Jan Carpman, an architectural sociologist and wayfinding specialist, is IHCD’s first Director of Wayfinding. She is passionate about creating accessible and inclusive places that optimize user experience. Her work with IHCD spans health care, arts & cultural, public transit, educational, offices, retail, and other complex sites and facilities. Jan works with clients to analyze wayfinding problems and find innovative solutions at the nexus of design, behavior, operations, and technology. She is committed to understanding and meeting wayfinding- and other needs and preferences of all users, including seniors and people with physical, sensory, and brain-based functional limitations; budgetary, corporate identity, and mission-related wayfinding- and other concerns of leadership; and day-to-day, job-related, wayfinding- and other requirements of staff. She is proud to have involved thousands of users, leaders, and staff in her research, planning, and design work.
Before joining IHCD, Jan was a principal in her own wayfinding consulting firm, Carpman Grant Associates, Ann Arbor, MI, for more than 30 years. With her CGA colleagues, she analyzed, planned, and designed wayfinding systems for ~70 organizations. Their projects included wayfinding-related design reviews; environmental analyses; user analyses; website analyses; master plans; staff training programs; sign location and message plans; sign designs; You-Are-Here-, Emergency Egress-, and handheld map designs; room numbering systems, and apps. Jan co-authored, with Myron Grant, two, award-winning books, Design that Cares: Planning Health Facilities for Patients and Visitors (3rd edition), Jossey-Bass, 2016, and Directional Sense: How to Find Your Way Around, IHCD, 2012. She has conducted over 100 studies, written more than 45 publications, and given 50+ presentations at meetings and conferences in the US and abroad. Among other professional activities, she is a former Board member of EDRA, the Environmental Design Research Association, and former associate editor of the journal, Environment & Behavior.
Early in her career, Jan created and directed the Patient & Visitor Participation Project at University of Michigan Medical Center, during a $285 million replacement hospital program. The PVP Project combined research and advocacy in order to understand and accommodate the needs and preferences of patients and families during the design process. Over the course of six years, the PVP Project produced the first evidence-based body of information about patient and family design-related needs and preferences and had a significant impact on the medical center’s planning and design. Jan holds advanced degrees from the University of Michigan (PhD, Architecture and Sociology) and Harvard University (Master of City Planning).