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The Social Effects of the Design of Social Spaces - Essay Example

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The Social Effects of the Design of Social Spaces

According to the literature review conducted by this writer, Paco Underhill is without question the leader in expertise around social space design in the marketplace. Underhill has written several books on the subject of Social Space Design and owns a company called ENVIROSELL.
In a description of the man who founded and manages Envirosell, a New York based research and consulting firm with offices around the world it is noted that Underhill has spent more than 25 years conducting research on the different aspects of shopping behavior and that he has earned his status as a leading expert and pioneer in the field. (Envirosell, 2005, p. 1)
"Underhill preaches that retailers have to cater to the behaviors of the consumer in order to increase their chances of selling successfully.For example, North Americans tend to turn to the right as they enter a large store - just like they drive on the right side of the road." Therefore Underhill states "If you want to get my attention, it better be to my right." (2000, p. 1)
Underhill arrives at his conclusions about best practice in the market place by using a combination of in-store video cameras and direct observation of customer behavior. His research shows that 70 per cent of shoppers are women. Ideas for making this consumer group more likely to shop in a certain store include placing a chair in a convenient place for the males accompanying women shoppers to rest during the shopping excursion (2001, p. 1)
The CBC report states that Underhill sees the chair and making shopping with women more attractive to men as a 'marketing tool.' This article also emphasizes Paco's theories about the need to turn kids into 'allies' in the market place. Some suggestions in this regard include being sure there are things at eye level to interest them and creating attractions such as a hopscotch pattern on the floor of a hardware store to make it more appealing to the younger set who must accompany parents on Saturday morning shopping trips.
Lockley (pp. 1-5) discusses the way that large retailers create atmospheres that literally turn people into 'puppets' when they enter the lair of a large shopping mall.
According to Lockley retailers in malls are arranged in combinations and patterns designed to trigger "more and bigger purchases." (p. 3)
The hypothetical mall Lockley describes is designed to "Expose you to the maximum amount of merchandise, put you in a buying mood, set your pace and relax your sense of time, remove you from outside influences and give you reasons to buy."
(p. 4)
Lockley goes on to describe the science behind successful casino operators in Vegas and concludes his introduction to a book that is geared towards getting people excited about designing a home "just for you" since ...Show more


In this examination of the social effects of social space design brief descriptions of the theories and works of some of the world's most renowned experts clearly reveals the reality of how social space design plays a major role in the actions, feelings and even physiology of human beings…
Author : imcclure
The Social Effects of the Design of Social Spaces essay example
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