"Alan Penn, director of the Virtual Reality Centre for the Built Environment at University College London, has come to a conclusion that Ikea stores are 'designed just like a maze'. In doing so he's given scholarly validation to a feeling that will have occurred to many shoppers as they blunder around the blue and yellow hangar looking for a new TV unit only to emerge with two candles, a wok and a bottle of lingonberry cordial.
Penn went on to suggest that it was Ikea's strategy to keep customers inside the store for the maximum time possible. They achieve this by setting a route round the store from which it's difficult to deviate. Taking the shortcuts (which are only there to conform with fire regulations) often leaves you adrift in a sea of lampshades.
The effect is to boost impulse purchases. See a coathanger, and you might buy 'because the layout is so confusing you know you won't be able to go back and get it later'."
(Ian Tucker, 30 January 2011, The Observer, Guardian News and Media Limited)
"Psychogeography is hot. Guy Debord, founding member of Situationist International and the man who coined the term in 1955, defined the phenomenon as 'the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals'. In fact, psychogeography is the art of strolling, or just about anything that gets pedestrians off their predictable paths and leads them to a new awareness of the urban landscape. Recently we've seen a remarkable psychogeographic revival driven by several artistic urban projects and smartphone applications."
(Jeroen Beekmans, 4 January 2012, The Pop-Up City)
The map shows European cities linked through transport routes flown by the Czechoslovakia Air Transport Company in 1933. Each city is represented as a node within the larger web travel destinations. The map provides a compelling demonstration of the value of well-considered information design.