Retail design and sustainability
Many people are embracing a minimalist lifestyle with fewer material possessions, turning instead towards meaningful experiences and leisure. But retail has traditionally depended on consumption – so how do we bridge this gap?
As people downscale and become more discerning with their time and money, they expect the shopping they do partake of to be engaging and memorable. Shopping is no longer exclusively the pursuit of solving individual problems or desires. Well-designed spaces that stand apart, and offer genuinely novel experiences, are high in demand.
NATURAL MATERIALS IN GENERAL, AND WOOD IN PARTICULAR
White has long been the dominant colour in retail environments. As brands increasingly try to emphasize their “green” values, use of materials such as rock, hemp, terracotta and wood is on the rise, and with them a new palette of earthy colours.
Of these, wood is the most popular, and the range in use is notable – everything from high-end mahogany to barebones plywood is seeing inventive use to create unusual aesthetics. Fashion stores often use darker wood to draw upon associations with luxury, and grocery stores use rough-hewn wood in produce departments to bring to mind rustic nostalgia. But the boundaries for its use are being stretched in inventive ways.