Experiential interior design

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Experiential interior design (EID) is the practice of employing experiential values in interior experience design. EID is a new design approach to interior architecture based on modern environmental psychology emphasizing human experiential needs.[1][2] The notion of EID is initiated from the subjective impact of a designed environment on experience formation. This environmental experience is defined as the result of human and environment interactions providing intellectual or emotional acquisition. The main application of EID is to create engaging environmental experiences.


Cognitive scholars claim that the human mind has a modular structure against one central processor. In this outlook, an individual internally evaluates and responds to environmental triggers through five inter-related modulus. In light of that, what is experienced in an environment would be coded as Sensorial Experiences, Emotional Experiences, Intellectual Experiences, Pragmatic Experiences, and Social Experiences.[3] The human mind categorizes the associated values with an environment in the above-mentioned groups. Therefore, interior designers, by understanding and embedding these values in their design can engage and stimulate the human mind on a higher level.


Physical setting shapes one's initial evaluation and perception of an environment. These behavioral responses are originated from three central feelings, namely, pleasure, arousal, and dominance.[4] These feelings are the results of a well-designed environment by practicing EID.[5] Pleasure refers to the degree of happiness, arousal to the degree of excitement, and dominance to the sense of control. These emotions lead to behavioral responses so-called approach (in contrast with avoidance). Approach behavior is a positive attitude toward a place, which results intention to stay, explore, affiliate, or interact.[6]

In business literature[edit]

For the first time, Schmitt[7] propose a new design-thinking process to link the interior design practice to a modern business issues so-called customer experience. In this way, EID goes beyond the providing pure sensory experience in commercial place by addressing entire functional, emotional, behavioral, social, and symbolic concerns in design. EID does not address a specific style of design, but it emphasizes on a design thinking process in which customers' experiential needs are prioritized. Marketing literature has demonstrated that experiential values perfectly differentiate the offerings.[8] EID helps firms providing symbolic meanings, differentiating brand, and communicating values with unique (branded) environmental experience. The values that associate with this positive experience easily intensify loyalty and fervent advocacy.


  1. ^ Newman, A., Dennis, C., & Zaman, S. (2007). Marketing images and consumers' experience in selling environments. Marketing Management Journal, 17 (1), 136-150
  2. ^ Quartier, K., Christiaans, H., & Van Cleempoel, K. (2009). Retail Design: Lighting as an atmospheric tool, creating experience, which influence consumers' mood and behavior in commercial spaces. Proceedings of the Design Research Society Conference 2008 (pp. 216-232). Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University.
  3. ^ Schmitt, B., & Rogers, D. (2009). Handbook on Brand and Experience Management. Northampton: MA: Edward Elgar.
  4. ^ Mehrabian, A., & Russell, J. A. (1980). An Approach to Environmental Psychology. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  5. ^ Abhari, M., & Abhari, K. (2010). The Notion of Experiential Interior Design. International Conference on Arts, Social Sciences and Technology (iCast2010), Penang, Malaysia.
  6. ^ Mehrabian, A., & Russell, J. A. (1980). An Approach to Environmental Psychology. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press
  7. ^ Schmitt, B. (2004). Visual Identity and Experience Dimensions in the International Luxury Hotel Industry. New York: Columbia Business School
  8. ^ Kim, J. B., Koo, Y., & Chang, D. R. (2009). ‘Integrated Brand Experience through Sensory Branding and IMC’. Design Management Review, 20 (3), 72-81.