THE ROLE OF DESIGN Gensler’s latest research provides hard evidence of the link between good design and our reactions to the spaces we use, says designer and researcher Tom Lindblom
Gensler Experience Index: the findings l Places designed to accommodate multiple activities – from working to socialising to exercising and everything in between – are far more likely to result in great experiences.
Parks and public spaces are reported as ideal places for reflection and inspiraton
framework for understanding human experience esign officially has a quantifiable across retail, public spaces and workplaces”. impact on human experience. Gensler concluded that a person’s intention when That, at least, is the verdict of visiting a space, combined with their expectations, global architecture and planning firm quality of interactions and quality of the space Gensler, who have published a new “together inform how it will be perceived”. index they claim proves, once and for “We’re now able to prove that design is all, that design is a critical factor in determining the X factor that takes a good experience and how we feel about the spaces we occupy. makes it great,” said co-CEO Andy Cohen. The Gensler Experience Index is the result According to the Index, public spaces are the of a multi-year, mixed-methods investigation most aspirational space type, with one that combined qualitative and Public spaces out of five users visiting specifically for ethnographic research, such as support the inspiration or to learn something new. 30 two-hour interviews with people in five markets across the widest diversity “Public spaces support the US, with quantitative research, of experiences widest diversity of experiences, offer some of the best experiences including a nationwide, panel-based overall, and are the most likely to be shared survey of over 4,000 respondents. on social media by visitors,” said Gensler. The research combined known drivers “Why? Their capacity to support unstructured of creating a human experience – product, time – providing a platform for reflection, brand and service quality – with design inspiration, and unplugging as well as fun, factors, which Gensler claim “have not presocialising, and work – is a lesson in variety and viously been factored into the formula”. adaptability. Their diversity and welcoming nature The results demonstrate that design is the prove to be key components of success too, a key differentiating factor “between a good goal toward which every space should aspire.” experience and a great one” and offer “a holistic
l Places that are considered “beautiful, unique, authentic, inspirational, intuitive, and welcoming” offer the best overall experiences. l The quality of experiences at the “best-designed” spaces was rated nearly twice as high as those at the “worst-designed” spaces. l More than half of consumers go to retail stores for reasons other than shopping, and three out of four who visit retail stores without the intent to buy end up making a purchase. l People are 10 times more likely to share their in-store experiences on social media if those stores have unique design features. For workplaces, they are six times more likely, and for public places, three times more likely.
CLAD mag 2018 ISSUE 1