In our latest blog post, Brewer Smith Brewer Group (BSBG) Group Design Director Michael Lewis shares his thoughts on creating architecture and spaces designed to accommodate this generation’s favourite new pastime: spending precious leisure time in meaningful ways, learning while having fun and socialising; having consequential experiences of substance through edutainment.
Edutainment, as the name alludes to, is a combination of certain aspects of entertainment with educational, creative experiences that seek to improve knowledge, add value and make learning pleasurable and engaging.
The world’s foremost museums, galleries and leisure spaces are experiencing a renaissance with the repositioning and incorporation of hands-on interactive learning installations. Edutainment is now found in domains that were once exclusively the reserve of recreational pursuits.
“Many factors underlie the ascent of edutainment,” Michael Lewis says. “There is an increased demand for meaningful experiences. As a global population we are more educated than at any point in human history, and are focused on the importance of spending our time on activities that add value to our lives.”
What is also clear is that people are willing to pay for these tactile educational experiences. As Michael says: “When we look at the UAE, some of our biggest attractions are fundamentally anchored in edutainment.”
Indeed, The Dubai Mall Aquarium, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World on Yas Island and the Museum of Illusions are hugely popular attractions in the UAE, and are all established mainstays of the culture of learning, which is intentionally made so visible across the country. And now, Michael says, it seems the growing appetite for the provision of unique learning experiences will herald the introduction of further edutainment destinations anchored within mixed use developments, to create diverse and thoughtful placemaking projects.
“An understanding of what makes a successful and sustainable edutainment project really begins with developing our knowledge of how people interact with space in a way that’s both fun and engaging.
“Brands are realising the potential in experiential design; in mixing retail, entertainment and education to attract and activate spaces. For certain, the developments of the future will need to be agile, flexible, diverse and intermixed, but most of all authentic, to appeal to a wider audience who are digitally engaged and whose most prized use of time will be to gain knowledge and derive value from every living moment. The challenges that brings are likely to determine how we approach design holistically, not only when creating purpose-built edutainment venues, but within all projects that are driven with the core value of presenting a valuable experience.”