Have you ever felt fustrated in a supermarket when not finding anything you need? Or when going to a new cafe it doesn't feel inviting, but you're not really able to put your finger on why? Many times, as a customer, it is difficult to say exactly what is wrong with the design of a certain place - you just know you do not want to spend much time there. Often customers don't even give it a moment of thought, they just choose another place that makes them more comfortable. That's fine, as the designers of the place didn't think of the customers either. Too often these spaces are designed only on the basis of what is cost-effective and how it's been done before.
We in Kenno see it differentely. We think that every establishment, workplace and public space should be designed with the help of an ethnographer. This is how it works.
REVEAL HUMAN NEEDS
Ethnography as a tool for interior design will not only help design functional spaces, but it will also reveal hidden needs that potential customers have. These can be studied either through an existing, similar milieu, such as another cafe, or in the case of remodeling, the previous space.
WATCH AND TELL
Ethnographer will be there to observe how people act and analyze what they see. For example, instead of asking people how they usually go about in their local supermarket, ethnographer will observe the customers and their behavior in-store. This way it is possible to get specific, localized data that is not dependent on human memory. Ethnographer will also be able to spot behavioral patterns unrecognized by the customer, such as navigating from shelve to shelve.
During the design process, interviews can also be conducted in order to gain a better understanding of the needs and wishes. These interviews will usually go deeper into the themes that arise during the observation.
The data and analysis that the ethnographer will present to the interior design process will be inspirational. Ethnographers are not designers: they will simply give interior designers inspiration and guidelines to follow and designers will use their skills and expertise in creating a functional and aesthetic space.
KEEP CUSTOMER IN MIND
And finally, this is what you will get:
With the ethnographer the design process will get closer to the people who actually work and use the space. You'll get grocery stores where people find what they are looking for. You'll get cafes people tell their friends about back home. It's not about building dream castles for everyone but simply creating spaces that customers enjoy and want to visit again and again.