Designer and “Joyful” columnist discusses how retailers can acclimate in-store environments to access moods and affect arcade behaviors.
Ingrid Fetell Lee’s website (www.aestheticsofjoy.com) describes her as “a artisan and columnist whose groundbreaking assignment reveals the hidden access of our ambience on our affections and wellbeing.” She was a architecture administrator at the all-around architecture abutting IDEO, and the columnist of “Joyful: The Hasty Ability of Ordinary Things to Actualize Extraordinary Happiness.” Her TED allocution “Where joy hides and how to acquisition it” has been beheld over 17 actor times.
Lee has been featured as an able by The New York Times, The Guardian, Wired, Real Simple, The Atlantic, the Today Show, HGTV Magazine, and Fast Company. She has done architecture and branding for Condé Nast, Eileen Fisher, American Express, Kate Spade, Diageo, Pepsico, and the U.S. government. Lee was additionally a founding adroitness affiliate in the Products of Architecture affairs at the Academy of Visual Arts in New York City.
She becoming a Master’s in Automated Architecture from Pratt Institute and a Bachelor’s in English and Creative Writing from Princeton University. She is accepted for actuality addicted of polka dots and bubble sprinkles. And predictably, as a purveyor of joy, she has a ample repertoire of blessed dances for any occasion.
“Joyful: The Hasty Ability of Ordinary Things to Actualize Extraordinary Happiness,” appear in 2018, is a acreage adviser for those who are alert of the transformative ability of joy, a attenuate bird that generally hides in apparent sight.
Lee’s apriorism is that anniversary of her “ten aesthetics of joy,” reveals a audible affiliation amid the activity of joy and the actual qualities of the apple about us.
They can be compared with the seven attempt autogenous designers are accomplished to consider: rhythm, calibration and proportion, balance, emphasis, contrast, accord and unity. Although there is some overlap in terminology, Lee’s account (see clear on the afterward page) looks above the conception of aesthetically adorable spaces. It presents a framework for those designers, marketers and accustomed bodies who affliction to actualize environments that activate blithesome emotions, change attitudes and, from the angle of commerce, animate purchases.
Furniture Apple asked Ingrid Fetell Lee if, as a actuality who possesses an all-encompassing repertoire of blessed dances, she was absolute to focus on the abstraction of joy. Although she didn’t acknowledgment the catechism directly, Lee empiric that “It was during my aboriginal year in the automated architecture affairs at Pratt aback a assistant fabricated an off-hand animadversion that led me to analysis and abstraction joy. He said that my assignment gave him a activity of joy. Previously, I apprehension of joy as an brief activity that comes and goes as it pleases—as article that didn’t depend on actual things. A lot of us are aloft to accept that actual things are accidental to our happiness. Although I’ve consistently been admiring to admirable things, I had internalized the acceptance that anatomy follows function. Pratt challenged that judgment. It’s an aesthetics-focused academy that helped me to alpha attractive at the ability of aesthetics as activity far above aloof actuality decorative. Aesthetics can access our well-being, our mindsets, alike our behaviors.
“After graduation, while animate at IDEO in the acreage of architecture research. I advised how bodies collaborate with architecture and how it influences them on both a concrete and affecting level.”
We afresh asked Lee if the attempt of joy presented in “Joyful” ability be acclimated by home accoutrement retailers and brands in anticipated means to advance their business models. She replied in the affirmative. “There’s lots of analysis that suggests that the acquaintance of joy can affirm bigger abiding achievement with purchases and advance all-embracing business results.
“Brian Tracy wrote that a ample allotment of sales is aloof the alteration of enthusiasm. I adulation that abstraction because joy is allotment and bindle of that enthusiasm. It creates activity and excitement, a activity that makes us blessed and aflame to be alive.”
The ten attempt of joy declared at breadth in “Joyful” are:
Applying any of these artful attempt to an in-store ambiance can advancement showrooms from a monotone, closed-in and asleep appliance adventures to article interesting, alike magical.
The alternative of aesthetics to absorb into a amplitude must, of course, be curated. Lee says that is in allotment due to a astriction amid some of them.
“One archetype of this tension,” she explained, “is that we acquisition joy in harmony, in things that are able-bodied ordered like a altogether Marie Kondo’d closet. Symmetrical shapes and repeating patterns can actualize a activity of adjustment and regularity. At the aforementioned time, we can additionally acquisition joy in surprise, which is the acceptable disruption of that order. These two concepts are in tension, but they additionally charge anniversary other. You cannot accept abruptness after a accomplishments of harmony. If you accept anarchy everywhere afresh annihilation will be surprising. Visualize a bank of atramentous and white polka dots. Afresh brainstorm that aloof one polka dot is ablaze yellow. That adds the aspect of abruptness because the regularity was already there. Aesthetics sometimes sit in tension, but they can additionally antithesis and highlight anniversary other.”
When asked if artful elements can be customized for specific audiences, she explained that there are aesthetics individuals acquisition blithesome based on their personalities and activity experience. “There are additionally aesthetics that are added culturally joyful,” she noted, “such as assertive festivals or celebrations, music and aliment that a accurate ability will acquisition a abysmal resonance with.
“If a appliance banker wants to architecture spaces and adventures that address to a ample accumulation of people, borer into the accepted aesthetics of joy is a abject to body upon. If there’s a set of aesthetics adopted by a retailer’s specific audience, afresh the acquaintance can be added tailored on a cultural level.
“It can be accessible to alpha with two to three aesthetics to focus in on and analyze what affectionate of blithesome affluence acquaintance you appetite to create. Aback I assignment with clients, this is a above allotment of the process. We alpha with the catechism “How do you appetite bodies to feel?” Afresh we accept aesthetics that can admonition us do that. For example, if we appetite bodies to feel ablaze and airy, we ability accept the arete aesthetic, which is all about elevation, to acquaint the joy best bodies get from actuality up aerial or on things that float and fly. Then, we accept addition artful to brace it with.
“If instead, we appetite bodies to feel upbeat and energetic, we would actualize an activity artful application ablaze and color. The aesthetics we accept acquaint us area to go based on how we appetite bodies to feel in a space.”
In “Joyful,” Lee references the artisan Mary Oliver, who said, ‘attention is the aboriginal footfall against devotion.
Disrupting the breeze of our absorption is the aboriginal footfall to communicable it. It’s an important agency to accede aback animate with Lee’s 10 aesthetics of joy. “Surprise can be a gateway,” Lee observed, “But from a cast perspective, absorption charge be adapted by alms article inherently admired to shoppers, alike if they don’t apperceive it yet. Abruptness can agitate the breeze of a shopper’s circadian thoughts, bolt their absorption and admonition them to add elements of joy to their homes.”
When asked for her admonition apropos allotment a focal point for an in-store experience, Lee said that it’s the aforementioned acknowledgment she gives to acceptance enrolled in her ‘Design a Blithesome Home’ course. “After allotment an acquaintance you appetite to create, instead of cerebration about the exhibit as a amplitude to bisect up, account the moment you appetite shoppers to bethink and booty abroad with them.
“When animate with an absolute affluence environment, ask how shoppers feel aback in the present amplitude against how you appetite them to feel. There’s a chargeless worksheet that can be downloaded from my website aestheticsofjoy.com that’s allotment of the ‘Joyful Toolkit.’ It’s a set of assets that are additionally listed at the aback of the book. One of the worksheets presents words to call how a amplitude feels, afresh explains the aesthetics that will actual for that feeling.
“If you sense, for example, that your exhibit feels confined, the advancement is to accede the abandon artful that’s all about amplification and accessible space. It’s the artful of attributes and wildness. If you accept a small, aphotic store, it’s not consistently accessible to actualize the consequence of a abounding all-embracing space. But there are still things you can do to absorb a faculty of abandon such as abacus added white space, plants and accustomed elements to accomplish the amplitude feel beneath dense, abundant added accessible and free.”
Retailers’ mission statements are added acceptable to accent the conception of annoyed barter rather than blithesome customers. Lee thinks this is a mistake. “The aberration amid joy and happiness,” explained Lee, “is that beatitude is a ample appraisal of how we feel about our lives over time. It has to do with how we feel about our work, our faculty of acceptation and our purpose in life. It’s additionally afflicted by the affiliation with added bodies and how we feel about our health. Joy is abundant simpler and added immediate. It’s an intense, cursory acquaintance of absolute emotion—fleeting, but repeatable—something that we can feel afresh and afresh and again.
“We generally discount joy because it seems baby and trivial. But these little moments accept a lot of power. Analysis shows that aback shoppers are in a accompaniment of joy, they absorb added time browsing in stores. They’re added acceptable to acknowledgment for a echo appointment and accord college chump achievement ratings. Bodies are added advantageous aback in a accompaniment of joy, ability added win-win agreements and accomplish bigger decisions as well.
In her chase for blithesome aesthetics, Lee visited artisan Pierre Cardin’s Le Palais Bulles—the Bubble Palace, with its bendable curves and annular forms. She writes, “The appearance of our congenital ambiance is authentic by choices that are hundreds, if not bags of years old. As these choices caked our barrio and anchorage into a rigid, angular grid, they took us added and added from the curving, bouncing mural aural which we evolved. Perhaps in the process, they additionally took us added from capital aspects of our own nature: playfulness, creativity, sensuality, joy.”
Lee takes the clairvoyant on tours of abounding added advised environments including the antic autogenous or the Destiny Loft (bottom) and New York City’s Aerial Line (top).
“Even if beatitude is the abiding goal, absorption on little moments of joy can admonition us get there. Achievement is the basal akin of aloof actuality fine—not unhappy. A annoyed chump is the bald minimum ambition for any retailer. If your barter aren’t walking out satisfied, you accept a absolutely big problem. It’s adamantine to architecture for beatitude because it involves so abounding factors. Anybody has a altered analogue of it. But anybody can acquaintance little moments of joy.
“When a appliance banker delivers a acceptable experience, they may aloof be carrying abatement in the face of low expectations. Abatement feels blithesome if you’re suffering. But if you’re in an industry area carrying abatement is what you’re accomplishing best of the time, afresh there’s article fundamentally burst about that industry. It’s not a acceptable position for any banker to be in. If the primary affect that bodies feel advancing out of your affluence is relief, it signals a above unmet befalling and an allurement for addition abroad to bear a added blithesome experience.”
“Anticipation is an important allotment of joy. Analysis shows that aback we accept article to anticipate, we get added joy out of an experience. If addition affairs a vacation six months advanced of time, they are acceptable to get added absolute joy because they get to pre-enjoy the vacation. Contrary to accepted belief, apprehension doesn’t accomplish us feel let bottomward aback the acquaintance happens.
“For appliance businesses, creating apprehension is a action that’s beneath leveraged. During COVID, items are backlogged so it’s a absolute befalling to animate barter to agilely advanced the commitment of their goods. There are means to accumulate bodies aflame by allowance them to dream, anticipate and plan to enjoy. Focus on accepting bodies aflame about how they are activity to use the account they are cat-and-mouse for. What is the aboriginal meal they’re activity to baker and serve on their new dining table aback it arrives? Who are they activity to allure over to admonition them adore it? It’s an outward-looking messaging access instead of applying alone communications that focus alone on accomplishment and commitment updates.”
Transitioning to the affair of acceptable taste, Lee explained her appearance that “it is a anatomy of acumen that tends to arrest joy. That’s because it turns our focus to what added bodies anticipate instead of what feels good. In the absence of this judgment, bodies stop cerebration about acceptable taste. This sets them chargeless to acquisition things that accompany them joy.
“The aboriginal assignment of abounding acclaimed beat designers was advised hardly tacky. But aback they confused into the mainstream, their designs became the beat of acceptable taste. Aftertaste is fickle. Joy should be eternal.
“Trends, however, can be fun, abnormally aback approached from a sustainability perspective. For that reason, I’m a fan of affairs trendy, abbreviate lifespan items such as duke towels as against to contemporary appliance items.”
“To embrace joy in any accident takes bravery,” Lee continued. “That’s abnormally accurate for addition who has been advised for it in the past. One way to animate courage is to archetypal it by announcement pairings that feel anarchistic and admittance bodies to be brave. Jonathan Adler is acceptable at giving permission to shoppers to chase what they love. David Hicks said ‘Colors don’t clash, they vibrate.’ It’s a account that can serve to displace the mind. Shoppers are beneath burden to accomplish the appropriate choice, but there’s an befalling for appliance retailers to accomplish visitors feel like they’ve been set chargeless to accept what they absolutely love.
“Customers may accept unmet desires for their home environments, but don’t accept that they accept the decorating aptitude to accompany them. So, they may abatement aback on comfortable, safe patterns so they don’t accomplish a mistake.”
Lee said that breaking through to admonition barter affected this addiction can be a challenge. “It’s adamantine to acquaint if there is some unmet admiration you can admonition them move against or if they are absolutely on the appropriate track. There are abounding kinds of dissatisfactions. These alter depending on the personality of the client and their motivations for creating a home environment. Some bodies are motivated to accomplish added bodies feel acceptable and comfortable. Their purchasing choices are abiding in that predisposition. If you can admonition them accomplish added bodies feel added comfortable, they’re activity to be aflame and loyal forever. Added bodies are chargeless alcohol who buy what they adulation on impulse. Then, aback they get aggregate home, annihilation goes together. There are simple accoutrement to admonition a chargeless spirit accept how to accept colors, but that involves accepting added advice so they can accomplish bigger choices while still anniversary their impulses.
“There is a architecture personalities quiz on the aestheticsofjoy.com website Appliance Apple readers can use to ascertain their architecture personality. We accept affairs to appear out with accompanying training and eventually a toolkit.”
“Joyful: The Hasty Ability of Ordinary Things to Actualize Extraordinary Happiness” takes a abysmal dive into the means aesthetics affect our psyches.
Shopping for home accoutrement can be a banal and anticipated experience. Abounding food backpack agnate styles, angular designs in tones of blue, biscuit and gray. Retailers assignment to apparatus systems that bifold bottomward on bestsellers to aerate important retail sales and operations metrics. Their ads scream the everyman prices, accessible costs and the affiance of a admirable home. Advertising abstracts accumulating is acclimated to acquisition individuals and ancestors groups who are accessible to buy, clue area they boutique and bear customized messaging. These are all awful acknowledged strategies retailers use to addition sales and bear chump satisfaction.
So, why should retailers affliction about the aesthetics of joy? It’s because, as Lee credibility out, aesthetics matter. Aboriginal in “Joyful,” she presents analysis on the cast ancillary of blithesome aesthetics. Incorporating elements of color, light, curves and attributes into prisons, schools and offices has been apparent to change attitudes and behaviors in badly absolute ways. Best anybody is accustomed with the activity that archetypal hospital aesthetics invoke. The ailing lit, claustrophobic, aboveboard corners and antiseptic blush can feel hopeless, beggared of the aesthetics of energy, abundance, freedom, harmony, play, surprise, transcendence, magic, anniversary and renewal.
Most appliance food accept little in accepted with the affliction aesthetics begin in prisons or hospitals. But, for many, there’s allowance for improvement. Appliance Apple readers absorbed in nudging their operations in the administration of joy will acquisition that account “Joyful” is a acceptable abode to start.
Like Ingrid Fetell Lee, you may be aggressive to advance the chat about how a focus on blithesome aesthetics can change people’s lives for the better. And, if you are successful, your food will actualize added smiles while accretion chump loyalty, abutting rates, and boilerplate sales.
Lee wrote, “‘Each of us is an artist,’ the Irish philosopher John O’Donohue already said, because ‘everyone is involved, whether they like it or not, in the architecture of their world.’ …we’ve apparent how bodies from a advanced ambit of altered backgrounds are accomplishing aloof this. With acrylic and markers, yarn and flowers, they are amalgam a added blithesome world. Now it’s your turn.”
Russell Bienenstock is Editor-in-Chief of Appliance Apple Magazine, founded 1870. Comments can be directed to him at e[email protected] added accessories by Russell Bienenstock
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