Abstract

Understanding sensory stimulation of people in human environments is vital to designing an interior space. The senses play critical roles in human experience and the memories and emotions tied to it. In retail design brands associated to sensory experience attract customers and stimulate strong, positive, and distinctive impression across all five senses. In this case multiple sensory cues are found in a store interior including store and display layout, lighting, interior fixtures and furnishings, music, and air quality such as fragrance and temperature. All contribute and complement each other in orchestrating the complexity of interiors. Malnar and Vodvarka provide sensory schematics to analyze the built environment. They devised a sensory slider to tap the clarity for a particular sense (Malnar & Vodvarka, 2004). Analysis of resulting sensory levels in interior environments provides expanded understanding of the interior’s physical condition in relation to sensory perception of users. For retail, the sensory slider was simplified and adapted to analyze visual, acoustical, olfactory and tactile information in store “S”. Key factors are found: (1) visual cues are most evident in retail interiors supporting previous research; (2) non-visual stimulations are evident in design narratives revealing emotional domains; (3) multi sensory experience supports literature on branding practices in retail; (4) interior detailing appear to impact all senses. Using the tool contributes to creating a conceptual framework when evaluating physical environments and emotional factors concerning customers satisfaction. Implication on the application of the method to the design practice is noted. Interior designers as collaborators with retailers will find it useful for the branding and for new store design and services. Insights and directives from this work suggest added research possibilities and application in interior design, graphic design, as well as store marketing and retailing.

Keywords:

Design Methods, Interior Design, Human Factors, Sensory Experience, Experiential Knowledge

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Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

Retail Design and Sensory Experience: Design Inquiry of Complex Reality

Understanding sensory stimulation of people in human environments is vital to designing an interior space. The senses play critical roles in human experience and the memories and emotions tied to it. In retail design brands associated to sensory experience attract customers and stimulate strong, positive, and distinctive impression across all five senses. In this case multiple sensory cues are found in a store interior including store and display layout, lighting, interior fixtures and furnishings, music, and air quality such as fragrance and temperature. All contribute and complement each other in orchestrating the complexity of interiors. Malnar and Vodvarka provide sensory schematics to analyze the built environment. They devised a sensory slider to tap the clarity for a particular sense (Malnar & Vodvarka, 2004). Analysis of resulting sensory levels in interior environments provides expanded understanding of the interior’s physical condition in relation to sensory perception of users. For retail, the sensory slider was simplified and adapted to analyze visual, acoustical, olfactory and tactile information in store “S”. Key factors are found: (1) visual cues are most evident in retail interiors supporting previous research; (2) non-visual stimulations are evident in design narratives revealing emotional domains; (3) multi sensory experience supports literature on branding practices in retail; (4) interior detailing appear to impact all senses. Using the tool contributes to creating a conceptual framework when evaluating physical environments and emotional factors concerning customers satisfaction. Implication on the application of the method to the design practice is noted. Interior designers as collaborators with retailers will find it useful for the branding and for new store design and services. Insights and directives from this work suggest added research possibilities and application in interior design, graphic design, as well as store marketing and retailing.

 

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