10 Questions With... Chris Livaudais02 November 2016
At the Eastman Innovation Lab we look to our fellow design and materials experts for inspiration, community, and expertise. In order to get to know them and their projects better, we created a column called Ten Questions With...
Chris Livaudais is the Creative Director for InReality. With experience in both industrial design at HOBBS Architectural Fountains and graphic design at Safety Research Corporation of America, Chris’s new role in service design gives him the unique opportunity to influence the outcome of the projects on all levels. Chris is a natural leader as the IDSA Board South District Vice President: 2015-2017
What is your company known for?
InReality is a customer experience innovation company. We primarily work in retail helping brands present their products in retail in the best way possible. This includes a lot of different customer touch points of the physical space you’re in, the displays and the signage that you see, the digital things you might have on your phone or in the retail space. We help align all these things for customers to have a seamless retail experience.
What is the next project or product that you’d be most excited to explore?
We like the idea of responsive environments, using sensors and other types of technology to respond to people going through a space in an unobtrusive way. The person is presented with just one complete experience without knowing that they were going from Point A to Point B to Point C.
What themes do you find yourself addressing over and over again?
Probably clarity of information. In retail we take into consideration how people are shopping and where they start shopping. Is it online? Do they go to the store? Do they talk to a friend first? We try to crack that nut and use that information to optimize the customer experience.
How do materials matter to you?
Materials and colors play a huge role in how a person perceives the space they’re in and also how a brand is presented in a certain way. There are often walls, floors, lighting and other elements within the space to break it up so that you can feel a different emotion going from room A to room B.
Who’s doing work that you find inspiring?
The Dolby’s new offices! There is amazing art and interactive elements throughout the entire office. From a designer’s point of view it’s amazing. It’s open and is a great collaborative space. That’s what you’d want out of an office building.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Be there and listen! I remember going to these conferences when I was in school and not quite understanding why I was there and what I was doing. Now, I would tell myself to take advantage of those moments. You’re in a room with some of the best designers in the world and for you not to try to take hold of those moments is silly.
What technology gets you excited?
Sensors and touch screens. It allows new types of interaction that people are becoming more familiar with.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you deal with it?
Communicating our design. We’re trying to take ideas out of our head which are supposed to answer the client’s request. That process and storytelling is a challenge, but when it’s done right it’s extremely rewarding.
What’s something you’d like to get better at?
What’s your go to reference book?
Coffee or tea?
Droid or OS?
Kindle or a book?
Sketch or render?