User experience design (UX) or experiential design, initially rooted and originated upon in human-computer interaction, has moved beyond the digital realm of relevance to change our expectations of physical space. In the last several years, there’s been a significant shift of focus in design that has emphasized human wellness and betterment. These are the core values that form the foundation of experiential design and a re-imagination of design to make the space better for the humans that occupy or use it. 

Essentially, the experiential design prioritizes human interaction with the built environment. Today, creating an experience is more important than ever before. Architects and designers thus strive towards creating a rigorous engagement and emotional connect to the design. This quest requires an in-depth analysis of how people will interact with the space which is then evaluated & enumerated to evolve a brief. A few standard elements that ensure an instant association with the users are signage, decor, and lighting that strongly align with the brand message. Since, experiential design revolves around the culmination of elements to form a recall and maximize footfall, more and more businesses and institutions are seeking out for experiential designers. Since a consistent yet ever-evolving brand base is the major deliverable in such cases, a common demand amongst the fraternity is a dramatic and statement aesthetic which creates an exception and gives the user a sense of belonging in an exclusive context. Exclusive grandeur has thus gradually become sort of a mandate in such spaces.

With a surge of development in materials & technology in the past three decades, the manifestation of grandeur in design has successfully been conceptualised, improvised on and perfected over innumerable realms. A play of varied elements from ancient buildings is the usual principle that is witnessed in such design approaches. One of the pioneers of experiential design in India is ivpartners, with an extensive portfolio of commercial and multiplex projects in the entertainment and hospitality sectors. Some of their major projects include Punjab Grill, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai and PVR Icon, Mumbai among several others.  Following are some of the elements or areas that are experimented within the domain of experiential architecture to construct an essence of magnificence and enduring aesthetics by ivpartners: 

Scale: The scale of the space is defined through the manipulation of heights using elements that exuberate stature and appointment of the same in a way that helps the user appreciate each and every element in all its glory. A great example of experience through scale can be seen in PVR Superplex Cinemas, Noida with double-height spaces and waterfall edge chandeliers which give the feel of a contemporary palace court.

Colour: The colour palette is of great importance in experiential architecture and interior design to manifest the design with its visual and mental connotations. For example, the use of warm and darker colours & tones with striking and metallic accents, imbibe a feel of luxury leisure and regal hospitality while light and cool shades are more suggestive of energized playful environments and an overall feel of lounging and entertainment which can be seen in BluO Bowling arcade, Ludhiana, where the branding colour blue has been used as a key accent near bowling lanes that seamlessly builds a rhythm with the rest of the areas.

Flooring: The quality and typology of the products used along with the zoning play a very important role in defining the whole aesthetic of the space. Simple inspirations from colonial and mid-modern architecture like superior quality marbles and pattern inlays, for instance, go on to give a plush and ceremonial connotation to the spaces. For instance, the royal black marble entrance staircase in Punjab Grill, Khan Market, Delhi exuberates stately magnificence. 

Finishes: The finishing and cladding of walls is yet another way of enhancing the value of any space and orchestrating the actual experience. With hand craft and techniques that are available to be sourced, the scope of art, artworks & mural collaboration for walls and roofs has become tenfold. This has led to the designers incorporating elements like niches, highlight walls, wall and roof murals etc. that give a sense of noble mansions and modern royal architecture. Ivpartners specializes in making specially curated design elements with murals and chandeliers and pairing the floors with complimenting highlight walls. 

Furniture: Permanent as well as accent furniture in a space has a major role in influencing the setting & comfort within an environment. Contemporary furniture inspired by design lineage like high-back chairs, polished wood cabinets and coffee tables with coloured glass indents, embroidered velvet couches, and marble tabletops are some of such elements. In the project Punjab Grill at Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, mid-century contemporary furniture in tan & grey pay homage to the ambient colors and ‘phulkari’ inspired flooring in the stately dining area and give it a luxurious aura.

Lighting: Lighting is one of the most essential elements that can be extrapolated in multiple ways to steer the way of user experience. An appropriate illustration is the PVR Gold Class cinema lounge, Saket, New Delhi by ivpartners which has soft amber lighting that revitalize the spatial quality and creates a dramatic and glamorous appeal to space.

The whole architectural experience is orchestrated by the perception of the user while they move through the space. Hence, the prerequisite for any designer who aims towards achieving an “experiential space design” is to constantly keep on evolving their ideas to suit the latest trends and to consistently yearn towards infusing elements that make for a definitive narrative.