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HOK’s Bill Johnson Discusses Experiential Design and Next-Generation Stadiums

Bill Johnson HOK

The Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD) interviewed HOK’s Bill Johnson on how experiential graphic design shapes the stadium experience.

Excerpted from SEGD:

Bill Johnson, design principal for HOK’s Kansas City and Columbus practices and a recognized leader in the design of sports facilities says, “assuring a memorable game-day experience is driving the early integration of experiential design thinking into stadium architecture.”

Johnson is the lead designer of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the new home of the Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United, set to open in fall 2017. The stadium is already getting attention for its architectural features, including a retractable roof made of a clear, lightweight polymer that adjust its opacity to control light, exterior walls that allow views to the outside, and flexible seating. The stadium also, says Johnson, “sets the bar high in terms of experiential graphic design.”

HOK has helped to pioneer 3D and digital environmental graphics in thematic environments like Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Dolphins’ Stadium and Rogers Place. HOK strives to integrate space and message. The firm has witnessed an evolution of the fan experience and graphic design for built environments.

Johnson says, “We’re using experiential graphics in all our projects, Dolphins’ Stadium included, to stimulate an environment and communicate a brand identity. People expect to interact with graphics. There’s a paradigm shift away from pure advertising and toward creating an experience that ties into the quality of the franchise or the event the fans have come to see, and the vitality that fans have come to expect.”

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