TOTAL EXPERIENCE explores designing for experience: its theory, its practice, and how designing for experiences affects us socially and in our personal lives.


  • Bob Jacobson
  • Paula Thornton
  • BOB JACOBSON is fascinated by the experience of experience. A planner and technologist, Bob has a Ph.D. in Urban Planning & Design from UCLA. He's been a policy researcher, technology CEO, science writer, and consultant. As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied cellular telephony's impacts on transborder communities in the Nordic Arctic Circle. Bob edited Information Design (MIT Press 2000) and is now writing a book on the theory and practice of creating edifying, transformative experiences.
    ( Archive | Contact Bob )
    CORANTE PAULA THORNTON says, "Understanding human behavior (economics), optimizing interactions (design) and facilitating conversations (markets), are the means to achieve strategic differentiation. This is the focus of our discipline. It is not a 'nice to have'‚ and is not, like documentation once was, an afterthought. It is the means by which to start a strategic discussion and the means by which to drive a tactical initiative. All design should be evidence-based."
    ( Archive | Contact Paula ) >

    (Courtesy of Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia SpA, Torino)

    Experience Design Websites
    Core 77 Website & Forum
    Business Week|Innovate
    InfoD: Understsanding by Design
    The Wayfinding Place
    Wayfinding Focus
    Design Addict
    L-ARCH (Landscape Architecture Mailing List)
    DUX 2007 Conference
    Digital Thread
    Enmeshed, Digital Arts & New Media
    Ludology (Game Playing Theory)
    Captology, Persuasive Computing
    Space and Culture
    Raskin Center for Humane Interfaces
    timet (acoustical design)
    Steve Portigal, Ethnographer
    Jane McGonigal's Avant Game
    Ted Wells' living : simple
    PingMag (Japan)

    Experience Design Blogs
    Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
    Experience Designer Network (Brian Alger)
    SmartSpace: Annotated Environments (Scott Smith)
    Don Norman
    Doors of Perception (John Thackara)
    Karl Long's Experience Curve
    Work•Play•Experience (Adam Lawrence)
    The David Report (David Carlson)
    Design & Emotion (Marco van Hout)
    Museum 2.0 (Nina Simon)
    B J Fogg
    Lorenzo Brusci (acoustics)
    Cool Town Studios
    Steve Portigal
    Debbie Millman
    MIT Culture Convergence Consortium
    Luke Wroblewski, Functioning Form|Interface Design
    Adam Richardson
    Putting People First (Paul Vanderbeeken/Experientia
    Laws of Simplicity (John Maeda)
    Challis Hodge's UX Blog
    Anne Galloways's Purse Lips Square Jaw
    Bruno Giussani's Lunch over IP
    Jane McGonigal's Avant-Game The Future of Work

    Experience Design Podcasts
    Ted Wells' living : simple Podcast
    Design Matters Podcast, Debbie Millman
    Icon-o-Cast Podcast, Lunar Design

    Experience Design Firms and ED-Oriented Manufacturers
    Barry Howard Limited
    Hilary Cottam
    LRA Worldwide, Inc.
    BRC Imagination Arts
    Stone Mantel
    Experientia s.r.l
    Herman Miller
    Cooper Interactive Design
    Doblin Group
    Fit Associates
    Strategic Horizons LLC (Joe Pine & Jim Gilmore)
    Cheskin Fresh Perspectives

    Education and Advocacy
    Centre for Design Research, Northumbria University (UK)
    Center for Design Research, Stanford University
    International Institute of Information Design (IIID)
    Design Management Institute
    Interaction Institute IVREA
    Design Research Institute (UK)
    UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Design Research
    History of Consciousness, UCSC
    Design News Magazine
    Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD)
    Design Museum London
    Center for Sustainable Design
    Horizon Zero, Digital Arts+Culture in Canada
    Design Council UK
    First Monday

    Total Experience on Technorati
    Technorati Profile

    Get Camino!
    In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

    Total Experience

    « It's Nature's Way | Main | TUESDAY: Bay Area "User Experience" Gathering, Tuesday, Oct 12, Stanford U. »

    October 9, 2004

    Gate 3 WorkClub redefines the meaning of the "workplace"

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    Posted by Bob Jacobson

    Gate3logo.gifWhen the Gate 3 WorkClub opened its doors this week in Emeryville, CA, it dramatically redefined my notion of a "workplace," combining modernitywith the expert community character of a guild hall. Work may be work, but for WorkClub proprietor Neil Goldberg, an award-winning industrial designer who once worked for Herman Miller and led the influential Praxis Design, work can be a medium for personal growth and expression. Work that occurs in a designed environment can itself be a desirable experience.

    Earlier this year I partnered with Neil, Gate 3 director Amy Catalano, Drs. Charlie Grantham and Jim Ware from The Future of Work Foundation, and Garrett Choi, now VP Engineering at BeHere, Inc. At the time, Neil was coming to grips with the reality that when he shut down his design firm, he became the owner of a large, empty building. Within a few weeks, however, led by Neil, we managed to come up with the rough outlines of what would become the Best Place in the World to Work.

    Gate-3-1.jpgWhat makes WorkClub such a likely success? Design. Design of space. Design of functions. Design of process. Every aspect of the Gate 3 experience has been intentionally crafted to enhance the quality of worktime spent at Gate 3.

    For example, as a "WorkClub," Gate 3 has Members (rather than renters) who can adjust their use of the facilities to suit their working style and requirements. The building is divided vertically and laterally to create varied functional and physical properties for each "region" within the Gate 3 building. For example, on the second floor where most work takes place, baffles, telephone booths, and various wall design make for a quieter ambience, the further one walks from front to back. Silence is the property at the end. Lighting, too, is handled with aplomb.

    Gate3-3.jpgGate 3 has three environmental layers that correspond with each other and which serve to satisfy WorkClub members' multiple requirements.

    The Infrastructure. Building, lighting, acoustics, furniture. It helps
    that Herman Miller is Neil's former employer and a sponsor of Gate 3.

    IT Services, the "Virtual Office." Telecommunications, technology,
    networks, wireless, computer and video applications.

    Human Milieu. A constant stream of facilitated activities: workshops,
    lectures, presentations, brainstorms, guest speakers, the Cafe. A Gate 3
    facilitator arranges and manages these interactions.

    Gate3-2.jpgIt's the interaction of these three experiential strata that makes Gate 3 such an intriguing experiment in redesigning the workplace and the experience of work, perhaps the most significant advance since the invention of the assembly line. The challenge now is for Neil and Amy to spread the word and attract the necessary critical mass that will determine Gate 3's viability. If WorkClub Emeryville succeeds, expect to see others elsewhere, put together quickly and with a clear vision of an unbounded, global work environment that serves the people who labor within.

    I'm meeting with Gate 3 innovator Neil Goldberg later this month for a full report. Send your questions for Neil and his team to me now.

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