Marijn van Oosten, a Dutch graphic designer based in New York, has created a masterpiece for the Netherlands’ Rijksmuseum, and not only does every visitor get to touch it, but they also can take it home. It’s called Paper Pathfinder, and it’s a museum map that’s way cooler and more helpful than any old boring museum map or app that you’ve ever seen before. Boasting 100 rooms with over 8,000 works of art, her color coded handheld map clearly depicts the museum‘s layout floor by floor. That means no spending the night at the museum because you can’t find the exit (or more importantly, the bathroom).
The map comes in a pouch and pops up from its compact 2-D form into a miniature 3-D paper model of the museum layout. Simply find your location on the map, and once you’ve got your bearings, just return it to its collapsed form and stash it in your bag or pocket.
In case you need validation about what a masterpiece this museum map is, earlier this week, Van Oosten won a Dutch Design Award at Dutch Design Week for her map. She visualized the concept back in 2005 when she was 19 years old.
While working on her graphic design bachelor’s degree, she was tasked with creating a pathfinding system for a new structure. In an interview with Fast Company, Van Oosten wrote, “I wanted something that you could hold in your hands.” Her vision came to life when ING Bank, a head sponsor of the Rijksmuseum, was in the market to gift ING card users with a small token of appreciation. Marjin took her concept from design school and adapted it to the layout of the Rijksmuseum. The map is now free to visitors.
It’d be great to see this innovative design in more mega museums worldwide. Currently, van Oosten is in talks about creating a Paper Pathfinder for New York City’s notably vast Metropolitan Museum of Art, and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.
Would you use The Paper Pathfinder to navigate your way around museums? Let us know in the comment below!
(h/t Fast Company)