And the thing is that people who aren't in architecture don't usually remember buildings or think of them as being memorable, but if there is a small detail that really stands out or just makes the building look different and new then most likely that person will remember it. And that is what architects and designers strive for, just that opportunity for people to look at the building the way they thought about it.
People usually remember the small details of buildings because that's how people can tell that the designer really put thought and time into it and made it into their work. So if the heart is in the details then that is where people need to start putting more focus, and I feel like that has been lost a bit in modern architecture.
When a person first walks up to a building the first thing they see is the general exterior and the entrance so it is a good idea to make sure you make these into memorable and thought out places.
Example: In this concept drawing you can see that for the entrance the designer made sure that it looked different and modern while also putting that sub conscience thought of the direction traffic should go. Making it a very thought out design that will actually serve a purpose.
Materials can do a lot more then make a place look nice, when you use a specific material like wood or concrete it sets an overall tone for the building or space, but if you detail it in a specific way you can change that tone to what you want people to feel. Such as if you are designing a house in the country and want it to feel homely and quiet you would probably use wood, but if you want to think about it in a deeper way you have to first think about where you want the wood to show and what type of wood you want. To think about it in a deeper manner you have to think about what kind of materials work best with wood and where to place it. When thinking about placing materials you cant just have it everywhere and go crazy you have to think where it best fits and where it will work best with the settings of that area.
You can see in this example that this is a good use of wood, you can see that they use the wood to accent the walls and stairs while its also not overpowering the room. Also the material and colour really works with the other materials in that room, making a very complimentary set of colours.