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What is experience design in the real world?

It's funny, 'in this modern world' (yes this was a Gaga/Cooper reference!), we have come to understand the term experience design (or XD, UX) as navigating the screen to achieve a desired outcome. Surely there is call for its presence in industry to the same value as in the digital world?

In Australia, we have been slow off the mark, where other areas like America have written about commercial enterprise applying experience design methods over the past twenty years, in particular is Gilmore & Pine's seminal work, The Experience Economy, which has just been re-released in December 2019 with new notation. The job of the experience designer is to engage people/ customers/ audiences by way of compelling experiences, most often in order to generate allegiance and better profits. Real space experience design describes the role whereby the spaces and programs that an audience engages with are meaningful in a way that deepens the commitment to the idea or branding that is offered within a space or a program. Similar to digital XD, the experience designer in real space is also a navigator, allowing clear pathways for people of an event's 'terrain', of both the immediate physical environment as well as the social and cultural spaces they encounter inside of that.  One important aspect is the focus on the audience perspective of the event, ensuring their needs are met so they can pick up on the message embedded within the event.


Hence real space experience design combines the art and science of how people interact with their immediate environments. Across industries a whole new language is being developed and employed to explain that plethora of relationships and connections we have with the world, ourselves and each other. This emerging language assists in the understanding of how moments in time can be orchestrated, or considered and put into place, in a particular way in order to achieve a specific desired outcome or experience for the people.


Here in Filtered's creative house our team's combined specialist know-how has been developed over two decades across a variety of social, cultural and educational platforms. Corporate branding launch events and end of year celebrations, cultural festivals, dance performances, opening nights, foyer experiences and galas the art gallery experience, weddings, fashion showcases and more.


As experience designers our job is to engage our clients' audience with their immediate environment so the client can achieve certain outcomes depending on their needs that an event or a venue is looking to fulfill.


This means that:

*when the location is well arranged;

*and the program timing is right; *all outcomes have been thought through and the event concept flows;

*when a good amount of information is offered and in the right places;

*and the weather is amenable -


***bodies are activated***


Activated: to come alive with spirit and enthusiasm. Not only that, those bodies - the people, guests, customers or audience members, are activated together. This togetherness invites a sense of unity that generates VERY special, unique and remarkable moments.


'When the knowledge of experience design is applied with a specific purpose in mind, the environment generates very special moments that allow for that wow factor... and magic happens.'


Most of the time the reason why a client engages an experience designer or event experience designer is initially unclear to the client. Let's explore beyond the ideas of, "We have this event every year so we are doing it again." What value did you receive from the same event last year?


It may not yet be clear as to the true desired outcome an event has, or why an organisation is investing. It is up to the designer to facilitate the conversation to engage the client toward their own best interest, even when the client is fighting against their own best interests unknowingly! The designer can begin planning the elements once the fundamental reason is identified for investing in the event in the first place.



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