Category Archives: SOME PLACE

BOMPAS & PARR- Jelly Making Fun Times

I am a BIG Bompas & Parr fan.  I love their fun (most important!), accessible, eccentric and ‘skies the limit’ approach to the experiences they organise/collaborate on, so when their newsletter popped into my inbox saying they were opening their HQ doors for a Jelly Making Workshop, I got straight on that!  Jelly making fun aside, I was really curious to see their set up- to get more of an idea of what happens behind the scenes…

I loved having a snoop around their studios, and workshop where they experiment with a lot of their mould creation….

Bompas and Parr Design Devotee Mould selection

Some of the moulds in the studio.

Bompas and Parr Design Devotee Replica Iguana Dinosaur

Check out this replica iguana-esque dinosaur from The Dinosaur Court at Crystal Palace just casually hanging around on top of the cupboard.

….I also had a go on their vac form machine to create my own mould…

Bompas and Parr Design Devotee Vac Forming

Flashback to CDT classes!

…We learnt some of the tricks to their previous experiences….

Bompas and Parr Design Devotee

The luminous dye in the glass was used on their Chromatopsia installation.

…and in the kitchen we had a go at making all sorts of jelly concoctions with various techniques from Elderflower, Prosecco & Raspberry Jelly…

Bompas and Parr Design Devotee Elderflower and Prosecco Jelly

My favourite- so tasty!

…layering into a Clementine, marbling with campari and orange jelly…

Bompas and parr Design Devotee Jelly

…dabbling with some gold leaf, and then at the end, having full reign of the store cupboard ingredients to make whichever flavour we wanted.  Who knew a Dark & Stormy could be made into a jelly with a gold leaf top?  Pretty good though!

I don’t really want to go into too much detail about what surprises are in store for you if you sign up for the course.  All I will say is, apart from jelly and mould making, you should expect a lot of fun, and you may be treated to pickles with magic properties, alcoholic wind, and jelly matter explosions!  If you are interested in the workshop, snap up your place fast next time it’s advertised, as the next two sessions are already fully booked!

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H&M ‘Go Gold’ Limited Edition- Window & In-store display

Today I headed to Oxford Street to do some product spotting for my future Valentine’s post and I walked past this H&M window…

h and m limited collection window

h and m limited collection window 2

It’s just foamboard cut into different sized triangles which interlock together, but I think it’s stunning!  The random gold vinyl triangles really help highlight the structure as well as linking in with the ‘Go Gold’ Limited Edition tagline.  I’m constantly impressed with the work the H&M visual team do with this store.  The shop is slap bang in the middle of Oxford Circus competing with the likes of Topshop and Nike who are known for having strong windows, but H&M always manage to keep it fresh but still within their brand identity.  The windows change frequently, they’re not overly complicated but they always get maximum impact.  Here are some more pics showing close ups, and how they carried this feature in-store highlighting the ‘Go Gold’ Limited Edition collection area.

h and m limited collection window collection

h and m limited collection instore feature 2

h and m limited collection instore feature

h and m limited collection instore closeup

h and m column with gold vinyl

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Personal POP!

Yesterday I went to the Barbicans Pop Art Design exhibition and, as usual, the Barbican definitely didn’t disappoint.  Pop Art is one of the more fun approachable art genres so I would definitely recommend people go visit the exhibition whether you’re familiar with Pop Art or not.  It’s on until 9th February 2014- plenty of time!  Perfect to brighten up dreary winter afternoons!

There were many artworks that I loved, but one of the stand out exhibits was actually a small flat packed paper jewellery kit by Wendy Ramshaw and David Watkins.

WENDY RAMSHAW AND DAVID WATKINS PAPER JEWELLERY KIT

It was exactly that- a paper kit which you assembled together to make pyramid form earrings.  I just thought it was quite a different idea for jewellery- it’s not often you buy a piece of mass produced jewellery which you then have to assemble yourself.  It made me wonder if perhaps the consumers had a greater sense of ownership because they had been part of the assembly process, even though it was such a disposable item especially being made out of paper.  It got me thinking about mass production today, and how more and more products are being developed so that the owner can put their own stamp on it- yeah I bought this flat packed bit of kit, but look how I’ve made it my own…

People went crazy when Habitat launched Tord Boontjes ‘Garland’.  Such a simple, decorative, and affordable lamp shade alternative that gives consumers creative power to create their own lampshade form and talking point in their home.  They can stick with just the one garland, add another one on, mix up the metal colours- quite a few options and a reasonable price.

tord boontje garland close up tord boontje garland

‘Cloud’ by the Bouroullec brothers was created for Danish textile manufacturer Kvadrat.  The textile segments can be easily clipped together to create a wall mounted feature or surface or a ceiling hung space divider.  Apart from the restrictions of the colour palette and the amount of segments the consumer ‘the system’s infinite possibilities offer complete freedom in creating customised pieces’.

bouroullec clouds 3bouroullec clouds 5bouroullec clouds 1

Luckies Scratch off World Map may not be as high tech as some of the Bouroullec brothers projects, but it’s a really fun gift.  The idea is that the owner scratches off where they have been in the world revealing the coloured in country beneath the gold scratch off surface.  Despite it being a mass produced item, by the time the consumer has interacted with it, every one will be different, and it tells a personal story.

 luckies scratch off mapluckies scratch off map 2

Stories could be told with this fairytale like, slightly surreal magnetic wallpaper by Sian Zeng.  The woodland pattern wallpaper comes with a pack of magnetic creature characters and speech bubbles to stick to the wall wherever you like.  It is £248 per roll (including characters and the receptive liner needed to create the magnetic surface) so it is more pricey than your average kids bedroom wallpaper so you’re definitely paying for the personal interaction.   The woodland pattern wallpaper is available to buy on its own as a non-magnetic paper at £65.

sian zeng magentic woodland wallpaper 2 sian zeng magentic woodland wallpaper 3sian zeng magentic woodland wallpaper 1

I think manufacturers do have to keep on mass producing items that can be personalised because consumers are more savvy and there’s more alternatives available.  If they can’t get the personal touch they’re wanting from an off-the-shelf kit, it could be just as easy for them to buy an alternative mass produced item that they can adapt themselves…

ikea1+bright+bazaar

Bright Bazaar blogs about Livet Hemmas adaptation of Ikeas PRANT boxes- click on picture to find out more.

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THIS IS NOT A POST ABOUT LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL

Q.  What do you get when work sends you to do site visits in 15 UK and European cities in 15 days?

A.  No time to visit London Design Festival.  Boooo!

On the plus side though, I’ve visited some cities I’ve never been to before, returned to some favourite ones, and seen some pretty cool things along the way…

Those of you following me on Twitter (@designdevotweet) would have perhaps already seen a picture of these neons tweeted in Glasgow.  Very simple and a modern take of a Charles Rennie Mackintosh reference.

glasgow neons mackintosh

Then in Westfield White City, I came across this pop-up ‘My Favourite Shoe’ exhibition by Northampton Museums and Art Gallery.  Shoe designers such as Sophie Cox were asked to pick; their favourite shoe, a shoe they have designed, and to describe their influences, design approach and studio environment.  What I really liked about this is the way the exhibition has been made.  Plywood has been finger jointed together, with a graphical representation of each designers’ studio space printed directly onto the ply.  The simplicity of the plywood, the joint detail and the monochrome stencil style print give these units a superb finish.  I was really impressed.

my favourite shoe exhibition westfield 1 my favourite shoe exhibition westfield 2 my favourite shoe exhibition westfield 4

In Paris, I saw the Eiffel Tower…of sorts.  This temporary Trees and Forest exhibition in the Palais-Royal square opposite the Louvre was promoting using wood and they certainly did wherever possible from creating the flower bed perimeters to graphic stands.  It was a nicely put together exhibition in a great location and attracted alot of people.

 bois et forets 1 bois et forets 3

I made sure I had a quick look at the Colette and Galleries Lafayette windows before heading back on the Eurostar.  On the way I passed by the Penhaligon’s window for the Iris Prima fragrance.  I blogged about the styling of the fragrance launch back in May so it’s nice to see the theme go full circle into the retail environment.

penhaligons iris prima window 1 penhaligons iris prima window 2

Colette, which is a boutique department store selling all the latest, exclusive, limited edition offerings, is known for its windows.  Their current window is celebrating My Little Pony turning 30 with 30 unique sweaters by Andrea Crews.  I thought the window was quite good fun, but not completely sold on the quality of the minimal production.

colette my little pony window 1 colette my little pony window 3

Galleries Lafayettes ‘Mode in Love’ windows were brilliant- so striking.  For three windows, they had a large renaissance style sculpture prop made which they cut into in different places, so the configurations were slightly different per window.  It was a really good way of maximising the cost of tooling a prop like that- creating three arrangements from the one design.  The matte white finish really stood out against the dark marble backdrop.

gallery lafayette 3 j'adore la mode

 gallery lafayette 1 j'adore la mode

gallery lafayette 2  j'adore la mode

So those are just some of the things that have caught my eye over the past few crazy days here there and everywhere.  Time to catch up on what I missed in London last week!

Oh, one last thing- this street name made me laugh…

rue des mauvais garcons

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Window Display Trends

Like fashion, window displays also have trends.  They can be inspired by many things such as; current fashion trends, events (the Jubilee and Olympics were big ones last year), stylish movie releases (the High Street lapped up the Art Deco influence from The Great Gatsby), and the styling of a major Fashion Week Show (the white paper flowers from Chanel‘s 2009 Spring/Summer Haute Couture show is still influencing window displays 4 years on!)  Sometimes more random propping becomes popular…a couple of years ago we had cacti, then there was step ladders everywhere, all of which might have been suggested by the trend prediction services you can subscribe to.

So recently I’ve noticed a couple of trends…

RETRO TVs PLAYING CONTENT

I first saw this theme earlier on in the year with the clean, simple Calvin Klein windows.

calvin klein TV window trend

Then Fred Perry turned it up a couple of notches for their Twisted Wheel window and combined the dance footage playing TV with working old record players and eye catching Northern Soul dance move lenticulars.  The detailing was the quality you’d expect from a Fred Perry window from the retro laminate finish, vac formed TV button panel, and even the words ‘Twisted Wheel’ outlined on the floor with talcum powder referencing how dancers used talc on the floor to help them with their moves.

Fred Perry Twisted wheel Window

Image supplied by Hatch Design & Build

FP04

Image supplied by Hatch Design & Build

FP10

Image supplied by Hatch Design & Build

And just this week, I’ve seen that H&M have also gone with this trend to show footage from their Paris show.

H&M TV window

H&M Tv window close up

WHITE LIGHT

Bright white light is being used alot at the moment- it’s good for creating contrast to window mannequins dressed all in black, and for highlighting this season’s panels of shiny fabric and detailing.  Both Topman and H&M have gone for clean simple cold light stick lights.

Cladding the lights to the back of the mannequins, and almost mirroring their posture, gives the Topman mannequins a sense of movement, and an illuminated shadow effect.

Topman white light window

The clean light grid structure in the H&M window is repeated in-store, this time framing the mannequins.  The contrast between the straight, precise angled light grid and the circular overhead light features works well and gives the display more edge.  I also like that they have used LED stick lights- better for the environment and far more hard-wearing and practical.

H&M white light windows and in store Hatch Design & Build

Images supplied by Hatch Design & Build

COMBINATION OF THE TWO…

Yesterday I walked past Calvin Klein Regent Street where they’ve combined these two themes together with the strong white backlit letters decorated with photos, and small screens inset into the face of the letters playing the photo footage.

calvin klein white light and tv window

Windows will inevitably feature more screens, more moving image and more interactions to catch the attention of the ever-increasing more technological savvy/hungry shoppers, so it will be interesting to see how the High Street goes about it.

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IncrEdible Tutti Frutti?

Hey Everyone,

Sorry for the blogging blip, life has been a bit hectic recently, but I’m back and want to tell you about Bompass & Parr’s Tutti Frutti Boating Experience as part of IncrEdibles at Kew Gardens…

I first heard of Bompas & Parr last year when they did their cake inspired seven wonders of London crazy golf course on Selfridge’s rooftop, and have been a fan of their fun, eccentric, but contextually relevant projects ever since, so when I found out about their Tutti Frutti installation, I had to go down and experience it for myself.  I did watch the video on their website before I went so I knew roughly what it was going to be like, but I kept my friend in the dark to see what her reaction was.

The installation is on the Palm House Pond and is split into two participation activities depending on whether you’re happy staying on land, or want to get more stuck in and jump in a rowing boat.  For those who want to stay on dry land, you can experience a tiered island which has a ‘giant’ golden pineapple sitting on the highest tier, and a bed of plants running around the middle tier.  In collaboration with the sonic artist Milecce, the plant leaves have been connected with electrodes that trigger sounds when people touch the leaves or the wind blows, creating a random ever changing background music for the island.  The uprights of the tiers have been wrapped in a colourful fruit inspired print designed by Kit Neale, who also designed the staff uniforms.  Part two of the participation is hidden underneath the island, which you can only access by rowing boat….

Pineapple

Image courtesy of http://www.cheriecity.co.uk

Bompas and Parr Kit Neale

Kit Neale Tutti Frutti designs- still taken from the Bompas & Parr video

Bompas and Parr Kit Neale 2

Kit Neale Tutti Frutti designs- still taken from the Bompas & Parr video

When you collect your fruit named boat, you’re given a pair of Tutti Frutti glasses which have prismatic lenses that create twinkles of rainbow light rays when you look at the reflections on the water and on the Palm House.  You’re told to head towards the island and enter into the Banana Grotto which is a tunnel filled with banana scented mist and spotlights which radiate rainbow light shards with your glasses on.

As my friend and I approached the lake, we both let out a disappointed ‘oh’ at the size of the giant pineapple.  Fair enough, it is giant when you compare it to a normal pineapple, but the IncrEdibles poster leads you to believe it’s huge, and even on the Bompas & Parr video, I was given the impression it was larger than it is.  We could hear other peoples’ reactions too…one guy saying, ‘So that’s the giant pineapple, all six inches of it!’  Not a great initial reaction but we had the rowing experience to come so that should be better right?

Yes and no.  We had a laugh on the boats- my shocking rowing skills and bad coordination just had us going round in circles…boat circles, not professional looking lake laps!  And the glasses worked really well creating trippy light effects which, combined with the pling plongy sounds of the island plants, created quite a disorientating experience.  The Banana Grotto on the other hand was a bit of a let down.  The smell was amazing, but both my friend and I felt like the tunnel needed a little something else rather than just the spotlights which reacted with your glasses.  My friend was also expecting fruit shaped/dressed boats as shown on the promotional poster rather than just been a boat named after a fruit.

tutti frutti glasses light reflection on lake

Bompas and Parr Banana Grotto 2

Bompas and Parr Banana Grotto 1

Back on dry land, we headed to the island and the plant sound interaction worked really well- it’s such a nice idea which I think could be used more in interactive environments.  We also learnt that Bompas & Parr chose to crown the island with a pineapple because of Kew’s extensive Bromeliad collection.  It’s those little contextual details which I think Bompas & Parr do so well.

Overall I enjoyed the experience…yeah there were a few things that I was disappointed with, but the boating experience was only an extra fiver on top of Kew’s entry price, which you’d pay to hire a rowing boat elsewhere with no interaction element thrown in.  It does make me think that nowadays people expect so much from experiences.  I don’t know what the budget was for the installation, but if it was quite stretched, it might have been better to substitute one element to enhance another to make sure that visitors experienced a single intense IncrEdible experience, opposed to two almost-there-but-not-quite experiences.

If you do head down there, definitely visit the the Rose garden Tea Party- a clever, witty and simple installation.

HERMÈS-ING! Saatchi Gallery hosts Hermès- Festival des Métiers

Last week, for one week only, Hermès took up two galleries in the Saatchi Gallery showcasing the processes the designer pieces go through from screen printing to diamond setting.  I went down to see it on Sunday and it was complete craziness!  Masses of designer clothing clad, ‘it’ bag toting people all eagerly trying to get to the front for the demos, trying to get the best shot, listening intently to the translators and craftspeople.  Here are some of my (not that great) photos of the experience…

Apart from the masses of people, the other things you first noticed were the overhead orange and grey arches, and the digitally printed carpet showing a repeat pattern of the tools used in the production processes.  This level of detail bringing it back to the Hermès brand, is evident throughout the exhibition, even down to the branded tweezers, constantly emphasising the pride in the process and the name.

hermes exhibition entrance

Overhead arches and detailed carpet

The first two workstations we came to were showing the art of stitching the bag from how they stitch the bag together, to finishing off the edges.  We were told that the bags on display take on average 25-30 hours each to hand make.

hermes exhibition bag stitching 1

The craftsman stitching, threading two needles through the same hole from opposite directions.

hermes exhibition bag stitching 2

Stitching, hammering the edges to compress the stitching, cleaning off the edges (loving the matching nail varnish to the bag!)

The diamond setter was at the next station.  A photograph of a cuff embellished with diamond set pyramids was on display as the craftsperson demonstrated the lengthy task of setting the 999 diamonds per pyramid (yes that’s 999 diamonds PER pyramid!).  The process involves drilling the hole to set the diamond into, collecting the metal fragments which have been drilled from the hole, punching a diamond into that hole and securing it in place by pressing the recovered drilled out metal fragment back around the diamond!  All of this done whilst looking through a microscope.  If I’ve remembered this right*, each pyramid takes 3 days to complete, and the cuff takes 4 weeks to complete from start to end process- that is a long time!

hermes exhibition- diamond setting

A pyramid being worked at under a microscope, and a finished pyramid and picture of the cuff.

The following tables showcased; how their watches are put together, the many processes their ceramic artist goes through to decorate the china taking into consideration the different firing temperatures of the different glazes/colours, a sewing process creating a T-shirt from different fabrics and the finishing involved, and in the next room, how they make their ties.

The most interesting workstations in the second gallery however, were the silk scarf station, and the pre-silkscreen station.  Loads of people were huddled around this one lady who was displaying how she meticulously picks away at the screen printed silk scarves creating accent details where the silk feels and looks raised like velvet, but the printed pattern still visible.  She went onto explain how this process is so specialised that a few years ago, only one gentleman knew how to do it.  The fashion house realised they needed to train more people in the skill, but out of the 3 people that were trained, only the lady at the exhibition is still with Hermès.  She now manages three trainees on top of her scarf workload!  On average, it takes her 8 hours to finish the red and black scarf seen in the photos- that’s only a 5 a week supply for a global brand!

hermes exhibition- silk scarf picking

The craftswoman picking at the silk scarf creating raised velvet textured areas.

The pre-silkscreening station described how the screens for the printing process are produced.  The craftsperson would be given a picture of what needed to be screenprinted- in this case, it was a Red Indian woman.  She would then dissect that image, identifying how many different colours made up the picture.  In the Red Indian picture, she picked out 46 different colours all of which would require their own screen, making sure that each colour aligned perfectly with the surrounding colours.  That is so skilled…I know my head would be fried trying to attempt that!

hemres exhibition- pre-silkscreening station

The chosen illustration and the key outline screen template.

From that station, the obvious next process to showcase was the screen printing.  The man describing this process also gave an overview of the brand itself explaining how Hermès like to keep everything close to them, in the family, so they are always in control of the quality and the look.

hermes exhibition- silkscreen printing

The silkscreen station, and a selection of printed scarves.

Even though I come from a design and build background, and am familiar with various manufacturing processes, I was completely in awe of the lengthy, painstaking process each one of the pieces go through.  Now I understand the hefty price tag that comes with every item- you’re not buying a machine manufactured, mass produced item of disposable fashion, you’re buying a fashion houses skill, patience, attention to detail, and pride.  I was so impressed by this exhibition.   Also, what a clever location for the showcase- it would be interesting to see if the Hermès store on Sloane Street has had a sudden increase in sales!

*As far as I’m aware, all these facts are correct but are remembered from memory so there may be some errors.  Please let me know if so, and I will amend the post.  Thanks!

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I’ve found Titus!

Last night I met up with my good friend Sophia Barton, Senior Designer at Bene Furniture, and we checked out some of the showrooms on the last night of Clerkenwell Design Week.  First stop was the Camira Fabrics and Ege Carpets joint showroom, where we saw Camira’s stunning collaboration with textile designer, Emma J Shipley.  They have taken her gorgeous intricate pencil line drawing of a silverback gorilla called Titus (named after the gorilla in Dian Fossey’s book) and developed a beautiful coordinate and standalone fabric printed onto 100% traceable wool Blazer fabric.  It looked great on the chairs they had upholstered- very cool statement piece!  The collaboration also supports The Gorilla Organisation– bonus!

titus and tangle emma shipley camira

The illustration, the chair, my tweeted entry pic to try to win a Titus scarf!

Ege Carpets showcased the 4 finalists of their carpet design competition.  The winner was Ben Webb , interior designer at funky interior design studio Black Sheep– his carpet design ‘shows how the urban grid entangles nature creating a unique interplay between man-made and the untouched’.  I was pleased to see that Grace Foster, a soon to be graduate of Leeds College of Art was a finalist.  I did my Interior Design degree at the College and I think the course setup there is so good, really thorough.

ege carpet design competition ben webb

Ege Carpet Design Competition Finalists

From there we headed to Order of St Johns- I loved Tracy Kendall’s Black Swan wall covering which is bands of thick black feathers.  It’s very striking but I’m not sure how practical it is for long term use.

tracey kendall wall coverings

Tracy Kendall’s Black Swan wall covering

Boca do Lobo exhibited a few stunning furniture pieces, and I picked up a brochure for Delightfull Graphic lamp collection– they have the entire alphabet in different illuminated font styles- great if you want to create your own Christian Laboutin style display.  Loving the ‘M’ especially!

delightfull graphic lamp collection mdzn_Christian-Louboutin-Mount-Street-Window-by-Studio-XAG-2

Last stop was the Fritz Hansen showroom where they showcased the Ro armchair by Jaime Hayon.  The bronze legs looked amazing and being able to see the design process from initial sketches to prototyping was really interesting.

ro armchair design process

Design process for the chair

ro armchair finished fritz hansen

Sophia in the Ro Armchair

First (short!) experience of Clerkenwell Design Week was great- next year I‘m definitely going get more involved in the action!

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RIBA Regent Street Windows Project, 2013

So this is my first ever blog, not just design blog, blog in general!

I’ve been thinking about blogging for about 6 months now so this is me biting the bullet.  The first post is going to be about an aspect of design I feel relatively comfortable with- window displays.  Before starting my current job, I was a designer and project manager for Prop Studios who have designed and manufactured window displays for over 35 years, so I know what it’s like being on the supplier side of designing and realising a window scheme.

The designers of the window displays in this post however aren’t the core set of bespoke design and build companies who normally produce the majority of high street windows- they are instead 6 different architecture practices who have taken part in the RIBA Regent Street Windows Project.  Quite a different brief from their normal projects I suspect!

I went down on Sunday with my architect friend, Burghy, to check them out.  Here are a few pics and our opinions….

TOPSHOP with Neon

overall

More often than not, the supporting structure behind window displays is hidden behind its decorative façade so, in my opinion, the thought and engineering behind window schemes is often underrated.  I really like how this window is the complete opposite of this, and the strong, sturdy structure IS the window prop.  There is no getting away from this hefty piece of kit as its supporting angled legs span the whole window, emphasised further with the bright acid yellow finish.

           Topshop neon back     topshop neon side

If I was to change one thing about the window, it would be to speed up the rotation of the mannequin wheel.  Topshop has such a high turnover of fashion, I think a faster movement would echo this, and more people would see it to appreciate the function of the structure.  Unfortunately, I didn’t see the wheel rotate during the time I was there.

On a side note, I think the Topshop visual merchandising team have done a great job creating the gradient colour palette across the mannequins using the Spring collection.

Karen Millen with Mamou-Mani

karen millen mamou mani left     karen millen mamou mani centre

karen millen mamou mani back

This, alongside Espirit’s display, was Burghy’s fave- her architectural projects are often linear and works in grids, so she liked the organic forms.

I do like the way they have sculpted the polyamide mesh fabric- they’ve taken a fabric which personally I wouldn’t normally associate with Karen Millen clothing, and created a sculptural piece which does suit my perception of the Karen Millen brand.  The display runs from the front window, creates an archway as you come in the door, then runs along the long side windows so from either way you approach the store, your eye naturally follows the sculpture, taking in the SS13 dressed mannequins en route.

Ferrari Store with Gensler

ferrari gensler brain

 ferrari gensler heart

Gensler have taken a completely different approach to the other architecture studios, focusing on the emotions people feel about Ferrari rather than creating a space to showcase a physical aspect/product of the brand.  My favourite part of this design was the sound of the beating heart.  The digital animations behind the heart and brain did catch your eye, but both Burghy and I thought the finish of the heart and brain models let the display down for such a high spec store.  Overall, I was a little underwhelmed by it- maybe it would have more impact at night time.

Espirit with naganJohnson

espirit nagan detail     espirit nagan overall

Technically not a window display, but an atrium sculpture.  I had seen the Dezeen film about the RIBA Regent Street Window Project, and didn’t like the look of it from the film, but I actually really liked it in person.  The use of chestnut paling fencing to create the waves enhances the beach references, and the wave forms really draw your attention up into the double height space making you aware of the merchandise upstairs.  It did randomly make me think of queuing for the rollercoaster ride Nemesis (!)- probably because of the huge scale and form…and maybe the horizontal palings.  I hope Espirit keep this in-store for a while- it’s a really nice feature entering the store.

Jack Spade (on Brewer Street) with Carl Turner Architects

     jack spade carl turner front     jack spade carl turner interior

jack spade carl turner detail

Instant likeability points for this scheme for the Gordon Matta Clarke references- love his work!  Out of all of them, this approach is the most architectural rather than retail, and as a result, rather than creating a seasonal window, they have actually created a scheme which wouldn’t look out of place if it was permanent feature in the Jack Spade store, especially the blackboard New York landscapes inside the store.  I love how they have displayed all their inspiration on an entry table- you can see the design processes of taking New York references and translating them into the Brewer Street store.  I also loved how the store staff were so enthusiastic and excited about the project.  As someone who used to design window schemes, it was always nice to receive positive feedback from the store staff because you knew that you were contributing to their working environment in a positive way.  Big thumbs up for Carl Turner Architects!

Moss Bros with AY Architects

moss bros ay architects front

moss bros ay architects connectors

Unlike the Espirit project, I was looking forward to seeing this display after watching the Dezeen video, but in reality I wasn’t that taken with it.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very logical, simple, sensible approach to a window display, but I just felt it was lacking something.  It felt like this window was part of a big SS13 window rollout to all Moss Bros stores, and not a one-off exciting project.  The black and yellow light edge acrylic connectors worked well as accent details, but maybe if the edges of the ply had an accent colour, it might make the scheme pop a little more?

Round Up…

Overall I think all the projects suited each store’s clientele and ethos.  I really enjoyed the whole tour- it’s a great way of breaking up your shopping trip, exploring Regent Street, and makes you want to look more closely at other window schemes.  The windows will be in until at least 6th May so I’d recommend getting down there and checking them out.  You might even see a Regent Street roller disco train to finish off your day….bonus!

regent street roller train

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