Why don’t we Use Hexagonal Grids for maps?

Posted 08.12.2014

Neuroscientists, John O’Keefe and May- Brit Moser and Edvard Moser have just been awarded the Nobel prize in Medicine for their remarkable discovery of ‘grid cells’ which enable us to navigate. Dubbed “an inner GPS, in the Brain” the grid cells provide a geometrically regular hexagonal grid that appears to provide a direct representation of physical space.

Widely used in board games such as Dungeons and Dragons Hexagonal Maps have some clear advantages over a square grid, providing a consistent distance between a cells centre and the centre of adjacent cells as well as providing the most efficient grid, using the least number of nodes across an area. Maybe we should consider a Hexagonal grid the next time we design a map for a hospital or airport?

Images are The Battle for Wesnoth, one of many role playing games using a hex grid and a representation of ‘grid cells’ John O’Keefe and May- Brit Moser and Edvard Moser

Melbourne Design Awards

Posted 25.11.2014

We were very honored to receive two Melbourne Design Awards earlier this month for a couple of our favourite recent projects! The Metropolitan Fire Brigade won the Environmental Graphic Design category, and the Monash University won the wayfindign category.

More information on Metropolitan Fire Brigade wayfinding and environmental graphics More information on the Monash University Wayfinding

Create Awards — A win

Posted 07.11.2014

Last week we attended the 10th Annual Create Awards gala, the event which celebrates the best design work the industry has to offer over numerous categories. Our work for the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and University of Tasmania, picked up the winning award for the Signage & Display category.

Working closely with John Wardle and Terroir Architects, our design response involved a highly integrated signage and environmental graphic solution to match the crafted architecture and sensitive context. Drawing on references and imagery associated with their research activities and the building’s iconic shed-like form, we developed a simple robust and flexible signage solution with feature environmental graphics and glazing films throughout. A cohesive wayfinding and signage solution was required in order to realise IMAS’s goals to simultaneously promote the facility as an internationally recognised institute and to support their teaching, learning and research activities.

Full round-up of the 12-catagory winners over at Desktop here:

New Era, new office....

Posted 24.09.2014

An exciting new era for Buro North as we move from Little Bourke Street, our home for the past 8 years into Flinders Lane. Accommodating our growth and better alignment with our design activities, the Flinders Lane studio is currently being fitted out for an exciting future…

Please update your records to;
Buro North
L2, 75-77 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000 VIC

Lightcycle Competition

Posted 21.08.2014

We were very honored to be invited to participate in a lighting design competition run by our good friends at Electrolight called Lightcycle as part of the Melbourne Indesign recently, with the exhibition launched last night.

Briefed to utilize a supplied LED system, and focus on sustainability, we decided to challenge ourselves and develop an outcome using recycled components, that could itself at a later date be recycled, upgraded and have no moving parts, glues or fixings….

Designing for longevity is a conscious reaction to a generation of consumer electronics designed to one day be replaced. While plastics degrade, paints fade, and mechanisms break, our competition entry is a functional, solid metal LED luminaire designed to last.

Cast in 100% recycled aluminum from old car parts, our luminaire contains no glues and can be easily dissembled. The fixture can also be easily adapted to accommodate future lighting innovations meaning that it can be a treasured object for generations to come.

By balancing on various faces, striking lighting effects can be achieved for tasks or mood lighting an adjustable light with zero moving parts.

We didnt win the competition, but we are very proud of our little light and are doing a small batch production run – so if you love it, let us know.!.

Australian National Maritime Museum

Posted 04.08.2014

We are very proud to announce an exciting development for the studio, we have been engaged to develop the experience design strategy, identity and wayfinding for the Warships Pavilion project at the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM), Sydney.

The project aims to reinvigorate the visitor relationship with its key attractions — naval vessels HMAS Vampire (Destroyer), HMAS Onslow (Submarine) and HMAS Advance — providing a platform to educate and inspire a wide-reaching audience.

Buro North have teamed up with Eness (interactive and immersive experiences) and Art Processors (location-based digital experiences) to deliver design strategies for an immersive and engaging user experience, bringing the stories of the vessels to life. The studio will be developing the identity for the experience and design elements across all experience platforms, including on-site and online.

We are really excited about collaborating with two other industry-leading studios, diving into exploring the project possibilities to create a world-class and world-first experience.

Image courtesy of Sea Power Centre – Australia

Federation University Wayfinding

Posted 28.07.2014

Buro North were engaged by Federation University (formerly The University of Ballarat) to develop a signage and wayfinding solution for their new Science and Engineering building. The new building, located at the southern edge of the Mount Helen Campus, was designed by SKM S2F with Cockram as the lead contractor. The building houses the Science and Engineering Precinct, and is a hub for student and staff activity on campus. The new building provides a world class regional learning, teaching and research facility, with spaces designed to promote the opportunity for staff and students to meet easily for both casual and collegial interactions. Büro North, working closely with SKM S2F, designed the signage to merge seamlessly with the built form to deliver the required information in an engaging way, well suited to the function and activity of the building. We are very proud of the outcome and think that it makes a fantastic contribution to the future user experience of the Federation University campus. Click here to see more…

Reinventing Mildura Riverfront

Posted 28.07.2014

The studio has been has been working on the Mildura Riverfront project since the beginning of the year – collaborating closely with Lateral Projects, Tract (landscape architects) and Relume (specialist lighting).

Its a truly transformational project that we are incredibly honored to be making a contribution towards, and one that we believe will have a major impact on the community moving forwards. None more so than the Indigenous community who invited us to attend a workshop last week to discuss the project and participate in a smoking ceremony, an ancient Indigenous custom that involves burning eucalyptus leaves to cleanse and ward off bad spirits.

An inspiring conversation had with the Aboriginal Reference Group under a Jacaranda Tree several months ago has been instrumental in the design development of the wayfinding and signage and since then we have successfully interpreted a meaningful Indigenous story and landmark through the signage form, merging historic and contemporary culture together. The design has been endorsed by the Traditional Owners and this collaboration has lead to a number of other projects and opportunities, including working with the traditional owners to implement a ‘Welcome to Country’ for the Riverfront.

New Appointment - Brooke Murray

Posted 16.07.2014

The last few months have been incredibly hectic, with several new staff members joining the team. We are very pleased to announce (although belatedly) our new Studio Manager Brooke Murray. Brooke has over 15 years experience managing both large and small creative teams, and her can do attitude and belief that anything is possible has inspired and motivated the team since she joined us a couple of months ago. Spending her time managing all studio related matters including resource scheduling, studio procedures and policies and QA systems her role is vast and varied. Brooke is motivated to drive and assist the studio to meet and exceed design excellence objectives, whilst maintaining exceptional client relationships and project budgets.

CX Branding & Website

Posted 15.05.2014

Buro North have been working with the Clothing Exchange for several years now, and was recently engaged to create a new identity, digital strategy and user experience for their new digital incarnation, with the aim to make swapping more accessible and expand the environmental and economic benefits of clothes swapping to an international audience.

Through a symbolic, fun and approachable style, the new brand moves away from the previous antiquated patterns and crafty look-and-feel to a more contemporary identity. The brand creates a strong visual connection to the process of exchange, working to attract a larger audience of users through its bold graphic identity and non gender specific colour scheme. Key brand elements take form in graphic applications expressed through both the web and app environments, creating a memorable and integrated identity.

The UX design for the website and app focused on creating a simple and personalised experience for swappers. Products are the key focus of the interface, creating a highly visual and dynamic display. The interface of the Swap Shop has been designed to take on the appearance of a wardrobe, offering swappers the ability to slide through items like they would their own wardrobe or shop. The UX takes a user-centered approach, providing opportunities for social networking so swappers can connect, share and interact in an engaging and exciting way.