Welcome to the Experience Economy

Pine, J and Gilmore,j (1998). ‘Welcome to the Experience Economy’. Harvard Business Review, July-August.
Companies have developed a way of increasing their profits from customers. This increase in profit has come about from providing not only a service but an experience. In providing this experience companies have found that customers or guests are willing to pay more for this particular service as an enjoyable experience has also been provided.
However, ‘experiences are not exclusively about entertainment; companies stage an experience when ever they engage customers in a personal, memorable way.’ (Pine, Gilmore, 1998). While most companies provide and stage experiences they still charge for their goods and services. No company sells experiences as its economic offering, companies only sell experiences if they charge admission fees. However, in order for these admission fees to not only be fair but for people, but to feel they are worthwhile, they would have to provide engaging and unique experiences.
There are 5 different key experience-design principles:
  • Theme the Experience
  • Harmonise impression with positive cues.
  • Eliminate negative cues.
  • Mix in memorabilia
  • Engage all five senses.

Doing Experience Centred Design

McCarthy, J., Wright, P., 2010. Experience-centered design: designers, users, and communities in dialogue. Morgan & Claypool, [San Rafael, Calif.?].
Part 2: Doing Experience-Centred Design.

Experience centred design tells stories. These stories are from the teller, the listen and the characters within it. These stories are collected through focus groups, diary studies, cultural probes and role play. Dialogue is a vital part of design in order for stories and experience to be conveyed it must be explored in depth through conversation. Questions are asked and themes extracted from the responses. Dialogue is an important part of the experience, you relate through listening and waiting for inspiration or understanding. Dialogue also allows for creativity and openness. By telling a story you feel free to express yourself in a unique way. You will also respond differently when you are allowed the freedom to speak about something which affected you.

-designers are likely to learn about what their general ambitions for the project mean to the users.

-need for reflection on practice, in evaluation which pays attention to the diversity of voices.

  • importance of empathy to describe user-designer relationships.

Notes on the design of participatory systems

Haque, U., n.d. HABI-TAR Notes on the design of participatory systems – for the city for the planet.

Participatory systems need to acknowledge that there will be limitations with in them. The first person who tries to solve the dilemma they are facing whether it is driving better to relieve congestion in Karachi, or a company trying to lessen their burden on climate change these are the people who will be most disadvantaged to begin with. Everyone else will take advantage of the gaps they leave.

A participatory system therefore needs to have short term incentives from which all participants can gain tangible benefits, this provides motivation and builds trust. These systems can also not depend on all or nothing situations, therefore the system must work in increments. Small changes, to achieve a large one. Participation should be structured so that you immediately receive a benefit.

Participants will trust the system if there is a large amount of self constructed evidence, this will also allow the participants to be aware of the limitations and issues of the system. Systems value the variation in participants and the different skill sets they bring with them.

Design Noir: The secret life of electronic objects

Dunne, A. Raby, F., 2001. Design Noir: The secret life of electronic objects. August/Birkhauser. Section 05.

The placebo project is an experiment that focuses on taking conceptual design into everyday life. Eight prototype objects were created and used, these were, Parasite Light, Compass Table, Nipple Chair, electro-draught excluder, Loft, Electricity drain, GPS Table and Phone table. They were designed to test people perceptions on electromagnetic fields in the home. They were designed to be open-ended and to prompt people to have a personal attachment and story with the object.

The object was to find each individuals experience with each object in their own environment. Each individual has a unique individual experience with each object.

A lot of people took on the objects openly and willingly. They allowed them into their lives. Many people found that they didn’t really have much purpose and struggled to utilise them. Others however have found the objects have become part of their lives, due to their intriguing nature and their use has become part of routine.

Emotional design : why we love (or hate) everyday things

Norman, D.A. 2004. Emotional design: why we love (or hate) everyday things. Prologue, Chapter 1. p3, 33.

In this book, it suggested that all things or objects that we keep we are emotionally connected to in one way or another. Even if we consciously do not believe this to be so subconsciously we are emotionally invested in the object. Looking at the teapots in the prologue they illustrate product design. These components are ‘usability (or lack thereof), aesthetics and practicality’ (Norman, D. 2004, p4). This leads us on to look at three aspects of design. Visceral concerning itself with appearance, behavioural concerned with pleasure and the effectiveness of its use and finally reflective. The reflective aspect considers rationalisation of the product. These are shown by the three tea pots in the prologue.

Norman also goes on to suggest that attractive things work better, we see this in the study conducted by Masaaki Kurosu and Kaori Kashimura, they found that in Japan an more attractively laid out colourful ATM was easier to use than the unattractive one. They then tested this in Israel and were surprised to find that even with the difference of cultural the same result was found.

Science is then applied to the three aspects of design to explain how the brain uses them everyday. The brain also has these three layers ‘visceral level; the part that contains the brain processes that control everyday behavior, known as the behavioural level; and the contemplative part of the brain, or the reflective level. Each level plays a different role in the total functioning of people’ (Norman. D, 2004, p21). Finally Norman tells us that when focused you are more likely to be creative. Giving ourselves deadlines allows us to be creative more efficiently and create a better design in a shorter amount of time.

Cultural Probes and the value of uncertainty

Gaver, W.W., Boucher, A., Pennington, S., Walker, B., 2004. Cultural probes and the value of uncertainty. interactions 11, 53.

The article highlights the importance of collecting a wide range of information to shape and enhance design. When designing to please and give someone else an experience a different approach is required. This is better done from being a part of the situation. A greater knowledge is found when being part of what you are trying to convey. This text highlights that by being a part of what is being researched a more informed experience is created. The text goes on to say “Probes are collections of evocative tasks meant to elicit inspirational responses from people—not comprehensive information about them, but fragmentary clues about their lives and thoughts.”

By probing we allow a more qualitative and personal response. In the case of the study conducted within this text this was done in the form of taking photographs, being asked open-ended questions and through recording dreams immediately after the participant woke up. As designers we need to allow our research to not be constrained to closed questions, which push towards a certain answer. To embrace the different, unusual and elaborate answers we gather from the conducted research. This will then allow us to use the probes and uncertainty of the answers to create a more rounded response, and overall more inspired experience.

Kino/Film: Soviet Posters of the Silent Screen

1920’s saw a radical change in Graphic Design which advertised silent movies across the soviet union. During the 1920’s film flourished in the Soviet Union.

This was a relatively new art form, film matched the revolutionary ethos of an emerging generation of artists for whom fine art was deemed bourgeois. – Grad: Gallery for Russian arts and Design.

The exhibition examines the golden age of Soviet film posters and is co-curated by Elena Sudakova, director of GRAD, and film critic and art historian Lutz Becker. In collaboration with Antikbar. The gallery shows work by Yakov Ruklevsky, Mikhail Dlugach, Aleksandr Naumov, Nikolai Prusakov and the brothers Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg.


Aleksandr Naumov – Oil, 1927


The Uprising, 1928 – Mikhail Dlugach


The end of Saint Petersburg, 1927 – Izrail Bograd


Turksib, 1929 – Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg






From Heartfield to Metahaven: The intersection of graphic design and politics.

John Heartfield-  A portrait of heartfield by Aleksandr Rodchenko 1931.Image

John Geartfield a committed communist and began to use work to produce anti fascist propaganda. Art since 1900- his work became the singular, most important example of counter propaganda to the hegemonic media apparatus of the thirties, the only voice in the visual avant garde.  One of the first to spread images across book covers, and exploit the way in which you can join two different elements together to create a particular image. The face of fascism 1931.

Kathe Kollwitz- A fine artist. 1924- never again war. Produced work in opposition to the war about the victims of war.  Her own son was killed during the war and this greatly influenced her artistic work. Germany’s children starve.Image

Ludwig Hohlwein 1902- Took a radical approach to poster design. Using commercial messages, and concentrating on a central figure. Fitting other elements around that. Propaganda and advertising work in a similar way to convince a certain set of ideas, or buy a product.

Degenerate art is art that the Nazi’s didn’t want to be made around that time as this showcased them in a bad light. Many who made this type of work were arrested or had their artwork confiscated.

Bauhaus- During the second world war the Bauhaus had constructivist work coming out, and the Nazi’s closed it. Early art from the Bauhaus was more expressionist which over time headed towards more modernist.

Ken Garland – British designer influenced by modernist art and design from Europe.  CND march poster 1962.Image

Did a lot of work for nuclear disarmament. First things first: a manifesto 1964.Image

Wanted to put a halt to more consumer  and purchase driven work, so made a manifesto which other designers signed.

Milton Glaser – bob Dylan poster 1967Image

Also made a Micky mouse in Vietnam (1969) shocking film many people just being sent off to the front line, not truly understanding the situation they were going to face. Micky mouse is a symbol of innocence, success and idealism. Seeing this character killed as a soldier is a contradiction of expectations.


Olt Aicher – 1972 made a series of posters for the Munich Olympics to try to repair the view of Germany after the destruction of the war. Black and red were not allowed in the work, any other colour was allowed.

Jan van Toorn – His calendar 1972/73 people calendar. Most extraordinary and provocative artifacts of it’s era- rick poynor.

Guerrilla girls – 1985-90. Conscience of the art world. Racism and sexism.

Metahaven – Work followed themes of globalisation.





Culture originally referred to a cultivated piece of land. From early 16th century term also referred to cultivation of the mind faculties and/or manners.

We tend to think of culture within arts. However culture also considers, attitudes, values, social practices, beliefs, thinking, working and behaving.  Cultures combine thought, experiences, values and behaviours, concepts, and the developed assumptions regarding life, which affect our behaviour (Jandt 2012) – sets of characteristics that unify a group of people.

Professor Geert Hofstede categorised these aspects into 4 categories :

  1. Symbols – verbal, non verbal language
  2. Rituals – socially essential collective activities within a culture
  3. Values – the feelings not open for discussion within a culture about what is good/bad, beautiful/ugly, normal/abnormal.
  4. Heroes – real or fictional people who serve as behaviour models within a culture.

A subculture functions like a culture, often generated by a large number of members with shared beliefs and interests.

Co-culture – Some believe we should not say sub culture as this suggests a lower ranking, a beneath culture.  Whereas a co-culture will suggest a less hierarchical culture that exists alongside.

Hodkinson 2007 suggested that a subculture can be defined by four elements.

  1. Commitment
  2. Identity
  3. Distinctiveness
  4. Autonomy – independent and self governing.

Subcultural capital: judgement in a form of subcultural reading which determine involvement. Elements differing from mainstream culture:

  • Fashion
  • Hair, makeup, jewellery
  • Music
  • Mannerisms
  • Symbols
  • Activities
  • Authenticity
  • Contradictions

Critical histories of design

How many ways can an alien analyse an animated robot?

Voyager 1- sept 5th 1977, always assuming, meticulously use imagination. Golden record, voyager 1 left gold plated copper metal disc, carried small plaques to say place or origin and time for others who may find it. – http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/goldenrec.html


Finding something unknown: explore more. Look for patterns, hypotheses or ideas that can be tested and will form the base for further research. Watch robots of Brixton:

“history repeats itself, first at tragedy second as farce” – Karl Marx.

5 Minutes free writing. Living in a world that is exactly how we are but in another dimension, another time as a robot. Meeting up with friends going about everyday business. Seeing life how humans see it, just in a darker less clean looking world. Experiencing something strange, new, unclear as to what it is. Transported into the unknown. Wondering through this unexplained place, being shown a tragedy within their world. Tragedy of human race seeing how humans can descend into darkness. Into crazed unstoppable forces fighting for something they feel is important. Shown to the robots as their own kind and also as the human race. Strange unknown craziness that we see as madness, unexplained rage. A cause that not all feel is worthy of going to such extreme lengths over. Robots are doing exactly the same as us. A strong emotive piece combining two different worlds within the same actions, feelings, emotions and places.  

Karl Marx says history repeats itself, can be shown throughout this film in just 5 minutes. – Write something immediately about what you find or see. Reflection in action is concerned with practicing critically. Reflection on action is after activity has taken place judge how successful you were changes etc.

Fiona banner 1997 apocalypse now, hand wrote entire thing. ImageImage