Time is the new symbol of wealth. As life picks up pace, we try to do and have it all. However, people are discovering that doing less with our time leads to having more. In a hyper-connected, over-saturated world, the freedom to do nothing is the greatest luxury of all — and people are turning to experiences and brands that can provide the rejuvenation they desperately crave. At the same time, the minimalism and wellness movements are rising in popularity in response to the chaos and relentlessness of our modern lives.These shifts directly influence experiential design, as brands move towards creating holistic, multi-sensory experiences that enrich and nourish our sense of being.
LESS IS MORE In a world that’s always trying to innovate, evidence shows self-care and free time are integral to achieving more. Google are thought leaders in this space. Recognising that leisure time is where creativity and innovation flourish, Google encourages employees to spend 20% of their time on side projects (Robertson, A. 2018) — which lead to creations such as Google Maps and Gmail. Likewise, Microsoft’s four day work week increased productivity by 40% (Eadicicco, L. 2019) , affirming that more work doesn’t equate to greater output. The shift of doing less to achieve more influences how we work and play, and as the idea economy becomes more valuable, those who awaken creativity also awaken innovation. It was this very movement that inspired The Messa Atelier , our own space dedicated to creative exploration.
Studio Messa Atelier
CRAFTING SPACES OF SERENITY The world is chaotic, turbulent and unpredictable. As the demands of daily life swell, leisure time needs to heal, recharge and connect with the spiritual. 2019 sparked a dramatic increase in wellness and self-care, as we turn to meditation, mindfulness and alternative therapies to combat the increase in negative emotions fuelled by social anxiety and information overload (Rettner, R. 2018).
In a tumultuous world, brands can win by being the architects of peace.
Event design taps into this trend with brand experiences that interweave spiritual practices, aromatherapy, sound healing, meditation, ASMR, and phototherapy, to provide an escape from the daily grind. Moxy Hotels is one brand leading the change in experiential event design (Henley, C. 2019). Their launch event combined colour therapy, ambient garden music, floral back-brushing and ASMR through live storytelling, to create a cocoon of respite amidst the chaos of New York City.
Moxy Hotel, Chelsea NYC
STRIPPING BACK TO THE BARE ESSENTIALS Going hand in hand with time affluence, the minimalism movement is growing as people move from wanting ‘things’ to stripping down to bare essentials. Effective experiential design speaks to the idea that less is more by incorporating breathing room through negative space and open areas, biophilic design, and intentional uses of colour and furniture. Japanese architects, such as Tadao Ando, are inspired masters of this. Ando’s spaces play with creative uses of light, highlighting beauty in simplicity and harmony between nature and the man-made. Through peeling back ornamental layers, our eye is drawn to what matters most. Intentional design cuts through the noise and creates impactful, meaningful experiences where products take centre stage.
Tadao Ando's Atelier
COLLECT MEMORIES, NOT THINGS It’s no secret people prefer to make memories over buying things: 76% would rather spend money on experiences than products. Experience design is flourishing as people search for unique ways to connect with brands and invest their time (Huffman, M 2019). But as the number of brand experiences increase; expectations are rising and we’re more selective about where we spend our time. Brands must go beyond simply offering live events and create a genuinely enriching experience for the message to resonate. Nike tapped into this with the Nike Free Studio, a holistic training space along Melbourne’s Tan running track. Against a backdrop of lush greenery and hypnotic patterns, runners set their body free and connected with the fundamentals of natural motion, on which the Nike Free was originally created. The contemporary world wants less, not more. For brands that tap into our desire for freedom, simplicity, and spirituality, the possibilities are endless.