RETAIL AND PRESENTATION
“Could you consider dedicating an issue to sustainability?” an interior designer friend asked me recently as we were compiling the projects for this AIT issue on store design.
It’s a valid request, but should we abandon our long-standing structure of issue-specific themes sorted by architectural tasks? More importantly, is it adequate and sensible to address sustainability in a one-off special issue?
In the future, the industry will have to prioritise responsible – in other words, sustainable – use of spaces, materials, energy, resources, and waste in all interior design and architectural projects. After reviewing the projects for this edition, we’re pleased to confirm that this is increasingly becoming the case.
We’ve chosen a bakery in Barcelona, a brewery in Humpolec, Czech Republic and a handbag boutique in Milan that, after careful renovation and targeted interventions, now boast particularly atmospheric retail spaces.
We were captivated by the aesthetic reuse of building components and materials in a fashion store in Bratislava, a concept store in Munich and a jewellery store in Berlin. It’s also sensible that stores and showrooms are no longer subject to the dominant CI but rather designed to be seamlessly repurposed.
Traditionally, exhibition stands have not been known for their sustainability. However, the approach taken with an intelligent and resource-efficient stand concept in Munich, which was used multiple times and later repurposed for kindergartens, is a remarkable step away from the throwaway mentality.
We must commend a dedicated group of interior architecture students from HfT Stuttgart, who transformed a second-hand store into an attractive, thriving café in Ellwangen. We’re also impressed by the ethos of an outdoor company that employs existing furniture, lighting and materials from a former electronics store to shape its retail world.
It’s encouraging that progress is being made in the right direction, although there is still much more to be done!
Petra Stephan, Dipl.-Ing.