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Fusing Classic & Modern: Wayfinding designer Noor Alshawa’s path to Endpoint

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Fusing Classic & Modern: Wayfinding designer Noor Alshawa’s path to Endpoint

Born and raised in Saudi Arabia to a Palestinian family, Endpoint Dubai-based Wayfinding Designer, Noor Alshawa’s local knowledge and experience complements her design expertise. Over the past six years, she has contributed to numerous ambitious wayfinding projects.

What made you choose a career as a wayfinding designer?

I graduated from university with a BA in Interior Design and I’ve always had a great appreciation for larger-scale environments and user-centered design – anything experience-focused that never loses sight of the human factor.

Working in wayfinding was a lucky coincidence – which I quickly grew to appreciate as a fulfilling career path. It has a bit of everything I like: large-scale strategy; design where empathy with users is key; creative conceptual design; attention to smaller-scale details such as materials and finishes. Six years in and I’m still enjoying exploring the many possibilities and opportunities wayfinding design has to offer!

Dubai Expo’s Mobility Pavilion

What's a typical day like for you at Endpoint?

Besides numerous cups of tea and coffee, my days are really varied – depending on current priorities. Some days are strategy intensive, others involve creative action. In both cases, the team will give feedback, suggest fresh ideas, challenge, and question different scenarios – which helps me take what I’ve been working on to the next level.

What are some of the project highlights of your career so far?

I’ve had many highlights but I would have to say working with Expo Mobility Pavilion (Dubai), Dubai International Financial Centre 2.0, the Etihad Arena (Abu Dhabi) and most recently, New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus.

New York University Abu Dhabi campus

What's the most challenging type of project you've worked on and why?

I think hospitals are among the most challenging for me because there are a lot of factors you have to take into consideration when it comes to wayfinding. The primary challenge is helping anxious people navigate a complex architectural environment and how to break down information simply and effectively to enable them to understand and follow it.

What’s been your favourite project and why?

I have a favourite project experience rather than one project in particular. My ideal project experience involves: a clear client brief; a good amount of project complexity; comprehensive team collaboration; and an openness to out-of-the-box ideas and creative solutions. My favourite project is one that is well-thought-out, coordinated, and executed.

Where was the last place you got lost?

Navigating the small windy walkways of Madinat Jumeirah at night. Not an easy task!

And… finally, if you were a font, what would you be?

That is a tough one! I would say a serif – a moderately compact, classic font that fits comfortably into a modern context. Something like Minion or Lucida.