A recent visit to the Great Court at the British Museum reminded me of the effect space and light in an architectural context can have on all the senses. The day we were there the sun was shining through the beautifully arched glass roof, throwing into sharp focus the sheer scale of the place and despite the crowds sharing the experience, the sense of peace this brings.
In a world where communication, content consumption and even the enjoyment of art is being shrunk down to the size of a pocketable device, it’s refreshing to allow ourselves to step back and appreciate life on a larger stage.
The visit reminded me about how important the full three dimensions of experience are, something that as a digital service designer is also becoming increasingly relevant to my work.
As the digital extends beyond the screen into the physical and spatial, we can no longer think within a 2d canvas when designing services that matter in people’s lives.
In fact the physical space in which a digital service is experienced is fast becoming as important if not more so than the technology people use to access it. Which means the canvas on which we imagine and develop services for our clients is also moving into the physical space, in some cases on a grand scale.
The Burberry store experience I spoke about a couple of weeks ago is a good example when a company has taken this on board to great effect.
Let us remember then that in the words of art director Lee Coventry, writing about her recent trip to Paris Photo:
“Standing in front of a large scale print of Hannah Collins’ anemones or a wall full of Hugh Holland’s skater kids from the 1970s reminded me that the power of a ‘real world’ experience can have so much more emotional impact than a ‘virtual’ small screen experience.
I’ve seen Nadav Kander’s portrait of David Lynch hundreds of times online but seeing it as a large scale print really was impressive. Seeing an image printed larger than life and in so much detail allows you to notice things that you somehow overlook when viewing on a small scale. It encourages you to look a bit longer and spend a bit more time engaging with the subject.”
Photo courtesy of thenakedsnail