Experience design relies heavily on curation. Curating sensory touchpoints, practices & rituals, stories, symbols… all with the hopes of evoking certain emotions, perspectives, and behaviors.
Up until the last few years, it was hard for me to find anything on the topic. I had to rely on my own intuition and inner navigation system to create my own systems and strategies. But the most important thing I realized over the years is this:
The more we know about the world and the people, cultures, and things within this world, the better we can create.
For example, spending eight years working with one of the largest antique/vintage markets in the country taught me a lot about historic design and the behaviors, attitudes, and tastes of the people who came before us. This experience shaped my own eclectic & worldly tastes and my nostalgic tendencies.
Spending ten years working with farms and farm-to-table restaurants, distilleries, and wineries showed me a slower, more rustic way of life. I learned the importance of cyclical nature and how syncing up to the seasons benefits humanity. These experiences changed my relationship with the earth and my concept of nourishment.
Spending seven years working with one of the largest textile arts festivals in the country brought me into the crafts world and deepened my appreciation for creative expression and visual storytelling. It showed me what art COULD be, beyond traditional and expected art mediums.
Burning out a few years back brought me on my own wellbeing journey where I looked outside of western medicine for answers. It immersed me into hygge, traditional Chinese medicine, and other cultural practices that taught me grounding, savoring, balance, ritual, and how to play again.
Oftentimes the most beneficial experience design lessons we learn happen outside of a traditional hospitality environment. We all have life experiences that inform the moments and journeys we create. I am grateful for the time I spent working with businesses outside of the traditional hospitality industry because they each taught me something valuable about people and human behavior. Although I am still working on being grateful to my burnout days! That being said, my burnout days brought me my greatest, most life-altering shifts.
My point in sharing these personal stories: our relationships to everyday things - food, design, nature, health… this is what we bring into the experiences we shape. We can only create something from our current awareness and level of experiencing the world. To create remarkable experiences requires expanding your world view. What makes an experience one-of-a-kind is when we draw on our varied life experiences and the lessons they have brought us.
Building a network of ultra-curious, well-rounded creatives and storytellers is of the utmost importance to me as the founder of The Storied Experience. When working on big projects, enlisting the help of talented people with unique backgrounds & passions greatly benefits the properties, experiences, and retreat hosts that we work with.