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The Place of Leisure in the Flow of Life

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Leisure is part of the flow—or the blur, some might say—of our lives, as we improvise and navigate amid online prompts and the push and pull of real places and experiences.

Our latest edition of Dialogue, “Dialogue 29: Talking about … The Place of Leisure in the Flow of Life,” examines this idea, focusing on the trends impacting the Lifestyle sector and beyond. The issue looks at the boundary conditions people negotiate as they move through their daily lives, and how leisure’s places draw people in and bring their experiences to life.

Debuting a new-look digital format, the issue explores several topics, such as how retail in an era of social media is becoming more of a mediated experience; how mixed-use developments are taking the form of destinations; how airports are taking a cue from hospitality; and how sports teams are adding amenities to enrich the game-day experience.

As people embrace their iHumanity, categories like luxury come into question. In the roundtable, “Living the Transitional Lifestyle,” four experts weigh in on the question, “Where’s lifestyle headed next?” In this discussion, Karina Marshall, VP on the trends and futures team at The Futures Company, says that the notion of convenience, which used to be about making things faster and easier, is giving way to the concept of flow—“a flow that facilitates consumers’ lives.”

Kevin Roche, SVP, global design and construction of DFS Group, points out that part of flow is the way things connect to your life. For example, being able to hear your playlist anywhere, anytime has become a real luxury, yet it’s something that’s widely available. “Design is at the center of that,” he says. “When you have access to something so desirable, accessible, and beautifully thought out, you understand it as luxury.”

While leisure is increasingly about flow, it’s also about experience—both in physical places and virtual experiences, which often coincide simultaneously. The issue takes a look at Gensler’s research into factors that impact experiential design. That topic—capturing and quantifying the impact that design has on the customer experience—is new, uncharted territory, as Christine Barber, Gensler’s director of research, asserts. It also raises questions about what designers should be focusing on, and where they should be headed next.

Explore the new Dialogue here.

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