Hello, thanks for reading “Living on the Grid” series This is the fourth in a series of 2×2 grids to help explain or demonstrate concepts from the world of business..
In this edition, I wanted to look at emotional memory. Recently, I have been doing some research on emotional triggers and memory. I began exploring how emotions can focus an experience being created. Can you shape a staged experience on the idea of a single emotion. I was surprised at some of the possibilities.
In the diagram below, I wanted to explore the the various possibilities between an emotion as a key design element and the focus of the timeframe for the memory. I realize this is a simple mix, and the possibilities of other emotions is expansive, yet this simple 2×2 was the start of an idea of which I will expand on later.
In the vertical axis, I identify time tense as on key attribute. The range of time is from past to future given the experience is in the present. Along the horizontal axis the focus is on two polar emotions being Sadness and Happiness. Happiness is the easier of the two emotions, but sadness does have its examples and can create some very dynamic experiences.
Looking to happiness first, across the time bar, we can determine if the emotion being staged if drawn from the past or is creating one for the future. Sort of the idea of made versus make on the memory scale. In the idea of past happiness, we look to revivals of better times. Disney designed its entrance places around the look of olde time town square. A memory of wholesomeness and innocence.
In the same emotion, a designer can stage an experience where the idea of making happy memories is the key design element. Take maker labs as an example. Groups come together to create or make both something to show, but also memories. National Parks are also places to create happy memories that can be shared through photos.
Okay, now sadness. Who would ever design something that evokes sadness intentionally. Well, in reflection of past tragedies or hardship we create memorials . Look at the lights of the twin towers in New York, or the Holocaust Museum in DC. These were experiences that leveraged the past emotion of sadness and sorrow to stage a commemorative experience in the Esthetic realm of experiences.
Okay, but what about the future? How does sadness play in the future for experience design. Imagine a Science Fiction based-themed apocalyptic world were zombies where you must escape or be eaten alive. Laser tag sport arenas and online gaming thrive in this combination of future sadness. Sure the outcome may be that of happiness, but the initial premise is Future sadness.
I hope this sparks some thinking on your next experience design project and I would enjoy hearing how you mixed time and emotion as part of your experience.
If you enjoy this article or this series concept, please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear your feedback and possible ideas for upcoming 2×2 grids.
Until next we chat, this is Living on the Grid.