Home' Commercial : WAs Best Commercial Designs 2011 Contents WA’s Best Commercial Designs 2011 139
n London, you can pop in to a portable Hermès ‘pop-up’ store
to get a free styling session on different scarf-tying techniques. In
Dubai, you can take a shopping break to ski down an 85-metre
in-centre mountain. And in the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, you
can ride a roller coaster, bungee jump, swim in a wave pool and watch sea
lions at the centre’s indoor lake.
The way we shop has changed, why we shop has changed. The spaces we
are shopping in are growing wings, interacting, flirting, cajoling, teaching
and, yes, even selling. Welcome to the new retail.
Despite the convenience of e-commerce, we are still drawn to the
face-to-face, shiny, tactile, air-conditioned, aesthetically eye-popping
splendour of bricks-and-mortar shopping because we like the ‘experience’.
And retail is working harder and smarter to provide it.
At its best, retail design has become an awe-inspiring, evolving artform,
an amalgam of many disciplines. At its most fundamental, it is a basic
ingredient for retail success.
“We’re living in times of rapid change,” says Annalise Lemm, associate
lecturer in Interior Architecture at Curtin University of Technology. “A sense
of vulnerability, coupled with our need to identify with brands that are
trustworthy, continues to propel consumers towards places and spaces that
embody unique, customised and personal responses to their own desires for
greater pleasure and wellbeing in life.”
Ryan Russell, director of Russell & George, a design studio creating
beautiful retail interiors on the eastern seaboard, agrees. “It takes a lot of
effort to get people to walk into a retail space,” he says.
“It has become more and more apparent that retail spaces and the design of
them need to not only attract attention, but offer a unique experience in both
service and retail provenance that eliminates the web effect. Essentially, they
must provide an experience that cannot be found online.”
An orderly stampede of mining-boom types is set to increase our city
population substantially, with rumours of a 6000-strong influx from one
company alone. Combine the increased population with new and revamped
TOP The Co-op bookstore, by Roxby Architects, at the University of WA has a customer-friendly layout.
ABOVE The innovative Aesop store, designed by Ryan Russell of Russell & George, in Chatswood Chase,
Sydney. OPPOSITE Texture provides warmth at the Morrison store, by Matthews Architects, in Fremantle.
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