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8. Branded Leisure


Read chapter 8 of The Culture of Design 'Branded Leisure'

Branded leisure experiences usually offer highly structured and bounded environments where people become immersed in their offer. As such, they are perhaps high on artifice, on creating various illusions:  our sense of time might be affected or distinctions between real and fake objects are blurred, for example. Branded leisure has evolved in parallel with changes in work patterns, social relations and expendable income.



1. The Construction of Branded Leisure Experiences


Research a visitor attraction that has opened in the last 15 years. This may, for example, be a complete heritage centre, museum, leisure centre, fun park or zoo. Or it might be part of something pre-existing, like a recently added wing to a museum.


Review how the visitor attraction is put together in terms of the relationships of such things as:


• pre-visit information (e.g. leaflets, website) and how this builds expectation;

• architecture (e.g. relationship between building design and leisure attraction content);

• how it is designed to engage different needs and interests;

• sequencing of the visit;

• relationship between material exhibits and other media (e.g. video, digital interactive presentation, information panels);

• relationship of general leisure attraction ‘brand’ (e.g. as conveyed through publicity, signage, brand identity programme) to design details;

• use of human resources (e.g. reliance on live ‘guides’ or demonstrators);

• design of merchandise;

• methods to ensure repeat visit.



Present this review as an annotated set of photographs and/or drawings that are arranged sequentially. If possible, show how illusions are created -- for example how the visitor's sense of time are manipulated.




2. Branded Leisure and Social Change


In this chapter it is suggested that in many societies, many people structure their lives in more fragmented and controlled ways. Time slots are allocated for specific activities. Daily agendas are created and adhered to, both at work and in leisure. Time-management has become an important skill. Equally, there has been a rise of technologies, such as digital diary systems to support this. At the same time, it might be argued that there is a journalistic language that supports idea of 'our busy lives'.


Can you find examples of technologies and texts (e.g. in lifestyle magazines) that concurs with this view? How are graphic imagery or other design manifestations used to support this or provide an alternative idea to this idea 'time-squeeze' and allocating practices?




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