Yorokobu magazine has talked with our teacher Pedro Coelho, Head of the Interior Design Area of the School. Here's the interview:
That user experience influences the purchase decision is well known by the marketing and design professionals. But perhaps in a digital environment as we live, the least palpable part of this user experience is precisely that of physical establishments.
LCI Barcelona has just launched the Official Master Degree in Experience Interior Design, based on the term EID: Experiential Interior Design, to try to bring that emotional component to the world of interior design. According to Pedro Coelho, responsible for the Interior Design Area of LCI Barcelona, «the concept of user experience and interaction with content is being worked on in digital environments. These channels try to communicate the values of the brand by creating an experience. As a consequence, space also has to change. We see space as an extension of that».
According to Coelho, experiential interior design is related to the omni channel concept. «All brand channels (apps, TV, mobile, physical space...) should articulate an experience. It seems contradictory, but for example Amazon is opening physical libraries. The most important is having contact with the customer in the best possible way».
In this way, the design of a physical space is not limited to its more practical point of sale function, but should be conceived as «an environment where a brand experience is generated for users. Selling is important, but it's not just that. It has a mission of continuity, there are several channels to coordinate», clarifies Coelho. And he puts some concrete examples of how a physical store can enhance this experience: «You can buy a product online and pick it up at the store, use an app to scan and compare products, go through box... Every step is important in the experience. Also important are colors, shapes, materials, psychological and emotional elements... We need to study the impact of digital world, the knowledge of materials and the interaction elements».
The master's subjects include principles of Environmental Psychology, Experiential Marketing and UX (User Experience), and also link the design of interior spaces with new technologies (ICT, interaction and digital manufacturing).
The master prepares the students to work the commercial spaces so they can interact with people. It is not only focused on retail, but also on hospitality: the design of hotel and restaurant spaces can contribute to a different accommodation and catering experience.
At the same time, the school has presented other two masters: the Official Master Degree in Technologic Product Design and the Official Master Degree in Creation and Development of Digital Projects.
The most interesting thing is that cross-cutting projects are carried out between the three. For Pedro Coelho, this interaction between specialties is crucial: «Architects meet with designers or programmers. They work together in a workshop space, of prototyping, where they develop a space. They add interaction to the experience of food and accommodation».
The organization of a space, the fact of decorating it aesthetically and choosing one or other elements awakens a series of sensations in people, and this will influence their way of perceiving the brand that presents that space and, as a consequence, will influence their decisions about this brand.
The session focused on the work of External Reference Architects, the studio he co-founded in a clear commitment to design and research in the fields of sensorial spaces, interior design, architecture, and landscape bio-design.