Friday, December 11, 2009

Underutilized Design Opportunities: What's Inside Your Elevator?

Inside the elevators at the Hampton Inn in Wilson, North Carolina (where I was working last week with the fine folks from the Imagination Station Science Museum) there are evocative photos with simple captions (like the "pedal pusher" image above.)

At first, I wasn't really sure how I was supposed to react to the simple graphics and messages scattered throughout the hotel.  Eventually the combination of image+idea grew on me --- in a positive way.  (I'm trying to find out the motivations for Hampton Inn in "branding" themselves in this manner --- but that's for a future post.) 

Leaving all that aside,  since I got to see the different images in the elevators several times a day, for several days, I started thinking about why elevators (especially in museums) seem to be an underutilized design opportunity for environmental graphics and exhibits.

Occasionally, the outside of elevator doors are used as a place to mount informational/directional graphics, but what about the elevator interior (a classic case of a captive audience) or the usually blank walls and alcoves containing elevators?

I'm not talking about using elevator interiors as a place to hang the equivalent of "coming events" flyers --- rather how could we use these natural gathering spaces to engage visitors, to set a tone, to provide simple interactive experiences --- involving motion or perspective or acceleration or the "etiquette of elevators", for example?

I'd like to collect the best ideas and/or images you've experienced (or would like to experience!) of graphics, exhibits, or architectural embellishments involving elevators and pull them together for future blog posts on underutilized graphic/exhibit spaces in buildings.

So either put your elevator musings into the Comments Section below, or put them into an email to me directly.

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