Alexandra Wood

Years attended: 2016

Discipline: Design

Alexandra was one of the first people in the UK to launch a design studio dedicated to designing effective wayfinding and information graphic schemes. This is where she began her collaboration with Lucy Holmes and together they founded Holmes Wood in 2000, which became a specialist in branded environments and went on to win many awards. Since their first project for Tate Modern, Holmes Wood have created designs for the V&A, Liverpool Waterfront, Manchester Art Gallery, Oxford Brookes University, Virgin Atlantic, The American Museum of Natural History, Hammerson Shopping Centres and many more.

Alexandra’s believes that understanding and affecting how an environment works, looks and behaves is the essence of brand work. A brand is great not because of its logo, but because of what it represents. The quality of experience provided by the place or company or product becomes associated with a visual identity, which in turn contributes to the experience. Following this logic for any visitor environment, Alexandra forms her design ideas around the principle of helping visitors to feel comfortable with a place, by evoking an emotional response to a rational structure. Cultivating a feeling of belonging, comfort, home is as much about what you are not giving people: hassle, frustration or bemusement, as what you are: warmth, effortless understanding, congenial and distinctive experiences.