Simmetrico’s introduction to Experience Design: empathy, travel, and heroes

By Daniele Zambelli

 

Experience design, or as I like to say «designing with emotions», is the creative ability to integrate different artistic disciplines, languages, and technologies to build a memorable experience, to discover the contents and values of a thematic context, whether it be a country, a museum itinerary or a brand; it’s the creation of a physical and emotional journey within a narrative landscape made up of questions, people’s stories, and human endeavours.

My history as a creative director has taught me that, while  creativity has no rules — only missions, there are prerequisites for creativity to fully manifest itself and make the experience authentic for those who live it.

If I am asked to state what, apart from talent, is the requirement of a good creative, I say with unreasonable confidence that it’s the capacity for empathy. I define empathy, for a designer, as the ability to resonate, to participate in the contexts to which one applies one’s talent, and to be in a symmetrical relationship (Sym-metron: order and proportion among the parts of a whole) with them.  Whether it is towards one’s team, towards the project theme, towards the public, or simply towards beauty: a creative who has not yet discovered that it is empathy  to produce the right intensity to realise a project will never be as effective despite his talent and technique.

The design journey is like the hero’s initiatory travel that marks the classic structure of storytelling in literature; the creative path is full of unexpected events, allies, and mentors and always has the inevitable and necessary antagonist: time. This passage requires resources, and the first one for a creative is one’s empathic ability, which nourishes one’s mission to see, «draw», and share what is not yet there. In the plot, the hero completes this journey with the «discovery of a new world». For the creative person, the project and its realisation are the rewards.

Because of the symmetry I mentioned, it is not unusual that the prerequisite of empathy, which applies to the designer, is also the expected result of a good experience design project. Again, the metaphor of the journey comes to our aid: in this case, the heroes are the visitors and the goal is to surprise them as they travel inside the designed narrative landscape, to create an empathy with the values and contents we want to communicate: the «characters and shapes of our story».

It seems difficult to engage the, sometimes, very heterogeneous exhibition audience if we consider the differences that shape everyone’s personal experience. Supporting the creative person in this endeavour is the emotional palette, with which we all perceive reality through our senses. Despite cultural differences, as archetypes of collective imagination, certain colours generate similar perceptions in us, this is also true for certain harmonic frequencies and certain fundamental forms.

If we move from the terrain of opinions to that of emotions, «we are made of the same substance…», and we are much more similar than we imagine. We may be surprised at how many more fundamental values unite us than those that divide us, and you know that a smile or a tear means the same thing at any latitude. This is why Art in any of its forms has always been the most effective bridge for dialogue between different cultural universes.

 

Happy Journey to all.

Introduzione all’Experience Design per Simmetrico: empatia, viaggi ed eroi

Di Daniele Zambelli

 

L’Experience design o come mi piace dire “disegnare con le emozioni”, è la capacità creativa di integrare diverse discipline artistiche, linguaggi e tecnologie per costruire un’esperienza memorabile alla scoperta dei contenuti e dei valori di un contesto tematico, che si tratti di un paese, un percorso museale o un brand; è l’ideazione di un viaggio fisico ed emozionale all’interno di un paesaggio narrativo fatto di domande, storie di persone ed imprese umane.

La mia storia di direttore creativo mi ha insegnato che, se da una parte la creatività non ha regole ma solo missioni, dall’altra esistono dei prerequisiti per cui la creatività si manifesta pienamente e rende l’esperienza autentica per chi la vive.

Se mi si chiede di dichiarare quale sia, oltre al talento, il prerequisito di un bravo creativo io affermo essere con ir-ragionevole sicurezza: la sua capacità d’empatia. Definisco l’empatia, per un progettista, l’attitudine di entrare in risonanza con contesti a cui applica il proprio talento e di essere in una relazione simmetrica (sym-metria, stessa misura) con essi. Che sia verso il proprio gruppo di lavoro, verso il tema di progetto, verso il pubblico o semplicemente verso la bellezza, un creativo che non ha ancora scoperto che è l’empatia a produrre la giusta intensità per realizzare un progetto, non sarà mai così efficace nonostante il suo talento e la sua tecnica.

Il percorso progettuale è come il viaggio iniziatico dell’eroe che segna la struttura classica dello storytelling in letteratura; il viaggio creativo è pieno di imprevisti, di alleati e mentori e ha sempre l’immancabile e necessario antagonista: il tempo. Per un viaggio occorrono risorse e la prima per un creativo è la sua capacità empatica, che nutre la sua missione di vedere, “disegnare” e condividere quello che ancora non c’è. Nella trama, l’eroe conclude il suo viaggio con la “scoperta” di un nuovo mondo che per il creativo è il progetto e la sua realizzazione, la ricompensa. Per la simmetria di cui parlavo, non è singolare che il prerequisito dell’empatia che vale per il progettista, sia anche il risultato atteso di un buon progetto di Experience Design. Ancora ci viene in aiuto la metafora del viaggio: in questo caso l’eroe è il visitatore e l’obiettivo è sorprenderlo mentre viaggia dentro al paesaggio narrativo progettato, per creare empatia con i valori e i contenuti che vogliamo comunicare: i “personaggi e le forme della nostra storia”.

Sembra difficile coinvolgere il pubblico di un’esposizione, a volte molto eterogeneo, se consideriamo le differenze che formano l’esperienza personale di ognuno. A sostenere il creativo in questa impresa è la tavolozza emozionale con cui tutti noi, attraverso i sensi, percepiamo la realtà. Nonostante le differenze culturali, come archetipi di un immaginario collettivo, alcuni colori generano in noi percezioni simili, questo vale anche per alcune frequenze armoniche e per certe forme fondamentali.

Se ci muoviamo dal terreno delle opinioni a quello delle emozioni, “siamo fatti della stessa sostanza…”, e siamo molto più simili di quando immaginiamo. Potremmo sorprenderci di quanto siano più i valori fondamentali che ci uniscono di quelli che ci dividono e si sa che un sorriso o una lacrima, hanno lo stesso significato a qualsiasi latitudine. Per questo l’Arte in qualsiasi sua forma è da sempre il ponte più efficace per il dialogo tra i diversi universi culturali.

Buon Viaggio a tutti.

 

 

 

Russian Copper Company Pavilion wins at BEA World for the second consecutive year

Russian Copper Company Pavilion, a project realised by Simmetrico with Ilogic as a General Contractor and Surveyor for the international fair Innoprom 2019, wins once again at BEA World Festival in the category Best Use of Technology.

The international jury recognized Simmetrico’s ability to bring the public closer to the history and the values of Russian Copper Company, which celebrated its 15th anniversary, with a seamless integration of technologies, design and storytelling.

In addition to the design and construction of the pavilion, Simmetrico was also in charge of the visitor experience and contents development & production. The creative concept The Future is Getting Closer took form of a “future accelerator”, which became an iconic place of the entire show.

BEA Italia 2019: Lifetime Achievement Award Goes To Daniele Zambelli

Simmetrico Founder, CEO and Creative Director Daniele Zambelli has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at Best Event Awards Italia 2019. The ceremony took place at The Mall, new district in Porta Nuova in Milan, as part of Live Communication Week, an initiative by ADC Group which brought together events and marketing professionals to celebrate the best events over the past year.

The award is a recognition to a «personality who has been able to play a leading role and stimulate the cultural and economic growth of the world of events.» In the past, the prize was awarded to: Marco Balich, David Zard, Alfredo Accatino and Riccardo Cioni.

After accepting the award, Daniele Zambelli commented: “When I heard about the award, I had a series of flashbacks on the past two decades of my work. But as I started recollecting on those adventures, I realised that it wasn’t the sets, or the projects, that remained imprinted in my mind, but the faces of all the people I collaborated with. Working in this complex activity, one can even possess a great talent, but without the talent of the others it is impossible to deliver a good project.”

Monaco Pavilion «Mirroring the Future» is the Best Small Pavilion by Exhibitor Magazine

We are happy and proud to annouce that Monaco Pavilion at Astana Expo 2017 has won Best Small Pavilion Award from Exhibitor Magazine.

Here are the reasons received from Trevis Stanton, Editor Exhibitor Magazine:

Judges had this to say about the Monaco Pavilion:

· Compact and powerful as a small wave hitting a beach, Monaco’s pavilion offered a lush and luxurious reflection on hydro power that’s as mesmerizing as a hypnotist’s watch.
· Excellent interpretation of the overall theme
. The fascinating kinetic installation gave an immediate focus to the experience.
· The entrance façade was simply stunning, calming, and relevant. The logo and its story and relevance to Monaco and the ocean was just a simple and beautiful design. Brilliant! The kinetic installation/presentation was big, bold, and beautiful! This pavilion was structurally gorgeous throughout!
· Monaco mastered big impact, especially for a smaller pavilion. From the gorgeous undulating waves and blue ocean hues of the exterior, to the large immersive kinetic environment of video and reflective elements, this pavilion was indisputably impactful and undeniably memorable. A press release announcing the winners and honorable mentions in each category can be found at https://lnkd.in/dx-MhKW.

Simmetrico thanks its team of 140 people in Italy, Monaco and Kazakhstan and Monaco Inter Expo for having believed in this project!

#staycreative #staytuned

Simmetrico’s experience at Astana Expo 2017 by our Head of Project

The Experience of Riccardo Cigolotti, Head of Project for Simmetrico at Astana Expo 2017, Kazakhstan Pavilion ‘Museum of Future Energy’ and Monaco Pavilion:

«The context we have faced, was new and difficult, but the capacity to adapt ourselves and never give up, allow us to reach the goals.

Close process integration, between contents, design and technology, a Simmetrico must, was the key for comply of the deadlines for Monaco Pavilion and Future Enegy Museum in Expo Astana 2017.

Almost one year of development, over 200 people involved and few months for construction, including the winter time with very low temperatures.

Two different projects and two close teams, which have worked in support of one other in the most critical phases.

It has been again a great honour to be part of Simmetrico.»

#Simmetriconetwork

Monaco Pavilion’s central installation

Astana Expo 2017: the set up of Monaco Pavilion’s central installation has almost been completed.
The scenic design, created by Simmetrico, highlights the concept of reflection with a large kinetic wall that will greet the visitors, re-projecting on mirroring elements the history of the dialogue between humankind and the environment.Simmetrico was chosen by Prince Albert II of Monaco as the winner of the international tender for the concept design, content development and construction of the Monaco Pavilion at Astana.

Photo by Andrea Bellusci for Simmetrico

Simmetrico in the Heart of Astana Expo 2017

The final stage of production of the Kazakhstan National Pavilion of Expo Astana 2017 is started.

Simmetrico is engaged at the seventh and eighth floors of the experiential exhibition “Future Energy” providing: set-up production and installation, content multimedia development and production, software and interaction development.

A month away from the opening, they are completing the final construction details in the yard.

Having participated in the international tender called by the Pavilion General Contractor, Simmetrico, is the only Italian company in charge of the Kazakhstan Pavilion project.

Photo by Andrea Bellusci for Simmetrico

Simmetrico is in the FT1000 Europe’s fastest growing companies

The Financial Times has published the complete list of the FT1000, the 1000 companies in Europe that have achieved the highest percentage growth in revenues between 2012 and 2015.

“The 1000 innovative and fast-growing companies — writes the Financial Times — are the driving force of the European economy in the 21st century. They generate jobs and sustain Europe’s competitiveness”.

 

Simmetrico Takes Italian Contents to China

Simmetrico’s ability to share Italian stories with the rest of the world by creating and producing formats for cultural communication has led to an agreement for a strategic cooperation with BroadMesse, a company based in Shanghai and Düsseldorf, which operates in the field of exhibitions, Expos, museums and new technologies.

The agreement was signed at the Modern Art Gallery in Shanghai by Dong Zhang, President of BroadMesse International Creative, and Francesca Tirotti, Simmetrico’s partner. Sun Liu, vice-minister of the Shanghai-Pudong Ministry of Communications, and Alberto Manai, Director of the Institute of Culture at the Italian Embassy in Shanghai, were also present at the ceremony. “The projects of Simmetrico Cultura, such as the ‘Pompeii Insight’ exhibition”, Alberto Manai stated in his speech, “undoubtedly represent an opportunity to promote cultural exchanges between the two nations”.