smooth, simple, and effortless as possible. Wayfinding is multidisciplinary: experts can be psychologists, designers, architects, developers, city planners, and other professionals.
The purpose of MijksWise is to further develop and grow this field of expertise. To develop new knowledge, we conduct research and set up multidisciplinary partnerships that stimulate innovation and collaboration. We share knowledge by educating students and (future) wayfinding experts. And finally, we deploy our expertise to support both clients and professionals in wayfinding-related projects and activities.
Scroll down to read about who we are and what we do. Contact us if you’re interested to find out more, want to engage our expertise, or collaborate with us.
Image: Belinda Fewings
Wayfinding is a necessary part of all visitors’ journeys, but exactly how important is it for their overall experience and appreciation of their visit? How do people ‘read’ an environment, and how do they understand information? How can an environment achieve intuitive navigation and natural flow?
Our research focuses on answering questions like these, collecting solid data and gaining valuable new insights.
Safe swimming locations
Do you know where and when it’s safe to go for a swim in the Dutch North Sea, and when it’s not? How can you tell? Do you look at what others do, or is there an app for that?
Denmark’s future recreational network
Denmark’s future recreational network
The Danish Outdoor Council is developing a recreational node network for cyclists and hikers. Together, we’re developing research tools to discover how wayfinding can help to create a great experience for future users.
Image: Kim Wyon
Image: lucian Dachman
Are you a designer looking to expand your horizon and learn new skills? Or as an architect, do you want to learn how you can incorporate wayfinding from the very first stages of a project? Or are you a teacher who wants to offer students new perspectives within psychology, architecture, or interior, industrial, or graphic design?
We offer courses tailored to your needs and interests, varying from single workshops and guest lectures to extended programs.
The Wayfinding Academy is an extensive learning program, designed to provide professionals with the basic wayfinding knowledge and skills needed to become a wayfinding expert. For Mijksenaar, we created a bespoke Academy program for new hires, fitting their specific needs and interests.
City of proximity
As part of their Master Interior Architecture, HKU students create a concept design for the Dordrecht railway zone with the overarching theme: Connecting places – wayfinding and placemaking. MijksWise is part of this intensive education program, giving lectures and coaching students.
Image: Sincerely Media
We share expertise
We help clients and professionals get to the bottom of questions like ‘Why do our visitors always have a hard time finding the right department / a meeting room / their desk / the toilet / reception desk?’ or ‘How is it that people overlook our signs, even though they’re right in front of them?’ We offer analytical services and share our insights to help you understand and improve visitors’ wayfinding experience.
Nimeto Utrecht is renovating their building and is taking this opportunity to rethink their wayfinding system. The new wayfinding system must make students, teachers, and visitors feel welcome and ensure everyone can easily find their way. And of course, Nimeto wants their own wayfinding system to be the best possible business card of their educational program ‘Signmaking & wayfinding’.
A picture is worth a thousand words. A coherent, consistent, and well-designed pictogram set can play a valuable role in a wayfinding system. We shared our expertise in information & pictogram design with the designers of the new wayfinding system for Roompot holiday parks.
Image: Jose Goncalves
Image: Daantje Bons
Wayfinding as a discipline is quite a niche. Not many schools, research agencies and design studios focus on this specific area of expertise. And yet wayfinding is everywhere. We all do it, every day. The demand for wayfinding expertise is growing and clients expect state-of-the-art, data-driven, scientifically proven solutions. This is why, in 2020, we founded MijksWise. Partnered with Mijksenaar (hence the ‘Mijks’ in our name), we function as a knowledge hub, research and development lab, and school.
Our goal is to further our field of expertise by conducting research, sharing knowledge, and educating students and professionals. ‘WISE’ refers to the pillars of what we do: Wayfinding Innovation, Science,and Education.
The institute is led by researcher, psychologist, graphic designer and experienced wayfinding expert Fenne Roefs. For several projects, we team up with experts from the teams of Mijksenaar, our clients and collaboration partners. On the supervisory board are Mijksenaar partners Herbert Seevinck and Rijk Boerma. In the near future, we are planning to grow our team to 3 to 5 people.
Since wayfinding is such an interdisciplinary field, we welcome interns from a variety of backgrounds. If you are interested, please send us your resumé and motivational letter.
Wayfinding is both multisensory and interdisciplinary in nature. In our aim to develop new insights and share knowledge, we partner with other organisations to bring together different fields of expertise. These include (but are not limited to) graphic, digital, interaction, product, interior and sound design, as well as landscaping, architecture, and psychology.
Our research and development partners
We’d love to hear from you! Contact us via email or LinkedIn to learn more about what we do and how we work. We are happy to discuss possible partnerships or collaboration projects, research and consultancy services, workshops, lectures, and education programs.
MijksWise Foundation Utrecht, The Netherlands KvK number: 80253806 Contact us via email