This is an excerpt from The Immersive Worlds Handbook by Scott Lukas. Focusing on the imaginative world of themed, immersive, and consumer spaces, this book gives you insider tips, experiences and techniques so that you can make themed spaces come to life and truly become immersive worlds.
Application—Experience and Mood
Work on this short written application. Take a minute to think about the best and worst experiences that you have had in themed and/or consumer spaces. Divide your piece of paper into two columns. Label one “Bad” and one “Good.” Think of one or more places that you can associate with each of the types of spaces. Write down the associations that you have with the places in each column. For example, perhaps in the good column you write down, “I got lost in the world that was there,” and in the bad column you write, “The workers there were rude and uncaring.” Take a few minutes to write down the associations. Next, go through the two columns and see if you can come up with any general trends that might be worth exploring later. For example, if customer service came up in the different cases on your sheet, you can circle that as one of the main trends worth exploring. After you finish looking at the trends, write a second short piece in which you discuss the keys to effective mood in a themed or consumer space. What sorts of things do you need to be on the lookout for in your own design spaces?
This last application helps us think about the role that mood plays in any themed or immersive space. Mood, or the associations that people have when they enter a space, is a key to designing an effective space. As you considered in the application, any guest who enters a theme park, restaurant, or museum will develop associations with places that they have visited in the past and they will make new ones in the spaces that you design. Looking closely at how mood can influence design will give you a head start at being able to better connect with guests in your spaces. What we can see by these many moods—and there are so many more that we could talk about—is that each one can have a potentially positive or negative impact in a design space. As is the case with other design aspects, we can only speak to some possible ways that moods can be used in a space. The specifics of their use is up to you. Another important thing to think about is what can be called the crosstalk between moods. This means that you could design a feature with a specific association in mind—like excitement—but then have a second feature that is connected to the idea of peacefulness. How do these moods speak to one another? Does one dominate the conversation? Do they somehow each have an ability to make a mark on the guest? You might think of mood crosstalk in terms of the overall mood of the space, that is, if you want one. If there is an overall mood, such as in a Zen garden, then introducing a contrasting mood, like excitement, will result in an inconsistent integration of design and mood into the space.
Excerpt from The Immersive Worlds Handbook by Scott Lukas © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group. All Rights Reserved. The Immersive Worlds Handbook can be purchased Amazon.com, BN.com, and wherever fine books can be found.