Rethinking retail design In a time when so many shoppers are preferring to do it online, those businesses who want to continue to survive successfully on the main street or in the mall need to think innovatively to recreate a stimulating shopping environment. And we´re not just talking about the look of the shop but a total service package and brand identity that can win customer loyalty, ideally for a lifetime. Viennese Architecture - influence runs deep Many threads flow through and out of the architecture designed in Vienna at the dawn of the 20th century. One of them is the concept of one-stop shopping, expressed in our time through innovative shops like IKEA. Trends: putting fashion into the museum Listed in New York Daily News as one of Fashion´s 50 Most Powerful People, eminent fashion scholar Valerie Steele is the director and curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. Here, she talks about the relationship between the museum and fashion - it is a new trend. Listeners’ Letters Here is an audio clip of this week’s Listeners’ Letters. What do Industrial Designers do? The Australian Industry´s night of nights, the 2011 Australian International Design Awards Presentation Ceremony, was held in Melbourne on Friday 22 July 2011,
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Design Museum Director Deyan Sudjic interviews Wim Crouwel at the Design Museum about his philosophy and achievements. Presented in partnership with Premsela, the Dutch platform for design and fashion, it is the latest in an international series of talks analysing how leading design figures have bridged the gap between society’s cultural interests and industrialised practice.
During the tumultuous years of World War II, what occupied the minds of millions were the necessities of life: food, freedom and survival. Faced with the introduction of rationing and clothing shortages, fashion you’d think wouldn’t have been high on the agenda. Yet as individuals struggled to maintain personal dignity, the story of how civilians dressed themselves in the face of adversity, and the impact of war on clothing design, has rarely been told with as much authority and fascinating detail as it is by our first guest. Canadian fashion historian and author Jonathan Walford believes that during the Second World War wherever hope existed so did fashion.
A few years ago, journalist Douglas McGray learned that the largest chain of check cashing stores in Southern California, Nix Check Cashing, was being bought by the nation’s largest credit union, Kinecta. The credit union thought it had something to learn from the check casher about how to reach out and serve the poor. This was curious. McGray’s impression was that check cashers (and especially payday lenders) were predatory, the bad guys, and that credit unions, especially one dedicated to serving the poor, were the good guys. This proposed sale made McGray look at the whole situation with fresh eyes.
I highly recommend reading Douglas McGray’s New York Times Magazine article all about it. It’s excellent.
I, of course, was drawn to the design aspects of the story.
Check cashing stores can feel very odd when you’re not used to them. Quite simply, they are often designed to look and feel more like a corner store. The furnishings are sparse, and the information is on signs— big, bold and clearly presented. Banks, on the other hand, have a design legacy of carpeting, heavy desks, suits, and pamphlets that are hard to parse. If you were to start over and design a financial products retail location today, which model would you follow?