Combining elements of design and construction, retail design is a specialized practice within architecture and interior design. Incorporating elements of industrial design, graphic design, ergonomics, branding and advertising, retail design today is concerned with user experience, seeking to ultimately embed the encounter as a value separate from products or services purchased.

Heavy demands are placed on retail space. These spaces must be designed in a way that promotes positive shopping interaction, providing intuitive, dynamic spaces that facilitate successful exploration on the part of the consumer, leading to successful outcomes for both the customer and the retailer.

Experiential spaces take this idea even further. Experiential Interior Design provides spaces that motivate sales and elevate brand. By placing people at the center of the space and activity, these designs place emphasis on positive experiences. Incorporating hands-on participation in the design, these spaces emphasize doing, as part of – or all of – the primary component of interaction within the space. Consumers today are no longer passive entities. Studies show that Young Urban Professionals tend to consume entertainment and nightlife as a primary way of defining who they are and how they evaluate others. As a primary product, experience is many times valued over merchandise. This has given rise to retail-level cooking schools, do-it-yourself makerspaces and hacklabs, and other concepts. Spaces providing physical interaction are becoming the new retail destination. Forming relationships through experience, these venues fill a need in today’s retail environment that is broad and deep.