In 1999 Joe Pine and James Gilmore published an influential book entitled the Experience Economy - Work is Theatre and Every Business a Stage in which they demonstrated that any business could enhance economic value and strength by staging engaging experiences – thereby differentiating a business’s products and services through creating compelling and memorable reasons for customers and end-users (across all business sectors) to be initially attracted, inspired to pay a premium and ultimately to return again and again.
Some of our work appeared in this book as an example of how architects and the built environments they design for their clients can play an important role in delivering such experiences, and assist in generating the enhanced and sustained return on investment demanded by today’s clients.
As specialist master planners and architects we know that implementing successful developments requires substantial capital investment and once completed can incur significant operational costs, therefore understanding the principles of the Experience Economy and furthermore making it a fundamental criteria of a projects strategic brief, allows projects to be developed from a more robust economic foundation - characterised by optimised capex budgets and lower operational costs - whilst maximising as many enhanced revenue streams as possible.
Historic periods - named after successive Commodity, Industrial and Services dominated economics - spawned new categories of architectural typologies, master plans and the infrastructure to support them. These new built environments responded to and subsequently satisfied the political, social and economic needs of their times.
So what will the future built environment and landscape look like in our new, post services, economic order and what part will architects play?
As a practice we are developing a track record of completed projects (not limited to the leisure and visitor attraction sector) where this strategic approach has been adopted – benefitting clients, stakeholders, investors, end-users, staff and visitors - and therefore beginning to answer that question.
Our design approach develops a bespoke strategic brief for each project comprising a combination of the traditional and familiar considerations;
· Clients objectives, priorities and policies,
· Site, planning and construction constraints,
· Funding requirements and criteria,
· Design development criteria (schedule of accommodation, budget and program, etc.),
· Experience Economy specific philosophy, information and criteria provided by market analysis, qualitative research, business modeling, and psychological profiling.
This additional layer of consideration and interrogation creates not only a more rigorous brief with which to interpret subsequent planning and design proposals but uniquely measures and quantifies the distinct ‘experience signature’ being proposed (physical and intangible) and the possible economic outcomes once such proposals are implemented and operated.