Category Archives: Retail

110m Tweets a Day But It Just Takes One To Make A Difference–Exposing The Dark Side Of Urban Outfitters

In January this year there were over 200 million users on twitter and the average number of tweets per day hit 110 million (stats from Forbes). Twitter gives anyone a voice some louder than others, most will go ignored but then occasionally the odd tweet really sparks something big. Just say the term super injunction and your conversation will reach twitter very quickly but it isn’t the frivolous lives of footballers I am here to talk about.

Just 4 days ago Amber Karnes tweeted “I think it’s time to boycott Urban Outfitters. They have done this to so many independent artists. NOT OK.” 

Amber’s link sent her readers to a tumblr page, the images on the site showed a piece from the Urban Outfitters Jewellery collection (Top) and the uncanny similarity it has to the work of an independent artist(Bottom). URBAN-OUTFITTERS-THEIVERYI-HEART-NY

The artist in question Stevie Koerner was clearly far from happy. “My heart sank a little bit. The World/United States of Love line that I created is one of the reasons that I was able to quit my full-time job. They even stole the item name as well as some of my copy.”

I am amazed that this is allowed to happen! To have the cheek to not only replicate the design but to go as far as copying the name and artists words is a beyond belief. It is like asking to be caught!

The twitter backlash was justifiably immense. Within 20 minutes Amber had had over 170 new updates about this one post, her name was even showing up in trending data and the post became one of the Top Tweets of the day. Urban Outfitters were facing serious questions from the public and Stevie Koerner was receiving continuous messages of support. I am unsure how this tweet has directly affected Urban Outfitters. I hope it has shamed them into withdrawing the item from sale. There may not have been a direct result now but I hope this has seriously shocked the company, making them think twice about copying the work of independent artists in the future.

The fact that one tweet can create such a wave of interest is incredible. The twitter generation has certainly arrived, there will be much press about the networking sites negatives but if more stories like this keep emerging I will certainly be staying on board.


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Filed under Art, Fashion, Jewellery, Retail, Twitter

Live/Work/Shop at The Fonte Da Luz

This beautiful restoration project in, Porto, Portugal was designed by Barbosa & Guimaräes Architects. When the area needed modernization due to a number of the buildings sinking, this one was saved, where others were demolished. The granite exterior was cleaned up and used as a shell for the modern fit out and extension that was installed.

Fonte Da Luz1Fonte Da Luz1b

The relationship between old and new must have been difficult to get right. Similar materials have been used to link the differing elements and I think the new additions are extremely honest. The housing element of the project sits across three floors, following the staircase up through the building and separated from a commercial unit and an office space.

I particularly like the mixture of uses in this project. It looks like it would be an incredible place to shop, live and work. I particularly like the sky lights, shown in the image above (via archdaily). As frameless as possible, the finishing has clearly been done to an extremely high level and the result is spectacular.

More images and information about the project is available on the archdaily website.

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Filed under Architecture, Interiors, New Uses, Office/Work Spaces, Residential, Retail

Great Bookshop, New York


Van Alen Books commissioned this incredible concept book store by LOT-EK. The image below shows the pre installation render of the proposed bookshop and the outcome is pretty accurate to this.

Bookshop Render

The design is pretty unique, I for one have never come across a shop that is entirely filled with stairs. I love the idea, the shop wont be able to house a huge collection of books but what it will offer is an extremely enjoyable browsing and reading space.



The bookshop will not only act as a retail space but will also be used for events. The social dynamic of the room will be unusual, with everyone on different levels and even people at the back of the room visible from outside the shop. The  outward looking nature of the shop is an unusual characteristic that I like but at the same time could be a distraction for those wanting to read or leave people feeling on show.

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Filed under Architecture, Interiors, Retail

Play/Work/ Live (?) at The Kunsthaus Tacheles Berlin


Above are a few of the images I took at the Kunsthaus, Berlin. The huge, old building has been taken over by artists and has become an alternative centre for art in Berlin. The building, once grand and elegant has become something rather different. Walking up to the Tacheles3street towards the building, visitors are greeted by the sight of a huge wall covered in graffiti, this is the first signal that you are approaching something different from your usual gallery.

You enter the building, into the base of a long set of stairs that wind there way up through the building. The entrance, is unmanned, open to the elements and an unpleasant smell of urine and alcohol hangs in the air. At this point feeling slightly hung over, thanks to the previous night I did wonder what I was getting myself into but I am so glad I stuck it out!

Tacheles1Climbing the stairs, the beautiful original banister still remaining, every inch of the walls have been covered in graffiti. Built up over the years the space is somewhat of a legal graffiti gallery. Off the landings are corridors leading to artists studios. We had the chance to explore, some had been converted to galleries or contained stalls selling handcrafted objects. It was clear some of the artists were not only working in these spaces but living there too. Living in this building must impose a fairly interesting lifestyle.

Tacheles2Behind the building is what at first glance looks like a junk yard. This outdoor space certainly has its junk, collected objects not yet ready to become art but it also has a bar, workshop spaces and many sculptures and pieces of art. This is clearly the outdoor social hub of the community, music banging, weed being smoked and art coming to life while friends and visitors look on.

I would certainly advise visiting the Kunsthaus Tacheles. Intimidating as I initially found it, everybody I came across was friendly and in its graffiti covered depths are a few extremely talented artists.

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Filed under Art, Cities, Interiors, My Travels, Residential, Retail

A Modern Market

It may be an unoriginal place to start in may quest to find new concepts in markets but after my usual blogs yielded few results I went straight to google and simply searched ‘modern markets’. The place that kept popping up was this in Celje, Slovenia by Arhitektura Krušec and I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed by this.

Slovenia Market1a

The 410 sqm market, at the heart of the city acts as almost a covered town square. The function of the space is traditional but the design is highly modern. The different angles of the roof allows sun light right into the centre of the space. The plan is divided up into areas, defining functions.

Slovenia Market1b

The colours of the scheme are neutral, a perfect contrast to the colourful produce sold on the stalls. The stalls are to be laid out on long,  permanent concrete tables with separate storage areas available. The design is sleek and, hard, possibly something you wouldn’t expect in a market but here it really works. The use of white, metal, warm wood tones and glass, gives a creative and diverse materials palate, that is only complete with the addition of its users and produce.

Slovenia Market1c

The images are courtesy of the Architektura Krušec website where more information is also available.

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Filed under Cities, Markets, Retail, Town Square

Inspirational Retail At Isetan

This beautiful retail display is by artless inc, a design and art studio in Tokyo. the display is for Isetan, a Japanese department store, also famed for its beautiful window displays.

Artless 1

The display is called The Stage or “Bokusho” and featured in the store over the new year. Particularly in these photographs, the display looks incredible. I do ask what it looks like when all the lights are turned on and wonder how much the display detracts from the clothes it is trying to sell!

Artless 1a

The layering and translucency of the piece creates an almost ethereal effect. It seems a waste to just use this as a display, the name ‘The Stage’ itself almost suggests that is could have another use, particularly with the way it is lit and the sense of drama it has.

Artless 1b

It was tough to find any information on this piece but for more images and a short film of the space, head over to the artless blog.

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Filed under Interiors, Light, Materials, Retail

Streetwear Shop Window You Control

A group of Hyper Island students were asked to come up with a way of connecting a streetwear brand to music or art. The solution was an interactive display window.

Interactive Window 1

Using a backlit projection screen and heat sensors to detect the users, as a person moves in front of the window they get to control how the person on screen acts. Data can be input by users so the personalised set of movements you create can be named. As a marketing project, this is perfect. The clothing brand is aimed at those who engage in urban sports such as free running and skating so being able to see the items in action is great.

The video above shows the window in action.

For more information click here and for behind the scenes images and footage of the project simply click here.

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Filed under Branding, Cities, Film, Retail, Technology