Experience Design can encompass a lot of things, but at the core you might say it’s about crafting a feeling. If your canvas for experience design is, say, a bridge, and you want to ignite the senses of one laying eyes on that bridge, you might shoot for “awe” as a feeling to engender. But that is a bit overdone, no?
The city of Trenton agreed when, in 1935, they designed the ultimate (and probably only) feeling of passive aggression ever to come from a bridge. The city inverted a phrase coined by state senator S. Roy Heath when they slapped on the side of the Lower Trenton Bridge for all the world to see: “TRENTON MAKES THE WORLD TAKES”
Spaced out just as it is here, with a few beats between “MAKES” and “THE” for dramatic (contemptuous?) effect*, and illuminated every evening, it was perhaps not the most forward thinking phrase for the city to adopt. Nonetheless it is still there; the words’ back turned to passing motorists escaping the city with loads of Trenton-built… well, we won’t rub it in. We know what it’s like to come from a former manufacturing hub.
Suffice to say, Trenton, that’s one unique example of experience design you’ve got going there.
Listen to more about the Lower Trenton Bridge here.
*Or, likely, out of engineering necessity…