Identity, Wayfinding and Construction for an Underserved Population in Ecuador

Building Science and Graphic Design collaborate on a service learning project in poor Quito, Ecuador neighborhood of Aida-Leon.

On the odd-shaped lot of Iglesia Bautista Esperanza Eterna, a small two-story building was used to house both a church after-school program and a community daycare program. There was a great need to expand both programs in the underserved community of Aida-Leon. To solve the problem, the daycare moved to an adjacent building and the after-school program is expanding into the adjoining new construction project.

The services these facilities provide are a stabilizing factor within the community—there are no affordable options. Because of the disruption of changed locations and construction without the help of any visual identifiers or wayfinding, it was determined that signs would make a positive difference in the extension of these services to the community.

Students that worked on the new construction to house the after-school program used local methods without the benefit of heavy equipment. Additionally, the local method of stretching vinyl banner material around frames of steel tubing was used for the signs. The project was supported through funding from the McWhorter Fund for Excellence.

David Smith is an Assistant Professor at Auburn’s School of Industrial + Graphic Design. Alan Bugg is an Assistant Professor at Auburn’s McWhorter School of Building Science.

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David Smith, Alan Bugg