MD Anderson Cancer Center


MDA Facilities Management Planning Design and Construction


Experiential Branding

Wayfinding Consulting

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious healthcare institutions. For patients trying to navigate its more than 9 million square feet of space, however, the institution’s enormous physical environment can be daunting. And the challenges created by this size are often magnified by frightening diagnoses, unfamiliar or exhausting treatments, and varying understanding of written or spoken English. 

To create a wayfinding strategy that addresses these challenges, fd2s began with an in-depth analysis of the needs of the institution’s patients, visitors, and staff. This analysis included a combination of on-site observation, patient and visitor interviews, mock admission and arrival exercises (with fd2s staff members assuming the role of patients), and work sessions with institution staff and other stakeholders. 

Using the understanding cultivated during this intense analysis phase, the fd2s team developed a strategy for creating a unified and highly recognizable system that addresses users’ needs at every possible point of contact. The strategy recognizes that an effective system needs to reach across every aspect of the hospital’s environment and operations, including architecture and interiors, signage and wayfinding, communications, services, and internal processes. 

The elements conceived, designed, documented, and produced by fd2s in the implementation of this strategy are extensive, and the effort involved close coordination with staff from throughout MD Anderson, ranging from facilities and information technology to marketing and public relations.