18 April 2012 // Thoughts

The Value of Experiential Design: The Experience of Innovation

Welcome to Part 4 of The Value of Experiential Design, brought to you by JRA’s VP of Marketing and Business Development, Shawn McCoy.

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Experiential design is also about innovation, and not being afraid to push the envelope about what can be done. A good example of experiential design as it relates to innovation is the Sky Walk at the Grand Canyon – which allows you to walk over the canyon on a glass bridge.

Another example is the temporary slide at the Tate Modern in London, which provides guests with an artistic, experiential option to travel from the top floor galleries down to the lower level. This functional sculpture/ride was not well received by museum purists who found it trivialized the visitors’ experience, but it was warmly embraced by a majority of guests and got the museum a ton of free PR.

Experiential design can be applied to innovation on the most mundane of operational details, such as delivering food to tables.

At Foodloop, a restaurant found within Europe’s Europa Park, guest sit down at various tables and order their drinks or food from the touchscreen, then watch the item as it’s delivered to them via a Rube Goldburg-esque contraption.

Foodloop, and the other examples above, are simple, innovative, operationally efficient and effective, and a great experience for guests.

So, we’ve seen how experiential design is about innovation; it’s about paying attention to the details along each step of a guests’ journey, treating them as if they are the audience and our experience is theater. But besides providing interesting guests with great memories or cocktail stories, does experiential design offer any real value? If so, how? We’ll answer that question in next week’s post.