Whenever we walk into a space, the first thing we notice is usually what we can see. However, your experience within a space is never solely limited to visual observation. Whether you consciously recognise it or not, the way you perceive a space is shaped by a number of factors. Specifically, through the five senses. These fundamentals can allow for anyone designing a space to craft a multi-faceted experience for people to indulge in.
It might seem simple, but the aesthetics of a space are going to have an enormous impact on how people respond to it. This comes down to the basics; what colour scheme are you going to use? What kind of fitout are you going to incorporate? Are you going to include statement design elements? Creating a space that is inviting and correlates with the target demographic is crucial in whether they will want to spend time there.
Modernity is a popular design trend, but sleek minimalist spaces with limited soft furnishings lend themselves to a loud interior. Sound reverberates around a room, and will be amplified if there is nothing to absorb it, especially with high ceilings. Think about the purpose of your desired space; is there going to be a lot of talking? Will there be ambient music? Acoustics are important in a space where humans interact. Placing carpet and soft furnishings strategically such as chairs and lounges will absorb and dampen sound, which will help to create the desired vibe and functionality of the room. You can even use sound as a way of shaping and reinforcing a particular experience; for example Heston Blumenthal offers headphones to the guests in his restaurant Dinner so that they can listen to sounds of the ocean whilst eating fish.
Whenever someone enters a space, they are interacting with it on some level. From opening doors, to customer service encounters and use of furniture, people will make contact with the space they are in. Maybe you’ll want to incorporate intriguing textiles to give a unique tactile experience? Maybe you’ll want to provide comfort through soft furnishings that will make people want to relax and stay put? The way a person feels when they spend time in your space is an important contributor to their overall opinion of the place as a whole. There’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy a meal on an uncomfortable chair.
This doesn’t only have to be considered in a hospitality environment- smell plays an important role in the branding of any space. Often, people will walk into a room and notice any stand out scents instantly, which they will then associate with the entire establishment. Do you want your customers and clients to think you’re high end, homely or fresh? Maybe you just want a pleasant undertone that solidifies what you’re about. Either way, finding a way to evoke a particular smell that aligns directly with your desired customer experience will bring your interior business experience to the next level.
This sense would arguably be most important in a hospitality environment, where the core product or service relates to food and drink. The key here is to identify beneficial moments in the customer journey, and amplify them so that your customers are gaining maximum impact in the most important ways. This will leave them with a distinct impression of your business and brand…and who doesn’t love a good feed?
Multi-sensorial design can be incredibly important in the branding of your business. The way people experience a space based on the sensory detail it offers allows people to make sense of that space, and hence strengthens its brand. If you can use sensory detail to communicate your message to customers and clients, you will find them coming back for more.
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