Wayfinding consulting services to public and private facilities



How can we plan, design, and operate facilities that are easier for everyone to navigate?

For 30+ years, architectural sociologist Jan Carpman has planned and designed wayfinding systems with users in mind, and has made scores of presentations to both public and professional audiences.


Help! I Can’t Find My Sense of Direction
From men who won’t ask directions to women who shun the N & S words (North & South), everyone has trouble finding their way around, at least on occasion. And some – the directionally challenged — feel turned around all the time. Myths about disorientation abound, but the truth is that competent personal navigation involves more than becoming one with your GPS. The good news: you can learn to confidently get from Point A to Point B, even if you think you can’t find your way out of a paper bag.

Wayfinding 101
Easy-to-understand basics of wayfinding, including concepts, tips, examples, and next steps for professionals who seek to make wayfinding improvements in their facilities. Applicable to all facility types, including cultural, education, government, healthcare, hospitality, offices, parking, recreational, residential, retail, sports, transportation, and others.

Are We Telling Our Customers to ‘Get Lost’?
How to plan, design, and retrofit public sites and facilities where all customers can navigate with ease.

Take the Green Elevators, Pass Pavilion B, to Otorhinolaryngology
Everything health facility administrators, planners, and marketing professionals need to know about wayfinding for patients, visitors, and staff.

Who Hid the Great Hall?
The ins and outs of visitor wayfinding in museums – for stakeholders, including executive management, facility managers, marketing managers, development officers, communications managers, visitor services staff, human resources managers, exhibit planners, and others.

Wayfinding Savvy for Designers
Tips and guidelines for architects, landscape architects, interior designers, facility planners and other design professionals who need to understand,   meet, and even exceed clients’ and customers’ wayfinding requirements.

Sample Video

From Interview on “Graceful Aging” Community Access TV. Host: Gregory Bator

Jan Carpman’s Bio

Jan Reizenstein Carpman, PhD is an architectural sociologist and wayfinding expert who has worked for 30+ years to improve wayfinding ease in complex, confusing sites and facilities. A founding partner in Carpman Grant Associates, Wayfinding Consultants, she and Myron Grant have worked with more than 70 organizations on hundreds of wayfinding projects in medical, educational, cultural, government, and other types of public facilities. Jan has special expertise in analyzing users’ wayfinding needs and planning wayfinding-related operational programs. In the 1980s, she directed the award-winning Patient & Visitor Participation Project at the University of Michigan Medical Center, a unique, six-year, design research and advocacy effort. Jan Carpman and Myron Grant are authors of the award-winning books, Design that Cares: Planning Health Facilities for Patients and Visitors and Directional Sense: How to Find Your Way Around (www.directionalsense.com). Jan has conducted over 100 studies, authored or co-authored more than 45 publications, and made 50+ presentations at professional meetings in the U.S. and abroad. She is also an experienced radio talk-show guest. Jan holds degrees from the University of Michigan (PhD in Architecture and Sociology), Harvard University (Master of City Planning), and the University of Rochester (BA in Sociology).


Audience Testimonials

Carpman Grant Associates
Jan has a knack for explaining complicated concepts in down-to-earth language. Subtle humor and great graphics make her presentations fun, and her warmth makes each audience member feel personally engaged. Jan’s wayfinding observations and tips made me repeatedly nod my head and think, “Of course – that makes so much sense!”
Carpman Grant Associates
A great speaker is not just a mouthpiece: she or he has deep command of a subject and a gift for clearly communicating the essence and relevance of that subject. Jan Carpman is such a person. Most importantly, she is an extraordinary individual – one of the few professionals who have combined expertise in physical planning with social science analysis – whose wayfinding practice is creative, scientifically well grounded, and produces tangible successes. As a speaker, she is well organized, communicates visually to support key messages, paces her material well, and gives the audience a sense that they’ve learned something useful. I recommend her highly for professional or public audiences.
Carpman Grant Associates
Although everyone eventually figures out how they can find their way in public spaces, it’s not always obvious how design decision-makers should consider customer orientation in new or existing facilities. Jan Carpman has remarkable insight and experience in deciphering people’s wayfinding needs and explains how they can be met by design. She communicates these challenges with clear, compelling language and useful graphics. Her gentle humor and obvious passion for doing away with disorientation make her presentations engaging and enlightening.

Speaking Experience

Invited Presentations

  • Adult Learners Institute of Chelsea, MI (affiliated with Elderhostel Institute Network)
  • American Academy of Health Services Marketing
  • American Association of Museums
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Institute of Architects
  • American Society for Hospital Engineering
  • American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Ann Arbor District Library
  • Architectural Institute of Japan
  • Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism
  • Association pour la Sante Publique du Quebec (Canada)
  • Boston Architectural Center
  • Build Boston
  • Center for Health Design
  • Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batiment (France)
  • Elderwise
  • Environmental Design Research Association
  • Facility Management Institute
  • International Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Show
  • International Institute for Information Design
  • JFK Center for the Performing Arts, Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability
  • Lawrence Technological University
  • The Merchandise Mart
  • Nagoya University, College of Architecture (Japan)
  • National Academy of Sciences, Building Research Board
  • National Institute of Building Sciences
  • National Society of Patient Representatives
  • Public Works Canada
  • Society for Environmental Graphic Design
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Michigan Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (upcoming)
  • University of Toronto
  • Washington University School of Medicine

Fields & Industries

  • Accessibility/Universal Design
  • Architecture
  • Arts administration
  • Campus planning
  • Commercial facility planning
  • Conference and event planning
  • Customer service
  • Exhibit design
  • Facility management
  • Gerontology/Older adults/Baby Boomers
  • Graphic design
  • Health facility planning
  • Hospitality
  • Information Design
  • Interior design
  • Marketing & Public Relations
  • Mixed-use development
  • Multi-family housing
  • Museums and cultural institutions
  • Parking planning
  • Real estate development
  • Retail facility planning
  • Sign design and fabrication
  • School design and planning
  • Transportation planning
  • Tourism
  • Urban & regional planning
  • Wayfinding technology
  • Zoo planning