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Brain, body and behaviour



Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam asked me to create a visual language and interior branding for their Brain, Body & Behaviour building. A building that houses a lot of different people, faculties and expertises.

Since the users of the building are many and varied, I organized a series of user-sessions. Instead of asking what people thought the visuals should show, I asked them what sparked their joy. What research, experiments or results excited them most? What part of their work do they love talking about to a friend on a party? During these talks I got hugely infected with their enthusiasm and learned about the unbelievably unique characteristics that Brain, Body & Behaviour contain.

In the development of the concept these unique characteristics naturally shaped the base. I decided to work with a zoom-system. The overall visual became a seven stories high human figure, created with thousands and thousands of icons. Per wall we see an excerpt of that body, and we get to distinguish the symbols it's built with. For every wall three custom made symbols are used, representing a characteristic of the brain, the body and behaviour.


On every wall a sign is placed that is used both as explanation and navigation. Here people can see which 3 icons are used to develop the visual they are standing in front of. Next to that they can see where in the 'body' they are, with the feet starting all the way in the basement, and the head on the top level of the building.

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Concept and design - Lisa van Kleef

Software support - Francesco Bevilacqua

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