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HSE Design Lab Develops New Navigation System for Ice Arena

In early October, the HSE Design Lab presented a new project at the HSE Art and Design School. A team of teachers and students has developed a navigation system for the G-Drive sports arena in Omsk. The ice stadium, which is home to the Omsk hockey club Avangard, opened in 2022 and seats 12,000 spectators.

The HSE Design Lab is a design unit based at the HSE Art and Design School where industry experts and HSE University students work together. Its team offers to develop projects for clients in Communication and Digital Design, Environmental and Interior Design, Territorial Branding, Event, Fashion, Contemporary Art, and Media and Sound Design.

At the laboratory, students gain real-life work experience under mentors’ guidance. The development of a navigation system for the G-Drive Arena in Omsk, one of the team’s latest projects, was carried out in stages. First, a conceptual solution was formed, which was then refined and optimised.

G-Drive Arena, built on the site of the Omsk Arena ice stadium, is one of the most advanced sports facilities in the region. Its construction began in 2020, and the first match took place at the stadium on September 24, 2022. The new stadium’s capacity is 12,000 spectators.

Its navigation system includes information panels in strategic locations such as entrances, elevators, and halls. Visitors can check the panels for information about the location of various areas, directions of movement, event schedules, and other information.

Svetlana Sebyakina, Art Director at HSE Design Lab

‘An important factor that permeates the entire process of navigating the site is the development of a typology for all media that visitors encounter on the way from the entrance to their seats, as well as the logistics of these typical media on the maps for seven floors. Typology and logistics were formed on floor plans with fixed points highlighting important places for visitors to make decisions. Schematic layouts are one of the key style constants. Among them, the primary focus is on schematic layouts of the bowl, floor layouts of the ice arena, and a layout of the territory on which the G-Drive Arena is located.’

The concept of the navigation system covered not only inside the facility, but also the area around the arena and all service checkpoints.

‘To check and further adjust the system, the team members flew to the facility: first to familiarise themselves with it, and then for the “fitting”, when models of key navigation media—suspended ceiling consoles—were printed and placed on the stadium plans. We also carried out a mandatory check of standard layouts on the plan for compliance with human proportions and for convenient interaction between participants in the navigation system according to the developed typology,’ said Svetlana Sebyakina.

She added that navigation for the arena was created with both sports and entertainment events in mind. Subsequently, the developers checked how the navigation they designed worked by visiting one of three open days of the G-Drive Arena.

G-Drive Arena Navigation System Project development team

Project Head: Mitya Harshak

Art Directors: Svetlana Sebyakina, Ivan Vetrov

Project Manager: Yana Sobol

Designers: Darya Litovchenko, HSE Design Lab interns and HSE Art and Design School students Valeria Dobulevich, Lada Fedoseeva, Alina Umirova, and Ekaterina Makhno

Natalya Logutova, Deputy Head of the HSE Art and Design School

The laboratory’s clients include companies from the banking sector, developers, industrial complexes, foundations, private businesses, and cultural and educational institutions. ‘One of the most important clients helping develop new areas, among other things, is HSE University itself—the internal customer of HSE Design Lab,’ noted Natalya Logutova, Deputy Head of the HSE Art and Design School.

Over the past ten years, the laboratory has been involved in updating HSE University’s brand book, redesigning thousands of square meters of university space, and implementing renovation projects in cities where HSE University campuses are located, said Natalya Logutova. One of the team’s most steadfast partners is the HSE Lyceum, with which it has been cooperating for many years. In addition, the laboratory has a Creative Futures programme aimed at supporting and assisting students and teachers of the HSE Art and Design School in launching their own brands. ‘The laboratory is a connecting link, a platform for communication among young specialists in creative professions and business, among cultural institutions, local crafts, and young entrepreneurs,’ concluded Natalya Logutova.

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