Consider walking through any shopping mall in the world and realize the volume of content that is affecting you! We have labeled this the “shopping experience” for a reason. Every single surface, object, light source, color palette, smell, and sound creates a mood. These stimuli may either entice you to enter, or prompt you to keep walking past. As you did this exercise, it probably brought up very vivid recollections and associations that you didn’t have to think twice about. This is just a small example of all the “design” decisions surrounding us and influencing our moods and actions every single day.
Commercial Design, especially Public Interactive Design, carries a completely different level of responsibility and capability of influence for Interior Designers. This understanding of the elements that truly make humans respond in a positive manner to their surroundings is what makes the difference between ordinary and extraordinary in Design. Interior Designers must the time to think through every detail, as it becomes experienced. It’s far more involved than how it works on paper, or how it looks.
Think about a Bank Lobby filled with light, with club chairs set up for casual meetings, a friendly coffee bar, warm color tones that somehow contribute to a relaxed atmosphere. This sets the tone for a more personal and enjoyable Banking experience that changes how we react to the business at hand.
Now consider a more complex response in a space where you trust the personnel to alter your looks! A Salon, where the minute you walk in, the feeling of comfortable trust is elicited along with the subtle awareness of updated style. Suddenly, you relax into the knowledge that your hair cut or styling will be informed and updated, all intuited from cues in the surroundings!
Corporate environments can be rigid when it comes to the functional requirements for meeting spaces, large areas of desk units, and white board conference areas, yet the emotional response must still be considered. Design decisions such as the carpet pattern, the natural light source, the Art, or the ability to gather in comfortable settings away from desks – these are all paramount to the desire to come to work, and to perform at a high level while there.
Design Matters! Whether it involves retail, hospitality, or commercial — thoughtful and careful planning with the concern of understanding the human reaction is the real job of Commercial Designers. In the end, this circle of influence creates the ripples of commerce, corporate retention, sales volume, and success of leadership through the design of spaces that support the internal needs in the physical realm.