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We enjoy our lives in many ways. GenslerOnLifestyle offers ideas and insights about how design can make leisure more accessible and enjoyable.

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Retail’s New Normal: Lessons from the International Retail Design Conference

Image © Gensler

A ping-pong table might seem like a curious addition to a shop that sells handbags, luggage and women’s accessories. But for the SoHo flagship store of Vera Bradley, it makes perfect sense. For starters, it speaks to the retailer’s roots: in the company’s early days, a basement ping-pong table served as a place to display patterns and fabrics. But the SoHo store’s familiar rec room accessory also speaks to Vera Bradley’s efforts to craft a memorable in-store experience, one that not only showcases their refreshed brand, but also offers an abundance of engagement. That’s why we also populated the company’s latest stores with imaginative displays of merchandise, installations by local artists and digital screens that post real-time social media content tied to the bags and accessories maker’s brand.

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The “Secret Sauce” of Restaurants: 10 Ingredients for Success

Atto Primo, Shanghai. Image © Gensler.

What makes the dining experience truly memorable? What creates the spark when you walk through the door, the ambiance once you’ve been seated at your table or the joy when you are served your first dish? Over the last 20 years, I’ve learned that restaurant design is an art. It’s never just one thing that makes a great restaurant memorable, but rather, it’s a combination of elements—from the finishes and fixtures down to the presentation of the food—that creates a meaningful experience and keeps guests coming back again and again.

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Outdoor Retailers Get Hands-On: Trends and Tips for Engagement

Timbuk2 prototype. Image © Gensler

The outdoor retail industry is consistently on the forefront of creating truly engaging shopping experiences. Leaders in the field have found ways to delight shoppers by aligning company values with the lifestyle and beliefs of the customer base. As a recent speaker at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Tradeshow in Salt Lake City, I experienced first-hand some of the latest trends taking hold in the world of outdoor retail.

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More Than a Transaction: Reaching Consumers Through Meaningful Experiences

Cadillac House. Photo: Eric Laignel.

The need for speed? I get it. We’re so busy with today’s pace of modern life that we typically look for the easiest solutions. With shopping, there’s more opportunity and acceptance for us to buy online and make our lives easier. But there is an inherent drawback to speed and convenience – a lack of the personal experience. Sure, flying over the Rocky Mountains at 500 miles per hour is efficient, but it’s not a great way to experience the beauty of a golden aspen grove, or the tingling sensation from dipping your toes into an ice-cold stream.

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Honoring Television’s Legacy, and Looking to Its Future

The Television Academy’s Saban Media Center. Image © Gensler.

This weekend, television honors the best in U.S. primetime programming in one of the industry’s biggest nights: the 2106 Emmy Awards on Sept. 20. The event also commemorates the Television Academy’s 70th Anniversary, highlighted by a new, modernized campus with a state-of-the-art theater and media center.

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