Interface weaves a multi-sensory design experience for guests at its Surry Hills showroom for Sydney Indesign 2015.
Our understanding of how the brain forms and retains memories is rapidly developing, and one of the most important revelations is the role our senses play in building rich, three-dimensional recollections of our experiences.
Indeed, the operative word here is ‘experiences’, as we are far more likely to recall moments where multiple senses are engages in a vivid and unique manner – consider the mnemonic devices employed by memory athletes, where abstract concepts such as letters or numbers are paired with highly specific smells, sounds and sensations to anchor them in the brain.
Interface has demonstrated outstanding skill in employing this understanding to connect with its audience, elaborating the science and the narratives behind their products into compelling multi-sensory experiences.
The latest iteration of this occurred at Sydney Indesign 2015 as part of The Project creative collaboration series, where the company’s Surry Hills showroom was transformed into a series of spaces by various teams of architects and designers, evoking specific moods.
The overarching theme, as Interface states, “hinged around idea of inviting nature inside to explore the notion that nature shows us how to enliven our spirits and awaken our senses from the ground up.” This builds on Interface’s Beautiful Thinking campaign, and its championing of biophilic design, as its designs aim to learn from nature so as to inspire creativity and innovation.
As guests entered into the space they crossed a threshold of nature, an archway that evoked the memory of ‘outdoor moments’ with snapshots of site and smell, captured in box frames made from both the square and plank Interface carpet tile boxes, which highlights the flexibility of a modular system to unlock the potential of space.
The foyer space invited guests to choose between two staircases and journey to a place of either quiet contemplative ‘refuge’ or collaborative ‘prospect’, thus sending them on a path of exploration to the showroom concept spaces beyond.
Exploring the theme of refuge, The Design Residency team created ‘The Sleepover’, a space “Inspired by childhood adventures, dress ups and cubby houses”, where visitors could feel safe and cosy as their thoughts ventured inwards.
The concept of play was at the centre of He Made She Made’s space ‘Shape Shift’, which invited visitors to “participate in an ‘in progress’ mindset whereby viewers are invited to play, collaborate and create.” The installation consisted of a series of bold shapes in space that push the viewer to enhance sensory awareness of their environment; shifting the mind into ‘play’ mode.
Lastly, DJRD Architects’ ‘Unwind’ space “was a series of spaces inspired by nature and designed as a mindful journey through the Interface showroom, featuring products of the Interface production cycle reimagined and repurposed.” From ‘the cave’ (A space for meditation, withdrawal from the world), through ‘the forest’ (a dense and winding place requiring full attention) and ‘the tree house’ (A space to change your perspective) and finally ‘the meadow’ (the end of the journey, a place to lie on the grass and dream), visitors echoed the mind’s journey toward tranquility.
Across these installations, the focus on engaging visitors’ senses elevated their experiences beyond a simple product presentation, and allowed every guest the opportunity to delve into the space, exercise their senses and extract their own meaning.
Interface thus continues to build powerful, evocative experiences for its audience, fusing it’s the philosophies with which its products are designed with rich, multi-sensory experiences.
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