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Social Sciences
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Whole Earth Festival (Essay Sample)


 “Design Aesthetics and Experience”


Before you begin

This project was conceived to build on the multi-sensory and narrative assessment project you associated with the Whole Earth Festival. Please check the website, and imagine you were there and experienced it.


1. https://wef(dot)ucdavis(dot)edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2015-WEF-PROGRAM-FINAL21.pdf

2. https://wef(dot)ucdavis(dot)edu/#activities

3. http://www(dot)yelp(dot)com/biz/whole-earth-festival-davis-2


Part I

Using the 10 points in “Analyzing and Redesigning a Designed Experience,” below, respond to each of the 10 points with your analysis and ideas for redesign.

. Your responses do not have to be in complete sentences for part I.


Part II

Then, in an essay, discuss your plan for redesigning the experience you have analyzed. Organize your thoughts around the idea (argument) that the experience needs and deserves a redesign. Your responses do have to be in complete sentences for part II, although your essay may include a bullet-point list of ideas in addition to more formal sentences.



To make this assignment easier you would do well to anticipate who your audience might be, and write it as if it were one of the following:

  • a business pitch to the organizers of the event or managers of the experience;
  • a newspaper editorial;


Analyzing and Redesigning a Designed Experience adapted from the writings of theme park designer Scott Lukas


Analyzing a Designed Experience

1. Sense of authenticity

  • What elements of this experience give it a sense of authenticity?
  • What makes it a distinct and “authentic” experience (in John Dewey’s sense, perhaps) despite the designed or "constructed" nature of the experience?


2. Sense of history

  • How is memory embedded in the experience?
  • What elements of this event and its identity trigger memory-making or retelling?
  • How does the identity of the event or experience lend itself to being recalled, later?
  • Hint: this can occur through sensory stimuli; through the desire to tell stories about the experience; or through objects one takes away from an experience ~ souvenirs.)


3. Total immersion

  • Does the experience offer full sensory engagement?


4. Sense of mystery & the unknown

  • Does the experience leave you wanting to return, as if there might be something more to be discovered? If you were to repeat the experience, might it differ in unknown (but likely positive) ways?


5. Uniqueness

  • Does the experience have its own distinct "voice," identity, look, or feel?



Redesigning the Experience


1. Sense of authenticity

  • What might be done to give the experience a greater sense of authenticity?


2. Sense of history

  • How might the experience be redesigned to increase the ways it promotes memories?
  • What kinds of objects or souvenirs might do this?
  • How might stories about the experience be triggered through other means (social interactions or social media, for instance)?


3. Total immersion

  • How might the experience be redesigned to offer fuller or better sensory engagement?


4. Sense of mystery & the unknown

  • What should be done to encourage repeat visitors to the experience?
  • Where and how might a sense of mystery be added?


5. Uniqueness

  • What else could be done to give the experience its own distinct "voice," identity, look, or feel?
Whole Earth Festival
Analyzing a designed experience
The mixer of the different arts, music, foods and the food courts from the different cultures and times in America is thrilling and largely authentic
One of the elements that make the experience one of the most authentic as John Dewey would consider relative to authentic pedagogy is the fact that there are recycling ventures that based on volunteer efforts. All the garbage that is dumped all over the compound is later sorted in light of environmental conservation.
Memory of the experiences is embedded, relative to the breath taking musical performances, the arts and the foods at the various stands
The uniqueness of the various activities at the event and their social and historical significance trigger memory making
The identity of the event and the experiences lend it to be recalled as there are special performances from renowned artists and the timing of the event on the weekend of mother's day, which is a significant event or day in the calendar
The experience offers full sensory engagement from the tastes of the organic foods, the music and the general atmosphere that is created by the visual arts at the various stands
The experience has an element of giving one a reason to go back again, relative to the fact that there are always different groups presenting their art and works. If the experience is repeated, I would take the time to experience new events and performances at the fair and try to take in as much experience as possible especially aspects that I can replicate such as foods and art
It is one of the events that has maintained an eccentric look, identity and feel despite the fact that it more than fifty years old
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