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The Digital World is Changing How We View Scale

By Craig Janssen

The past 20 years of venue design have been defined by the values of a broadcast world. We can see it in the size of venues. Scale matters. Think ratings. You need a “big hit” to make things commercially viable.

But in a digital world, you can connect at a smaller scale. Accessibility becomes important.

As our culture moves from broadcast thinking to digital thinking, we are seeing the desire for an accessible user-defined experience over the large-scale “one-size-fits-all” that has shaped the past two decades.


This is good news for clients (after all, BIG gets expensive), but it requires different thinking to the types of planning and technology that have gone before.  If clients follow their competition, they will find themselves in a “bigger is better” technology arms race; however, if clients follow the culture, they will find that the scale of the technology isn’t nearly as important as who controls the experience.

The experience has moved from presentational to interactive and is evolving again to user-defined.

Augmented reality technology, handheld apps, and RFID are allowing individuals to have a customized experience. And new technology combined with people culturally wired to use it requires new business models. (Because the old ones stop working.)

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