“What it ought to be about is pleasure: pleasure of the body, of play, of dressing alike or else differently, the pleasure of sometimes disguising yourself, of discovering, of imagining, the pleasure of rediscovering something, of changing. That would be called fashion: a way of enjoyment, the sense of a small celebration, of waste. Something futile, useless, gratuitous, agreeable” Georges Perec – Species of Spaces and other Pieces.
As widely acknowledged, the retail industry and particularly the high street has been struggling for some time, much of this can be attributed to a rise in online shopping. Consequently, many brands and “bricks and mortar” stores are searching for new ways to encourage the public to engage in what used to be the “traditional shopping” experience. Flagship stores often host ancillary events to tempt customers in with a special experience and there are more concept stores, where brands aim to position themselves as selling a holistic lifestyle, rather than just a product.
This year, Studio 3 will be exploring various ways of expanding the notion of what a store can be and to re-think the potential identities of retail. We will explore and formulate unique experiences that are supported by a strong narrative, both in concept but also in relationship to location.
The site for this proposal is Vernon Hall on Roman Road, an area with a long history of trading both in shops and markets. The building itself is located in the middle of the market run and despite being Grade II listed, it can be easily overlooked with an inaccessible street presence.
The studio will engage in a series of shorter briefs looking at context, ideas around current retail concepts and how to develop and build a strong narrative. The studio is keen on physical making, and we will look at image making and how to communicate ideas. We hope that through this rigorous investigation our students will become fully aware of and in control of their design choices, from the bigger picture down to smallest of details.