I came upon this post from the 37signals blog which amplifies some of the ideas I was discussing in my recent post about using the principles of Landscape Architecture in exhibit design. It’s a piece outlining ten design lessons from Frederick Law Olmsted, the founder of American landscape architecture and designer of classic iconic sites like Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY and Mount Royal in Montreal, QC. His ideas are very transferrable to other disciplines, in fact it seems to me that they have at least as much to do with visitor experience as they do with design.
Olmsted believed the goal wasn’t to make viewers see his work. It was to make them unaware of it. To him, the art was to conceal art. And the way to do this was to remove distractions and demands on the conscious mind. Viewers weren’t supposed to examine or analyze parts of the scene. They were supposed to be unaware of everything that was working.
A highly recommended and fascinating read for designers and non-designers alike.