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AZ Awards 2022 Winner: Totetsu Training Institute by Motive Inc.

If asked to design a wayfinding system for a rail-focused construction company, turning to railway design itself for inspiration might at first seem a little on the nose. But step into the Totetsu Training Institute outside Tokyo and the apparent simplicity of Motive Inc.’s graphic framework belies its cleverness.

AZ Awards 2022 Winner: Totetsu Training Institute by Motive Inc.

With a strikingly straightforward approach, the team demarcated circulation routes on the floor using parallel lines that mimic a train track motif, weaving and intersecting to imbue the space with a dynamic sense of movement. Upstairs, it drew on the characteristic colour-coding of rail lines to inform the spatial organization and signage. Each room is assigned a hue that matches its corresponding key card, which is denoted with a portion of the train track. When placed side by side, the cards can be assembled to form a multitude of routes.

“From the pathways created to the flow and fluidity of the signage, as well as the materiality link, this project represents the brand and becomes a key part of its identity.”
Róisín Lafferty, AZ Awards 2022 Juror
AZ Awards 2022 Winner: Totetsu Training Institute by Motive Inc.

The railway references don’t end there. To incorporate the materiality of train tracks, steel rail scraps were utilized throughout, etched with the company name at the facility’s entrance and integrated within the staircases. Though the resulting space is visually stunning, the project’s success hinges on its ability to create an environment that is both user-friendly and easy to navigate while staying true to the brand’s identity — and, in turn, fostering a sense of pride in trainees.

AZ Awards 2022 Winner: Totetsu Training Institute by Motive Inc.

Team Takuya Wakizaki (Motive Inc.); Kazuhiro Hosoda, Taketo Yano and Jun Nakagawa (Totetsu Kogyo Co.)

Winner: Experiential Graphic Design
Totetsu Training Institute

With a strikingly straightforward approach, Motive Inc. demarcated circulation routes on the floor using parallel lines that mimic a train track motif for the Totetsu Training Institute.

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