Remember the local diner in your hometown? Maybe it wasn’t exactly a diner, but nearly every town across America had a local coffee shop or deli or soda fountain. Those were the places where you could congregate with friends for a burger, a milkshake, or a golden grilled cheese sandwich.
Let me start with a story. It’s a romance…and a success story. It’s the story of how I put my money where my mouth is and designed my very own independent restaurant Experience Design Plan (XDP). In truth, it’s our XDP —mine and my partner, Chef Aaron Lee—and our plans for opening an immersive 1940’s-style ‘round-the-clock diner right in the Huntridge neighborhood of downtown Las Vegas. Complete with a 25¢ bottomless cup of coffee!
Picture this: You’re the biggest Bavarian beerhall in North America but your numbers are falling off bit by bit. You’ve been hugely successful for 15 years in a tough industry—and in Las Vegas to boot!—but things are starting to feel stale. Your marketing expenditures keep growing but your revenues aren’t keeping up. How could a feeling-led approach be the answer you never knew you needed?
Life is definitely a journey; while it may start with a single step—as the saying goes—it can take a series of steps to reach one\’s destination. At least that’s been my personal experience. My, Mallory Gott, founder and creative director of G+A, journey to build an experience design framework with its roots in event design hasn’t been so much trial and error as a progression towards and refinement of a process that brings joy to both my clients and myself.
What is fear? Is it what anchors us to the safety of the known or what propels us towards the excitement of the unknown? In fact, it can be, and often is, both. Fear, as many know, presents as the safe harbinger deployed to protect and insulate us from things that our unexamined thoughts identify as perilous threats to our well-being. Many have heard the analogy of the caveperson who, rightly, used their unconscious fear to address real threats in their environment, e.g., slaying the hungry sabertooth tiger in order to stay alive, but how does fear manifest in experiential design?
What would you do if you found out you\’d just won the jackpot, that you were a newly minted multimillionaire? Most of us could rattle off a series of replies as if we’d been rehearsing them in the mirror each morning for decades. “Quit my job, travel the world, hire a private chef.” The list could go on ad infinitum.