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Case StudyJan 20, 2023

Signage and Wayfinding by Entro complements U of T's renovated OISE Space incorporating Indigenous Knowledge

Written by Rae Lam RGD, and Entro


Entro was a part of designing the recent lobby and entrance renovation of the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). U of T's Academic Plan identified OISE as a priority for renovation, to bring spaces up-to-date and meet contemporary sustainability and accessibility requirements. 

The completed lobby renovation by Gow Hastings Architects and Two Row Architect introduces important Indigenous knowledge and perspectives making them permeate the fabric of the 40-year-old brutalist building in downtown Toronto. The materials, graphics, lighting and orientation incorporate Indigenous philosophy. Our aim in developing the interior and exterior signage and wayfinding program was to complement the renovated space, contribute to the design theme and integrate with the architectural features of the building.


In keeping with the goals of the project, we wanted to make the space more welcoming and accessible. The lobby, which is the first point of contact for visitors, faculty and students, could be confusing to navigate. The new entrance provides clear signage that promotes the U of T and OISE brands. The bright new design includes flexible furniture that is arranged in a circle to evoke a feeling of completeness and ensure a non-hierarchical order for students as well as the faculty. 

Our signage uses copper and cedar used by Indigenous peoples for thousands of years, to complement the lobby design and the floor-to-ceiling “Dish with One Spoon” Wampum belt by Two Row Architect symbolizing the importance of shared respect for each other and the land. A copper cross on the floor provides orientation to north, east, south and west contrasting the city grid of the building’s location.


The building's updated entryway on Bloor has enhanced wayfinding, improved accessibility and offers a new space for students and faculty to meet and collaborate. Entro’s bold brand identification creates a stark contrast to the brutalist aggregate concrete backdrop. The design invites warmth and community to OISE students, faculty and visitors.

Partner-in-Charge: Rae Lam Fox RGD
Lead Designer: Dave Wilkinson
Technical Lead: Aleks Bozovic


Entro is a design firm that is at the intersection of branding and 
experiential graphics. Inter­na­tion­ally renowned for build­ing expe­ri­ences through visual commu­ni­ca­tions, we create power­ful, dynamic expe­ri­ences and envi­ron­ments, special­iz­ing in brand­ing, signage, wayfind­ing and exhibits. By leveraging our deep understanding of human interactions, we make everyday experiences inspirational. 

Our compe­tency comes from a multi-disciplinary team who work in multi­ple sectors and envi­ron­ments collab­o­rat­ing with renowned clients across the globe. World­wide we create brands and expe­ri­ences in promi­nent places. 

We merge a clas­sic, avant-garde design philos­o­phy with strate­gi­cally bold, creatively power­ful and uniquely prac­ti­cal design solu­tions, result­ing in distinc­tive brands and spaces. 

We are dedi­cated to analy­sis, strate­gic real­iza­tion, and design integrity; this is the basis of our repu­ta­tion. We are skilled at manag­ing complex stake­holder engage­ments and are commit­ted to design excel­lence, achiev­ing timely, func­tional and impact­ful results.


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