Monday, 22 March 2010

Social Value Groups

Although I knew society was divided into different categories, I was not aware that there were so many different levels!

Being introduced to certain demographic classification models, a basic understanding into the topic allowed to me think about how I could apply these to my class projects. Currently undertaking a project at the moment of restoring a house for a book conservator called Emma Fraser, I have found myself constantly in this project trying to think like the client. One way in which I have been doing this is by using massive A0 sheets of paper to basically let my mind run riot! Whenever an idea or thought comes into my head, it gets jotted down. Trying to understand the needs of my client has allowed me to try and remodel this house entirely based on thoughts and assumptions I have taken away from the client myself. This method has been particularly useful to me but it is important to realise that if this had been any other client, I may have had to undergone my thought process a little differently…

My crazy thoughts.

Looking at the model and the different groups that there is I would probably place the client in the traditionalist category (although it is hard to place her in any one category). Taking on board this new knowledge, I feel I was successfully able to identify the client as this label myself. Trying to incorporate original features with objects she has inherited herself, Emma strikes me as the sort of people who likes a mix of old and new…open to new design but comfortable with the old.

If say for example my client fell into the category of an Innovator, the design would change considerably. The characteristics of this person would be completely different and so the needs from the client would not require certain aspects that Emma needed. Described as ‘risk takers’, ‘setting own targets’ and ‘seeking new things’, the house could possibly take on an entirely different form and could be unrecognisable with a modern and abstract design to suit them. Ignoring some of the original features and replacing these with new and exciting concepts would provide the house with a modern makeover.

With a client falling into the Disconnected group in the table, the design again would be entirely different. Characteristics would include ‘detached’ ‘resentful’ and ‘ever present now’ and I sincerely hope I never have a client like this! For me this would be such a challenge to overcome but I suppose breaking down the characteristics and trying to apply them in certain ways to the design would be a challenge worth overcoming as undoubtedly you would have to leave your comfort zone and pick up many new techniques in this process.

It is important as designers to take into consideration clients needs and gain an understanding into their personality and the affects that will have on have on design. By trying to categorise your client, you are trying to fit them into a field that has characteristics that will hopefully be able to help aid you in your design process.

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