Ar­ti­facts at the Breeze Cen­tre in Taipei gives a new de­sign lan­guage to an en­vi­ron­ment which shel­ters life­style prod­ucts. De­signed by Michelle Wei, Ar­ti­facts is a store which ren­ders the de­sign sen­si­bil­i­ties of a mu­seum to a re­tail ven­ture.

VM&RD - - CONTENTS - Mansi Lavsi

Stand­ing at the store-front an x-ray vi­sion of colours beck­ons. The fa­cade it­self pro­poses such an ef­fect. Five lay­ers of trans­par­ent glass with dif­fer­ent pat­terns sand­blasted onto each one of them gives a 3D depth to the en­trance and show­cases the in­te­rior in par­tial tones. Such an in­tro­duc­tion rem­i­nisces to stained glass Re­nais­sance churches. A de­sign style is es­tab­lished at the fa­cade it­self and sets the tone for the rest of the store. A con­ti­nu­ity of form can be sensed with a semi-hexag­o­nal en­trance look­ing to­wards a hexag­o­nal win­dow dis­play straight ahead in the cone of vi­sion. Once past the win­dow dis­play with an ex­pec­ta­tion of a unique re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence, a spec­trum of pro­gress­ing colours treats the eye. A de­sign in­spired from 20th century mu­se­ums and the­atres, the dis­play styles and store ar­tic­u­la­tion ad­here to it. A sun­set theme cruises the eye through the length of the store. The colour tones blur from yel­low to or­ange to red and fi­nally pur­ple. The glass ta­bles which cre­ate this ef­fect are de­signed of dif­fer­ent heights which cre­ates an in­ter­est­ing mon­tage of colours to per­ceive an x-ray-like ef­fect. The prod­ucts as well seem to be over­lap­ping which adds to the il­lu­sion­ary see- through ef­fect. The de­sign of these dis­plays is mu­seum in­spired and sug­gests a pre­mium char­ac­ter of the prod­ucts. Adapt­ing a sin­gu­lar dis­play ma­te­rial at­ti­tude is key to the ef­fect it ren­ders. Quite a sim­plis­tic ap­proach, but when ex­pressed with im­mense cre­ativ­ity show­cases a re­sult which stuns the naked eye. A min­i­mal­ist dis­play of prod­ucts de­clares a stylish state­ment for the store. The de­sign of the store stands out in such a sce­nario be­witch­ing a pos­i­tive im­age on the cus­tomer. For such a store, more than a fo­cus on the prod­uct it­self, a well groomed ex­pe­ri­ence calls for more points. People are in the store for the prod­ucts and they are def­i­nitely go­ing to fo­cus on it. The store’s vis­ual treat is an added de­light which con­trib­utes to their de­ci­sion mak­ing. Also, the so­phis­ti­cated de­sign ma­nip­u­lates the cus­tomer’s per­cep­tion of the prod­uct. If the lux­u­ri­ous tone of the store was not yet clear, the VIP area leaves no room for am­bi­gu­ity. A dra­matic en­try wel­comes the cus­tomer as if en­ter­ing a theatre. Red vel­vet cur­tains tied

up at the ends make way for en­try. The soft light­ing, am­ple space and com­fort seat­ing vibe of op­u­lence. The lux­ury fac­tor has been thought into de­tail with red arm chairs and the fluffy red car­pet. The colour red in it­self sym­bol­ises a pre­mium at­mos­phere.

The na­ture of the prod­ucts on dis­play here can be eas­ily ad­judged. The pris­matic coloured stones mounted on the wall run a quizzi­cal

air. “We have cre­ated a dra­matic ef­fect in this area by de­sign­ing the wall-mounted TVs in the shape of di­a­monds cut with stain­less steel in a mir­rored fin­ish, with a video play­ing on the screens cre­at­ing a kalei­do­scope of re­flec­tions,” says Michelle Wei of MW De­sign an­swer­ing the in­trigue. The trial rooms are lo­cated near the VIP sec­tion so that ev­ery cus­tomer would have to walk the length of the store to try out their gar­ments. This also gives them a glance into the VIP sec­tion which they would have other­wise not both­ered to go into. The trial rooms with their am­ple space and rich pur­ple cur­tains con­vey royalty. The pur­ple car­pet be­low com­ple­ments the look. Agate, a rich look­ing rock with its rare pat­terns has in­grained beauty in it. Its use in the store for light fix­tures in the VIP area ceil­ing and coat hooks in the trial rooms pa­tro­n­ise the lux­ury el­e­ment of the store. They

are care­fully cho­sen pieces and ex­clu­sively de­signed by MW De­sign for the Ar­ti­facts store. The store por­trays an over­all sig­na­ture of free­dom of space ex­pressed in the trans­paren­cies ex­uded through var­i­ous el­e­ments and a ges­ture of har­monic pro­gres­sion in the store through the sub­tleties of the colours. Lux­ury well-de­fined!

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