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Design to revitalize the decaying nightclub industry.

MA 22/23
Nightlife, Clubbing, Electronic Dance Music, Youth Culture, Social Wellbeing

As one of the UK's top economic contributors, the number of nightclubs has halved since 2019. This severe decay of the nightclub industry is a massive blow to the economy and negatively impacts the society, leading to the loss of social cohesion, decreased social well-being, and neglect of creative culture.

This project aims to learn from the evolution of the nightclub industry, explore and innovative new clubbing experiences, break down mental barriers for the non-club-goers, and at the same time preserve the timeless, core values.

As the project output, our goal is to expand the nightclub’s services by tailoring to the needs of the post-pandemic generation in order to attract and engage a broader audience, revitalizing the nightclub industry.

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Nightclub - A Decaying Industry

Originated from New York in the 1840s-1850s, Nightclub is a night time entertainment providing music, dancing and often alcoholic beverages for patrons to enjoy. It is a night time entertainment providing music, dancing and often alcoholic beverages for patrons to enjoy.

Nighttime entertainment is one of the 5 largest sectors contributing to the UK economy, providing a huge £36.4 billion and 425,000 jobs. In addition, it is also an industry that brings people together, build communities, inspire creative artists, and provides a space for people to express their identities. However, the Government underestimates the importance of the sector, and the society in general has limited knowledge of its value, particularly its value outside of simple economics. 


#1 Survivorship bias marginalizes the need for safety in the industry.

Safety concerns will stop one from going clubbing only when something has happened to the person or people around that person.

This bias can lead to a disregard for potential safety risks and a failure to implement necessary precautions.

#2 When shifting from subculture, non-commercial formats to mainstream, commercial formats, the social contract within the ecosystem is renegotiated.

The shift may involve a shift from niche or underground music genres to more commercially popular ones, and a potentially broader demographic of attendees.

Consequently, the social contract also transforms by redefining the mutual expectations and responsibilities within the community.

People go clubbing with different purposes, but they will interact with each other in the nightclub, which may result in unwanted interactions and unmatched intentions.

#3 The upcoming generations have different expectations and needs.

  • Gen Z have a more varied relationship with alcohol. They are the "most sober" generation - the most likely not to drink alcohol at all (28%, Mintel 2022). Meanwhile, over a third (36%) of 18-25 year olds often go to pubs/bars for a drink to spend time with their friends, and 59% enjoy drinking alcohol (Mintel).
  • Gen Z are the most health-conscious generation. 69% of Gen Z that say a good selection of low/non-alcoholic drinks would encourage them to visit a particular pub/bar (Mintel)
  • More people want competitive socialization. Competitive socializing concepts have grown 386% since the beginning of 2021 (Cushman & Wakefield). 59% of 18-24 year olds taking part in a social entertainment game in the month to February 2023 (Mintel).
  • Gen Z want something that they can share on social media. 54% of Gen Z consumers spend at least four hours a day on social media (Morning Consult, 2022). Being able to impress others with their nights out is just as important as the actual activities themselves.

#4 Values are under-looked by the government and the culture is not recognized by the public.

There has been a lack of consideration and no direct support towards the industry, which has accelerated the decay under severe inflation.

Through expert interviews, user interviews, and co-creation workshop, we have narrowed down our design direction and come up with a new How Might We Statement.


How might we ensure financial sustainabilities and preserve the core values of nightclubs in the UK by integrating new technologies and possibilities to cater to the needs of the post-pandemic generation?


Final Outcome

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