Canary Wharf

The dock lands is run by a private company and its shown through the claimant notices that were attached to lampposts and poles specifically telling the public who the area is run and owned by. There were also many signs saying that it was private property.

Canary Wharf is known as London’s financial district and therefore it is predominately for business people and those who work for the big corporations that are based there. You definitely do not see many tourists in the area at all as there isn’t anything of major interest and you also do not see any homeless as there are many armed policemen (some with dogs) that move anyone who they deem a hassle.
 
Canary Wharf is definitely similar to other areas in London in terms of architecture and the spatial design aspect as the area features many high rise buildings constructed of glass, which is similar to Liverpool Street. The spacious areas I believe are specifically designed to accommodate the many business people that work within the area and therefore gives them room to breathe, relax and socialise when not working.
 
I definitely felt a bit isolated while exploring Canary Wharf as firstly, everyone is dressed in suits or some sort of uniform and therefore if you are dressed leisurely, you are seen as somewhat of an outcast and it is very awkward. And secondly, the fact that everyone who was there was there for a purpose and knew exactly where to go and who to meet was a bit of a weird feeling, it felt like being in an almost robotic world.
 
While in Canary Wharf you were definitely being watched by the many CCTVs in the area, and you were constantly reminded of this through the constant use of signage everywhere, whether it is on lampposts or buildings. The CCTV cameras were also easy to spot, which in a way was a bit daunting as then you knew for sure, someone somewhere definitely has their eyes on you. I do believe this may make some people change their behaviour through the simple fact that they know they are being watched. They may make people think twice about what they intend to do.

Granary Sqaure and CSM

Granary Square opened in 2012 and is a large open space in the borough of Camden and is similar in size to Trafalgar Square. It was part of the large Kings Cross development and is a privately owned public space. The space is used mainly during Summer by the general public for leisurely use, some use the 1,000 choreographed fountains that are animated in the space to cool themselves down. While the Central Saint Martins campus of the University of the Arts opened in 2011 and inhabits the old warehouse complex on the Granary Square in Kings Cross.

The space is well branded by the adjacent University of the Arts campus logo as well as logos from several other company logos such as the Lighterman bar or the Waitrose way finding signage.

The brand messages that are dominantly conveyed is the notion that you should come “buy” from Waitrose as it uses that arrow to help people find their way to the supermarket or the UAL logo that is boasting to be recognised by the public because of the many different locations that it is placed within that single space. Overall I believe the branding techniques that these brands used are simple yet very effective as you are drawn into either researching about UAL out of curiosity from the amount of times you are exposed to the logo, or the following the 3D arrow sculpture to Waitrose. The CSM has become a somewhat separate brand outside of the UAL brand because of its success and list of famous alumni.

Welcome to the Experience Economy: Designing Memorable Experiences

The five key experience-design principles which are identified by Pine and Gilmore include:

Theme the experience, this is when businesses set up a set theme for their restaurant or store, which may be within their title such as the Rainforest Cafe, in order to attract customers as when they hear the name they are instantly intrigued and gain expectations of what they may experience. They explain that having a theme is very important in order to leave a lasting and memorable experience to the customer.

Harmonising impressions with positive cues, suggests that companies initiate cues in order to not only leave a lasting impression but a good one at that. Pine and Gilmore again use the example of  the Rainforest’s employees when instead of saying “your table is ready”, they say “your adventure is ready to begin” which suggests that there is something truly different and special about the place. “It’s the cues that make the impressions that create the experience in the customers mind.” (Pine and Gilmore, 1998, page 103)

Eliminate negative cues, is another aspect which is important in companies in order to create a good lasting memory of the place. These negative cues include the little overlooked things such as having a “thank you” sign on a trash can, which ultimately applies “please bin your own rubbish” or “no service here”.

Mix in memorabilia, this suggests that it is not only enough to have a lasting memory but it is also important to have a physical one, one that you can talk about and show to your friends and family. This not only keeps the customer happy by having a lasting memory in their hands, but doubles up as advertisement for the company.

Engage all five senses, Pine and Gilmore suggest that “the more senses an experience engages, the more memorable it can be” (1998, page 104) this is because it allows you to become more alert of your surrounds and therefore take a lot more in and remember more later on.

An example of a business which use these principles is an amusement park.

Amusement parks are quite an interesting place as I believe they uses all these principles in an almost non intentional way. As although yes, they have a theme, and yes, they engage all five senses (depending on the ride) it almost does it effortlessly. For example, when you first walk into the amusement park you are hit with the sounds of thrill seekers screaming, people running around, the smell of the food (that you can basically get anywhere but is a tad bit more special because it is now at an amusement park) therefore you are instantly excited and so the amusement park has instantly done its job of leaving a lasting memorable impression within you. Then you go off, enjoy the rides, the hosts scaring you here and there, the ride operators asking you in a loud voice “ARE YOU READYYYYY?” And then you are given the option of buying your funny faced picture on the ride or simply remembering it forever.

Simulated Space – Fictional Letter

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Dear whoever, whoever is alive,

I am currently writing this letter on the 26th of February 2015, from the safety of the abandoned Westfield, China shopping mall. It has been a few weeks that I have trapped myself within these safe walls, and so it has been a few weeks since it happened. I am a survivor. But the question is, am I the only survivor?

There is plenty of water and food here, stored within the kitchens of restaurants, I have lasted this long on them but I am not sure how long they will last me. I am alone within these walls, surprisingly, which has lead me to believe that there is no one left, but please, if anyone is reading this, know that there is still at least one safe zone, know that there is a survivor out there and know that I have hope of at least you finding and surviving with me.

CTS Lecture – Bleached Dreams – Simulated Spaces

The lecture focused on simulated spaces, basically spaces that physically exist but were constructed in order to mimic some form of way of life, for example this idea is best shown through NASA’s Lunar Orbit and Let-Down Approach simulator (LOLA), where NASA constructed a replica of the moons surface in order for astronauts to practice their landing.

Modern day technology giants have also tried to replicate this idea of simulated space by trying to bridge the gap between reality and virtual reality using our eyes as the main receptor. Therefore they have attempted, and succeeded, in building glasses, which create a type of simulated space, and example of this is Google’s Google Glass as well as the gaming glasses Oculus Rift.

The interesting topic of “Disneyisation” was then discussed where fictional yet physically existing lands have been created, such as Disneyland (hence the name), where visitors are almost manipulated into staying for a long period of time and such. Starbucks is an example of this in our everyday life as Starbucks uses a clever trick where they have comfortable chairs within their stores, have a nice, relaxing environment within their shops and this therefore draws their customers to stay and eventually leading them to unconsciously buy more. Many shopping malls, such as Westfield and Dubai Mall as well as casinos are an example of establishments where they use Disneyisation, they don’t have clocks or windows anywhere causing you to lose yourself within this simulated space, and almost lose touch with reality.

“McDonaldisation” is the opposite of “Disneyisation” as it focuses on the idea of speed. You go into McDonalds, buy your food, eat really fast and then leave.

We then discussed the idea of “non-places” and this is basically places that we bus in our everyday lives that don’t impact us in anyway and therefore don’t leave us with a significant memory, we solely use these places as a way to transition from one place to another. This includes airports, supermarkets as well as bus stops.

CTS Lecture – Memories and Lines

The memory and lines lecture allowed us to look at memories as well as lines in a deeper way.

Memories are stored in many shapes and forms, it consists of us, as humans, storing information and taking down or drawing data, allowing us to remember the information in the future or simply to allow others to gain the information too. The Cave Painting in Chauvet, France is an example of this. The painting from 30,000BC is an example of Neanderthals storing information, especially since the drawing that they drew was of lions hunting buffalos, this point especially was interesting as there are no lions in France, apart from ones that are in zoos of course, so this therefore indicated roughly the time period that this picture was drawn from this information alone as well as showed how life used to be and how similar/different it is today.

Tim Ingold’s created “Line categories” where he discussed the similarities that the list written below all had.

Gesturing

Walking

Weaving

Observing

Singing

Story-telling

Drawing

Writing

Extract from Google Books, Lines: A Brief History

What do walking, weaving, observing, storytelling, singing, drawing and writing have in common?

The answer is that they all proceed along lines. In this extraordinary book Tim Ingold imagines a world in which everyone and everything consists of interwoven or interconnected lines and lays the foundations for a completely new discipline: the anthropological archaeology of the line.

Ingold’s argument leads us through the music of Ancient Greece and contemporary Japan, Siberian labyrinths and Roman roads, Chinese calligraphy and the printed alphabet, weaving a path between antiquity and the present.

Setting out from a puzzle about the relation between speech and song, Ingold considers how two kinds of line – threads and traces – can turn into one another as surfaces form or dissolve. He reveals how our perception of lines has changed over time, with modernity converting to point-to-point connectors before becoming straight, only to be ruptured and fragmented by the postmodern world.

Drawing on a multitude of disciplines including archaeology, classical studies, art history, linguistics, psychology, musicology, philosophy and many others, and including more than seventy illustrations, this book takes us on an exhilarating intellectual journey that will change the way we look at the world and how we go about in it.