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Growing with the future

Letter from the Chair

In an age of handheld Internet access and navigation systems for connecting people to private and public places, the role of on-premise signage and wayfinding systems are evolving, and yet they continue as important as ever. They play a fundamental role in connecting people with places, creating place identity and ultimately contribute both directly and indirectly to the quality of life for residents and visitors. Consequently, academic research related to signage and wayfinding is even more important in our increasingly complex urban environments, both within the interior of structures and in exterior spaces.

As AACSRE enters its third year, we have much to celebrate. We can and should celebrate the efforts and successes of our six board committees. The first three issues of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, the only academic journal dedicated to signage-related research, are a big step forward for our academic community. The IJSW articles are a valuable resource for academics as well as the engaged signage industry leaders and public signage regulators. Our 2017 and 2018 classes of Emerging Fellows are cultivating a new group of signage researchers who bring innovative ideas and approaches for addressing the difficult issues we research and teach. We are making substantial progress in efforts to create and disseminate online course material that will ultimately disseminate signage research and education more broadly within the US, as well as around the world. The ongoing updates to our website, this newsletter and other AACSRE materials are essential means for conveying who we are, what we do and why it matters. Of course, all this is possible due to the ongoing generosity of our supporters and the success of our investments and efforts of our sustainability committee.

We also have much remaining to do. Our committees have established goals for 2018 and are committed to accomplishing them. Reaching these goals will involve substantial time and effort for our volunteer committee members, on top their already overcommitted workloads. That all of our board members are volunteers speaks volumes of their appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of signage research and education, and its importance for the function of our social and economic systems.

Finally, it is my hope those new to AACSRE, whether they are academics in signage-related fields, sign industry innovators or government signage regulators, will engage with us to share their ideas, concerns and questions. We are dedicated to independent, interdisciplinary thought leadership with respect to on-premise signage and wayfinding research and education, and truly value connections to the communities we serve. We hope that those who are able will support these efforts.

Chris Auffrey

School of Planning

University of Cincinnati

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