Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reflections on Dubai's Shopping Environments by Members of Visceral Intricacy 2012

Defining Narratives by Space Composition
Amanda Ellis

Arnut Areechitsakul

Baibua Wachira Leangtanom

Belle Nutthapat Thanapoonyanan

The variety of human tribes in space and the “rules” that create boundaries in the way man occupy space
Cake Pimlada Bunluthangthum

Nott Varis Niwatsakul

Nung Chanya Siriphannon

The cousin of emotion
Article on how Mood of a space affects people
Poom Chayapat Chaiyanun

Shane Viruth Purichanont

Ton Pasit Rojradtanasiri

Yoi Pornprapa Rugwongprayoon

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

“Getting in the mood”

The cousin of emotion
Article on how Mood of a space affects people

What are emotions and what are moods? Think of emotion as an event that occurs during user interaction. It is when a natural instinctive state of mind derives from one's circumstances. Mood is more of a background variable that sustains across time. It's this ability to sustain emotional events. Most of the Design community focus is on usability and bypasses mood. The main reason is because mood is thought to be too difficult to measure. However, mood is as powerful as sentiment or emotion and requires more serious study. 
Emotion is one of the strongest differentiators in user experience namely because it triggers unconscious responses to a product, environment or interface. Our feelings strongly influence our perceptions and often frame how we think about or refer to our experiences and memories. Emotions and thinking seem so different, that we classify them as different kinds of phenomena. Clear thinking requires eliminating emotions. It means that you have probably trained yourself to focus on the critical, functional flaws of a design while forgetting about the role of emotion. However, when we think about mood design and usability, we typically think of it as "keeping the user happy". This includes designing to minimize the common emotions related to poor usability such as frustration, annoyance, anger, fear, and confusion. Mood impacts long term user adoption, the more we keep users in a good mood, the more they will be able to sustain desirability, pleasurability and emotional aspects of design key to creating the "Wow" experience.
The only issue about mood design is it’s being so subjective. One might find a room full of flowers pleasant while others might not. Even so, we can make assumption from the majority, which means don’t think of attracting this Emirati guy, but think of attracting Emiratis in general. Specific atmosphere attracts certain type of people, and that is the way I tackle the design process with the idea of “Designing from Mood backwards.”
Thinking in a different direction, in order to design a mood we need to know what mood already existed, what atmosphere they created, corresponding to the desire of people. In short, know the mood, know the atmosphere, know the people, and lastly know the elements. Dubai is a land of wonder where everything can happen. It is interesting how they build so many new attractions that could draw tourists from all over the world. Interestingly, Dubai population has grown rapidly and the city is composed mostly of foreigner and expatriates. The mall will not be design for the need of people but will aim for a way to keep users in a good mood with desirability to spend.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Familiarity and Awareness

Familiarity and Awareness

Intimate Space
Intimate space is the area around a human body within an arm’s length, in which one is comfortable with or we could say that it is a space that is familiar and close to us. An obvious example of an intimate space is home which we are most familiar with, or it could be any place we often go.

The intimate space should be in a small-scale structure, which do not overwhelm, but at the same time be welcoming and comfortable. A huge or grand space would create a powerful space that would shrink us down and make us feel uncomfortable; meanwhile it should not be too small that we would feel cramped inside, low ceiling space could make us feel safe and comfortable. The space should be reachable; not too high or too far to reach, walkable; not too far too walk and friendly; no strict rules and regulation, not too formal.

Warm and soft yellowish light creates a comfortable atmosphere, compare to red which creates a powerful and aggressive and blue which creates a cool and sad atmosphere. Soft yellows light is easier to live with in the long run, it is easier on the eyes and more calming, but it can cause fatigue and anxiety with overuse, it should be mixed with some cool tone color too.

The materials, which create an intimate space, should be natural material such as wood, stone, glass etc., the use of metallic or shiny material would not be a great choice to create a comfortable space. Adding some plants or flowers into the space would make the space more lively and friendly.

The furniture or elements inside the space should not have a pointy shape, which can make us feel unsafe or have an unstable structure-like for example, cantilevered chair or leaning structure. There should be elements or decorations in the space, therefore our eyes can seek through the space and not feel bored. The elements and decorations should blend in together as the same pattern, for example, same tone colors or similar shapes. If those elements and decorations come in varied shapes and colors, the atmosphere would be energetic and chaotic rather than comfortable.

We are less aware in an intimate space because we are familiar with it, which we would be comfortable and tend not to be aware of the surrounding because we already know or familiar with the space. We are barely aware of some slight changes in the space, but if there are some sudden changes which contrast to the atmosphere for example, a man screaming in a library, could alert our perception immediately.

At the same time, being in a dynamic and chaotic space with lots of things happen at the same time could make us to be more alert of things, but as everything is happening at the same time, we could not focus on one specific thing, unless there is a thing that really exaggerate itself to be outstanding and alerts our perception.

Tunisia Court, Ibn Battuta Mall
Dubai is a city which it has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles. The general atmosphere of Dubai is very hot, dry and unfriendly, but it is totally different in buildings, which the atmosphere is created and controlled by man.

Most of the buildings in Dubai are in a huge scale and the city planning is auto-oriented, so the surrounding is unpleasant and uncomfortable for pedestrians. Therefore, what they created in the buildings has to make people feel comfortable to walk, especially in malls, which people tend to spend most of their time there during their free time. 

Ibn Battuta is considered to be one of the best theme malls in Dubai, which the mall has got different kinds of thmes to support different kind of people who would feel comfortable in different spaces. 

This is the capriccio view from Tunisia Court, Ibn Battuta Mall, it imitates the real street from Tunisia. The space is intimate and most of the elements make the space looks real and make us become unaware of walking in a big shopping mall, but on a small street in the city. The walkway in the middle is not too wide or too narrow, which creates a comfortable space for walking through. The buildings around are not too tall, which is friendlier than very tall buildings. The buildings, kiosks and floor tiles come in the same tone of color which is harmonious and blends all the elements into the same pattern and it comes in a yellowish tone which makes our eyes more comfortable.

This is a sketch diagram of Tunisia Court, Ibn Battuta Mall, shows how the space could change by adding, deleting and changing some elements in the space.