Posted on 6th of January, 2021

Experience design according to our Think Tank Partner Spatial Experience

A few weeks ago, we reintroduced you to our Think Tank Partner Spatial Experience, formerly known as SPX Agency. The team behind Spatial Experience collectively form an innovation hub working in the intersection of design, technology and research to shape the future of living. They strive to bring creativity and innovation to emerging real estate sectors with one goal in mind: designing purposeful spaces that enable human-to-human interactions, both online and offline. The first part of our conversation with the team focused on their extensive rebranding process and their upcoming future.

Now, we dive into the topics of their expertise which we have been waiting patiently to discuss with them, and the KS Blog provides the perfect platform to do so.

Read ahead to learn more about the team’s views on experience design and its implications on the technology, solutions and strategies behind experience design.

How is experience design used in the real estate industry?

At Spatial Experience, we go beyond the B2C (business-to-customer) experience. Most often, we are involved in the early stages of the project and we start with designing an experience for Investors. We believe Investor Experience (IX), Partner Experience (PX) as well as Employee Experience (EX) is crucial at the pre-launch stage when you need to get the full alignment of a cross-disciplinary team to understand the vision, mission as well as objectives of the project. Only after that, we may fully focus on Customer Experience (CX).

Experience design works on different levels. When looking at, for example, the journey of a typical hotel guest, there is the pre-booking phase, the arrival, the whole experience of the hotel stay and the post-visit memory-driven phase as well by experience. Experience design is really about understanding the user journey and the different elements that influence it on a service, design, marketing, operational level and beyond. Essentially, it is about how guests are being treated when they come to a specific location. The experience happens on multiple dimensions divided between a physical and an intangible aspect. For example, one may have an experience when you physically enter a space and also an experience when using an application or digital platform. Space intersects both in the real and digital world. So when designing experiences, we are continuously broadening the perception of space, a topic very close to our hearts.

You previously said on behalf of Spatial Experience, “By enhancing the spatial experience and providing solutions for urban spaces, we want to make people feel more connected, included and noticed.” What is the importance of human-to-human interactions for Spatial Experience?

The reason why we work at the intersection of the shared economy and real estate is because we want to stimulate human interactions. We work with shared living concepts, such as student housing and Coliving, where the actual human to human interaction is at the core.

“Real Estate is not necessarily only about the space itself, it is about how you utilise it, what kind of value can you bring, how can you commercialise it in a way to be perceived as a good product or service for the end customer.”

In times of social distancing, we are invested in finding solutions for sustaining human connection. When a new building opens its doors to a thousand residents, but people are not allowed to interact in the common areas, what do you do? You create an interactive and stimulating environment online. We have been introducing strategies and tools to communicate, encourage conversations, and strengthen the community. Moreover, we are continuously optimising processes for operations and the community management team so they can focus on what really matters: fostering human connections.

Do you think collaborations within different stakeholders in the industry is important? How do collaborative events and publications, such as Coliving Insights, affect the industry?

In answering this question, we encourage everybody to read more on our new venture, that places collaborations at its core: SPX Studio. Through the startup studio, we are opening doors to partners and clients to drive more impact in the industry through joint ventures. Coliving Ventures, our first venture, has successfully launched Coliving Insights and will be launching its first awards ceremony next year: Coliving Awards.

Regarding the Coliving Insights publications, we received very positive feedback from all of our stakeholders. We understand how valuable this feedback is and use it as a primary stimulus to keep going. We noticed that from the first edition of Coliving Insights to the latest, we have been able to involve higher stakeholders from the industry. By expanding stakeholder involvement, we help with the consolidation and professionalisation of the industry in general, also in establishing Coliving as a promising asset class that can drive more investment and impact on a global scale. This aligns with our mission & vision of pushing industry growth and fostering innovative solutions for future living. Our most recent edition of Coliving Insights is available for download now. Coliving Insights No.4: ‘Invest, Develop, Operate & Scale’, explores the coliving lifecycle through 160+ pages of original content from more than 25 expert contributors.

The next joint venture to be launched by SPX Studio will be Digital Estate. Through this enterprise we will be enabling innovation in real estate by gathering multiple vetted PropTech solutions and Tech Tools in one integrated environment, connecting businesses with products and services that suit their tailored needs.

Your rebranding press release coined the acronym VUCA, to describe recent events in the world and an environment that is ‘Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.’ Could you expand on how you see the VUCA world and how it is relevant for experience design?

The acronym reflects the reality we live in: nothing is certain, the world is complex and ambiguous, change is constant and we need to adapt faster than initially anticipated. A profound understanding of this allows us to take a strategic approach as an organisation to provide services and products that answer to the market's needs and are flexible enough to stay relevant in “VUCA” times.

“When designing experiences while working together with our clients and partners we take into consideration that the world is a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment.”

This way we are able to see challenges from a broader and long-term perspective - not as one-time problems that need to be solved but as an action-reaction chain that leads to specific consequences in the future. That is why we take time at the beginning of every project to get a better grasp of the target audience and the environment they operate in.

By understanding the context (the VUCA world), we are able to design solutions that truly make people's lives better, reducing uncertainty, helping them quickly adapt to change and thus, add value to their future living.

What role does smart technology play in the “cities of tomorrow” and Spatial Experiences’ next steps?

SALTO, as one of the leaders in smart technology in its field, is a great sparring partner that helps us understand the perspective of technology enablers and juxtapose it with the end customer needs. We are humbled about our achievements in technology as these were, a majority of the time, tailor-made for our clients & partners, and we are looking for a way forward to scale some of our concepts to drive more impact.

We have a genuine desire to democratise access to technologies that can push the industry forward. However, this requires a broad understanding in regards to the current state of PropTech, what it actually does and how it can be used in the most sustainable way to drive impact within our industry.

To read the first part to this interview, where we explore the innovative rebranding process of SPX Agency into Spatial Experience, click here.

We’d like to extend our gratitude to the entire Spatial Experience team for sharing their knowledge, plans and perspectives with us; not once but twice! If you would like to find out more about Spatial Experience, visit their website, blog, Instagram and LinkedIn.

If you want to learn more about our Think Tank Partners, explore our Coliving page. To read more about SALTO KS, click here or follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn for the latest product features, team updates and news from the industry.

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