Sydney-based architecture practice TURNER has demonstrated the positive impact of experiential design via the project of Santa Sophia Catholic College in Box Hill, Sydney.
TURNER associate director and head of experiential design Aniss Adler lists the ongoing rewards of experiential design as the ability to evoke memories and emotions, encourage the display of certain behaviours, and deliver a space that is intended to maximise positive social impact.
The design penchant should not only be considered for new builds, yet as a tool to elevate an existing space, in the case of Santa Sophia Catholic College. The Kindergarten to Year 12 campus consists of four linked buildings across six levels and an array of learning, creative and performance hubs, designed by globally renowned architecture practice BVN. TURNER worked with BVN to align the experiential design with the architecture.
“Experiential design can be integrated into refurbishments and transform a tired campus into an exciting place for the school community,” says Adler.
Constant reminders of sustainable design principles
Santa Sophia Catholic College shines with experiential design additions, such as vibrant environmental graphics, wayfinding to allow for ease of navigation around the campus, and a didactic ‘green trail’ serving to advertise the sustainable design principles that guided the refurbishment.
Adler explains that the team developed a trail that has 12 stations spanning two levels of the school, with each station representing a different aspect of sustainable design.
“There is a station at the chicken coop where the school canteen composts its waste and other stations highlight the way glazing impacts comfort and energy use and explain the school’s grey water systems,” says Adler.
In addition to bolstering Santa Sophia’s hopes to receive a Green Star rating, this activity illuminates the power of experiential design to guarantee a positive future and legacy for a space, and create areas and facilities Adler refers to as “optimistic spaces.”
Fusion of art and environmental graphics elevates experience
According to Adler, schools and education facilities are eager to incorporate elements of experiential design into refurbishments or new projects, as it provides a sense of fun, wonder and delight, while still creating an environment suitable for productivity and diligence.
“The educators we work with are excited by the potential for art and environmental graphics to add value. Experiential design can be woven into new or existing schools to elevate learning, social interaction and enjoyment for everyone who uses the campus,” finishes Adler.
Photography by Ryan Linnegar.