Does/is Retail Design Need to change?

Retail design creativity has to be driven by new innovative technological thinking. I’ve recently been considering the retail design situation in the high street and many recurring shopping centres. It’s becoming too static. Samey. New shopping centres like Westfield are regurgitating the same look and feel, and the same shopfits. Flagship has become roll out, or visa versa.

We work on Retail design and delivery in my agency, approving new shop designs in shopping centres all over the country. A common problem is that landlords are desperate to get big brands in to shopping centres and whilst they want the best look for their malls in terms of shop design, they do not want to rock the boat so much by demanding more elaborate, show stopping designs that results in tenants deciding to opt out. But as brand guardians, is of course our desire to see thought provoking or jaw dropping design. Read More…

London Olympic Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

The elegant and dynamic form of the Velodrome was the first stadium to be completed in Stratford’s Olympic Village. It has since won awards for its design and sustainability, the latter in particular is something designers Hopkins Architects are very proud of.

The venue cleverly makes use of natural light in the form of a glass band that runs around the entire building connecting the athletes inside to the visitors in the Olympic Park outside. The same glass band ‘props up’ the beautiful curved facade of the building, clad in Western red cedar. The architects claim sustainability over beauty, was the driving factor in their design. But for me the timber clad facade is a sculptural masterpiece.  Read More…

Nike + House of Innovation in Selfridges, London

Another day, another pop-up store by Nike. This time in Selfridges, London. The shop is more aligned with the fuel station concept of Box Park, showcasing  the brands latest digitally enabled products.

A series of events hosted by Nike’s global director for the Olympics, Martin Lotti, demonstrate the latest innovations to be used during the London 2012 Olympic games. Again the space is not so much about the display of physical product and is more so focused on multi channel and digital interventions to tell the brands latest story. Read More…

London Aquatic Centre by Zaha Hadid

If i designed such a magnificent building to host a sporting event watched by the public and then didn’t receive a single invitation or ticket to said sporting event I would be less than impressed.

The building has recently found its way back in to the news, not because the olympics start in less than 24 hours time, but sadly for the wrong reasons….Dezeen recently reported that a dispute has occured between LOCOG and the award winning architect over 600 tickets that have been sold to spectators that will have restricted views of the top diving board events.

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ICE CREAM & Billionaire Boys Club store by Wonderwall

Ok, so here’s a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s Billionaire Boys Club (BBC), brand design by Pharrell Williams, store design by Wonderwall. I’ve always loved the brand even though I would look absurd in their clothes. I owned and wore (very badly) one of their T-shirts when I was at Uni.

This particular store design in Hong Kong is comical, split between Ice Cream, over two floors and a further two floors above dedicated to the BBC brand. It looks like Disney land to me, I know I shouldn’t like it but i do. Read More…

Nike Pop-Up Liberty, London

Nike are one of the many pop-up shops appearing around London in preperation for the Olympics. The brand have recently acquired a beautiful atrium space in Liberty, London.

Their pop-up is perfectly fitting for the Liberty’s customer and the surrounding architecture. It has elegance and grace in the form of ornately detailed balloons that spiral up through the atrium. It juxtaposes the store interestingly however with the use of premium materials and illuminated feature walls behind bespoke contemporary/traditional furniture. Read More…

Papabubble candy shop, Yokohama, Japan

I love this, another example of Japanese store design that takes its inspiration from Wonderwall’s design. This time in the form of an artisan candy shop in Yokohama, by Yuseke Seki.

The offer is caramel artesans, all made made by hand, the design of the store celebrates the process of making candy in a laboratory like setting. The store has a low ceiling and is low lit to give a dramatic feel. It is documented that each of the other stores in Japan and across the world is set up with the same laboratory look and feel. But it is the Yokohama branch that is the first design led store.  Read More…