House of Wisdom: A new phygital library experience
House of Wisdom reinterprets the classic library, expanding it to a place for meeting, learning and growing. It brings together the design of physical spaces and phygital touchpoints.
House of Wisdom is a leading cultural destination dedicated to learning, knowledge, and technology that marks the UNESCO World Book Capital year for The Emirate of Sharjah.
Shurooq, the Sharjah Investment, and Development Authority, engaged with Injazat, an industry-recognized market leader in the GCC region for digital transformation, cloud, and cybersecurity, to transform their vision into reality.
Injazat turned to Alkemy and Design Group Italia to work together to design, create and implement an engaging set of “phygital” experiences integrating physical spaces and objects with digital interfaces and solutions.
They reimagined the traditional library for the 21st century. How could they turn the cultural institution, traditionally seen as a repository of physical books, into a holistic and seamless “phygital” experience?
The design of an integrated experience
Creating the House of Wisdom experience involved coordination and collaboration with an extraordinary number of outside partners, suppliers, and stakeholders from all over the world, a large and geographically dispersed ecosystem, in order to achieve project goals on schedule and budget.
This allowed the experience designers, spatial designers, and digital designers to collaborate closely with the technology team and the customer, delivering an efficient and flexible co-creation process.
A seamless, hybrid and omni-channel customer journey
DGI started with meticulous research, analysis, co-creation sessions, and workshops to find customer archetypes for House of Wisdom. These archetypes map out visitor characteristics, needs, and behaviors and served as the foundation for the omnichannel experience design work.
Building on the customer archetypes, the cross-disciplinary team designed a customer journey through the library’s different touchpoints and services to create a varied and enjoyable experience for guests. Rooted in the design strategy, the pillars of the House of Wisdom customer Journey were defined
For the spatial experience, the library was divided into experiential and functional zones: discover, focus, experiment, and play. They then identified the key moments of interaction and experiences for visitors in each area. The same vision, concept, and experience was then consistently applied across all touchpoints.
Curious to know about other companies designing phygital experiences? Head to the Interview with David Schwarz from HUSH.
The Fab Lab is a workshop equipped with 3D printers, a large-scale touch wall and other tools that allow visitors to create things. The shelves used as spatial dividers also serve as a gallery to display the projects created at the Fab Lab.
The kids’ area includes a soft play and reading area for younger children, a Fab Lab that serves as a stimulating and inspirational space to foster artistic, building, and crafting skills while hosting classes. It also includes an interactive kids’ table with educational games, a reading area, and a gift shop.
A human-centered digital experience
The digital experience created for House of Wisdom integrates seamlessly with the physical, bringing the library to life. Visitors can use their smartphones to interact with all touchpoints of the library.
The House of Wisdom app, allows visitors to access all the content, services, and experiences of the library. There are smart totems across the building for advanced book searches, bookings, order placements, and additional information through touchless, direct scans with QR codes.
Scalable technology to power the experience
The House of Wisdom relies on a single digital platform that connects all the various services: guests can book and pay for parking, borrow, and return books they can reserve a work pod, and control the lighting and aircon, all from the same app.
Discover other reinterpretations of the classic library, don’t miss Hunters Point Library – A block full of books surrounded by skyscrapers.