Experiential Design – Rethinking relations between people, objects and environments
The context of design:
Where once design and the arts may have been confined to the ‘straightforward’ creation of objects, places and similar elements, today we have the knowledge to transcend mere physicality. The experience economy challenges us to move from reactionary to initiatory modes, moving us from questions of problem solving and object making to our potential to serve as catalysts, releasing potential energy, activating thought and affecting change from those who engage with the objects and spaces we design and make.
Experiential design, situational design and Xbd (experience by design), are all examples of this expanding reality for the art, design and spatial sectors. Within this context, it is clear that art, design and space influence, reflect, react to and sometimes distort life experience. This is evident across sectors and scales making the relationship between designer-maker, designed object and user or client complex and varied.
Provocations for Designers, Architects & Artists:
This conference brings together designers and artists of all kinds to celebrate and share strategies, compare practices, and advance dialogue about art, designed objects, interiors, environments and their relationship with people. On this basis it welcomes contributions from multiple disciplines: interior design, architecture, art, furniture, graphics, product design, textiles, app design and more.
Examples of questions that may be asked include, but are not limited to:
- How do interiors and buildings impact on mood, wellbeing and learning potential? How do artists, product and furniture designers shape experience and meaning? How should artists and designers communicate the intentions of their work? What skills and principles best serve us in the experience economy?
- How does public art, buildings and spaces influence human interaction? How do interior designers engage users in design, visualization and feedback? How do graphic designers monitor the effects of their work in different contexts? What effect do furniture designers have on bodily health and spatial experience?
- How do architects understand the impact of buildings on diverse users – from patients in hospitals to children in classrooms? How is body and ergonomic simulation effecting the practice of product design? What role do artists see for the public in the act of creation and making? How do exhibition designers engage with studies about the psychology of attention?
Themes for Designers, Architects & Artists:
While the conference seeks to be as open as possible to new ideas and voices, a number of issues are of particular interest to the organizers. Examples include:
Design and Performance: How do the health spaces we design help patients recover, what aspects of school and classroom design best improve the learning of children and adults, how can we contribute to productivity in the workplace through office design?
Applying design in commercial and non-commercial contexts: How do we transpose the lessons we learn about design, users and specific products or space typologies from one design context to another? How can the lessons of atmospherics in shopping environments inform our work on spaces of health, wellbeing and education, and vice versa?
The individual as experience and user: How is it possible for designers of products and spaces produced at large scale and used by multiple people to facilitate and accommodate, individual experience, needs and desires?
The nature art and designing for experience: How does art and existing products, processes and environments prompt or shape experience and meaning?
Conveying ideas and values: How can and should artists and designers communicate their intentions to best ensure their work positively influences human experience, mindsets and mood?
Preparing artists and designers to engage experience: What skills, mindsets and learning principles best prepare artists and designers to meet present and future expectations of the experience economy?
Art and Design as a participatory process: To what extent do artists and designers actually participate with users in the creative process and do they really understand how none experts think, experience and perceive their work?
Examining origins and intent: Before an object, product, place or process was made, a maker conceived it. Before the desire to express existed, an emotion was felt. Before the need for empowerment, a cause was justified and a context established. What is the “before” of meaningful artworks and designs and how can and should we manage and react to these influences?