A Wayfinding System for Railway Builders Designed by MOTIVE Inc. Receives High Evaluation From Around the World

Design firm, MOTIVE Inc. has created a  wayfinding system at the Totetsu Training Institute, which received multiple design awards from around the world, starting with Red Dot Design Award 2022 (Germany), A'Design Award 2021-2022 (Italy), AZ Awards 2022 (Canada) and more.


Photo credit: Takeshi SHINTO

Totetsu Kogyo Co., Ltd., founded at the request of the former Ministry of Railways to maintain and reinforce Japan’s rail system, is a general construction company with far-reaching expertise in the field of rail-related construction. The TOTETSU Training Institute was built by the company to help preserve its legacy of unique expertise, enhance its technological prowess, and develop highly capable human resources.


Photo credit: Takeshi SHINTO


Photo credit: Takeshi SHINTO

For the design motif, the designer used rail lines—the core identity of Totetsu Kogyo, which continues to thrive in the rail sector.


Photo credit: Takeshi SHINTO

Due to the characteristics of the space, some of the rooms in the facility are in blind areas. The rail-line design marks flow lines to those rooms, offering affordances for spatial movement.


Photo credit: Takeshi SHINTO

To capture the company’s personality with creative aesthetic accents, the designer also used rail scrap for the facility’s name sign and portions of the stairs.


Photo credit: Takeshi SHINTO


Photo credit: Takeshi SHINTO

On the second floor, rooms and their corresponding key cards are color-coded in the colors of the various train lines which Totetsu Kogyo use in their services. On the key cards are lines representing small sections of track. Side by side, the cards can combine into a myriad of different route maps.


Photo credit: Takeshi SHINTO


Photo credit: MOTIVE Inc.

Through the design, the designer strove to create a space that would help trainees feel a sense of pride in their work.


Photo credit: Takeshi SHINTO

About MOTIVE Inc. 

Based in Tokyo, MOTIVE Inc. was established by Takuya WAKIZAKI in 2019. The firm engages primarily in orientation design = environmental information design.

The morning sun rises to the east. The smell of the tide tells you that the sea is near. When you see the light ahead of the tunnel, you can find your way out. Takuya Wakizaki believes that humans have the ability to adapt and act in the environment by receiving the "stimulus = information" emitted by the environment.

How do the various "Stimulus = Information" in the world act on the brain, mind, and body to become the "motive" in which people adapt to their environment and act? What is the difference between information that leads to "motive" and information that does not?

Just as furniture designers draw repeatedly on the human body to make comfortable chairs, the firm draws on human ‘thinking’ and ‘motive’ to work on orientation design = environmental information design.