If you’ve been to an Ikea lately, you’ve experienced the pinnacle of what is called ‘scripted disorientation’, a technique used by architects to make you more vulnerable to impulse buying. Professor Alan Penn of University College London says that after just fifteen minutes in an Ikea showroom, “you have absolutely do idea where you are.” And by the time you get to the check out, you’ve probably bought 60 percent more than you intended.
What’s the Big Idea?
A billion-dollar industry is likely behind the design of a shopping mall near you, where every detail is mastered to make you buy more. Shoppers typically enter through a ‘decompression zone’ which is free of any stimulus and intended to acclimate you to the buying atmosphere. Large interior spaces are designed to ricochet sound so the relative quiet of a store is more inviting. Once in a store, you will find all the deals immediately to your right, what the industry calls ‘the invariable right’, which is the direction people usually turn.