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Growth Project - Space Signage and its Importance

Updated: Apr 4, 2022

Huddersfield, culturally as a town is incredibly diverse. With a large pool of its student body counting as International students, as well its National students also having the potential of being 2nd or 3rd generation immigrants that have immigrated from outside of the UK. As a result of this, the variation in languages across Huddersfield and the Kirklees area is so broad, resulting in a deeper level of consideration to be put forward when addressing language within our project signage, as well as how we use language as a form of communication in and on our other mediums.

From a Yorkshire census, the data confirms that 94.1% of people living in Yorkshire and the Humber speak English, which means that with this region having a population of 5.46 million people, that the English speaking citizens accumulates to 5,132,400 people. The second largest group of people is that of Polish people, who count for 0.90%, which equivalent to 49,150 people. The third highest language is Panjabi, which also counts for 0.90%, meaning that would round somewhere near 49,150 people again. When such a large body of people do not speak English as a first language, it can be incredibly hard to pick up on its text and signage. I have had a similar experience with my Irish family, obviously being exposed to Irish Gaelic and having no clue what any of it means, whereas other members of my family speak it fluently. The idea of being faced with an almost alien language as your only form of communication can appear overwhelming, and in terms of how it could effect the project, could potentially dissuade people from wanting to contribute and take part in the GROWTH project and its opportunities.

To combat this, the space would include signage that would take from the accounted for languages in Yorkshire and embed that into the

signs and text posted around the building. Hopefully by accommodating for a diverse group of people through the use of language, it should encourage more people to access our facilities. And through this, more experiences can be shared and worked upon by allowing this discussion of culture and identity to take place.

Language is one of the great connectors, and by utilising as many as possible, it helps to generate a more inclusive and tolerant atmosphere for Huddersfield's citizens to occupy.

As well as assisting in creating a space that feels more open, it would also help in terms of people understanding the general space. By placing signage that would point to the café and the sensory room, the general space would become easier to navigate, rather than simply walking into somewhere and hoping for the right space. For people who may struggle with reading in general, having visual symbols to point in the general direction can be incredibly beneficial. Essentially to summarise, through the use of symbols and language, it has the potential to open up these spaces to many more people by offering them an alternative to understanding the space and how it operates as a whole.

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