04.08.2022

The Power of Nostalgic Spaces

Louis Vuitton’s SS2023 runway design taps into a collective sense of nostalgia and our own subjective memories of childhood (image credit: Dezeen)

Studies show that Customers who have an emotional relationship with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value (source: Motista)  – they’re going to be loyal, more likely to be an advocate for the brand and will generate repeat business over a long period.

 

 

An all important question for brands then, is how to create an emotional connection with their customers, and even more importantly for us as an agency, how to create spaces that reinforce this connection.

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, and one that affects us as humans on both an individual and a collective level. We all have highly personal, unique memories from our past, but also share a response to visual stimuluses that are broadly universal.  Why do all those liminal spaces’ pictures taking the internet by storm feel so weirdly familiar?

Literally appealing to our inner child, The  primary colours and geometric forms popularised by playgrounds, early school and children’s toys featured in the nostalgic design of  Louis Vuitton’s SS2023 runway taps into a collective sense of nostalgia, while triggering our own subjective memories of childhood.

 

Louis Vuitton’s SS2023 runway design taps into a collective sense of nostalgia, while triggering our own subjective memories of childhood.

Similarly, Basehall Food court in Hong Kong subtly evokes a feeling of nostalgia by loosely using format we will all find familiar, such as a canteen style seating area reminiscent of a school, university or generic diner. In combination with retro detailing from the 1970’s, the spaces merges both personal and societal ‘nostalgia’ to feel simultaneously familiar, yet entirely new – a sweet spot for hospitality design.

Basehall food court is simultaneously familiar, yet entirely new – a sweet spot for hospitality design.

We used a combination of reimagined art-deco design details taken from the 1920’s combined with an environment evocative of shared memories from childhood (taking a train, having an ice-cream) to inform our whimsical and nostalgic design for desert parlour, Milk Train, and transform the café into a dreamlike escape.

A combination of art-deco design details and shared memories informed our design for Milk Train café.

Using design styles purely from the past beyond our own experience can be just as emotionally impactful, encouraging the customer to take part in a version of historical or fantastical roleplay.

Cubitt’s eyewear store reimagines an idealised past for an intensely romantic retail experience, and Christian Louboutin’s experiential pop-up ‘Loubi’s on the Beach’  at Selfridges is a celebration of a sun soaked retro-glamour notion of summertime that customers are encouraged to participate in.

Cubitts Leeds store reimagines the past for an intensely romantic retail experience.
'Loubi's on the Beach' is a celebration of a sun soaked retro-glamour notion of summertime that customers are encouraged to participate in.