Feeling flat – sensorial experiences creating depth in a 1D world


In a world “robbed of sensorial pleasure”, we take a look at how technology offers brands the opportunity to deliver multi-sensorial experiences

Over the past five or so years, the (design) world has become flat – skeuomorphism overthrown by sleek, minimal design. From Microsoft to Budweiser, many brands are removing textural and three-dimensional detail from their design in pursuit of clarity and cleanliness.

Budweiser’s simplistic makeover, announced just last week

Perhaps this should be no surprise; in a world of touchscreens, contactless payments, Kindles, and digital shopping, our physical experience of the world has been dwindling for years.

Contrastingly, 2016 has started amidst an upswing of multi-sensorial brand experiences. Why, when ‘simplicity’ is the design mantra of the moment, are marketeers racing to seduce consumers’ senses?

The Hive at Kew Gardens; a multi-sensorial beehive experience planned for Summer 2016

We spoke to Jozef Youseff, founder of Kitchen Theory – a collaboration dedicated to sensorial gastronomy – who believes, in a world “robbed of sensorial pleasure”, genuine sensory stimulation creates subconscious emotional fulfilment that’s otherwise missing from modern life.

This trend looks set to continue. Technological advancements – such as virtual reality – are encouraging design to come full circle, and celebrate depth and richness in our ‘flat’ world.