When the well-travelled and design-conscious duo behind Not Just A Shop – a lifestyle brand focusing on global design products – chose the newly built Eslite Spectrum department store in Shenzhen as the home for their next retail location, they knew that in order for their shop to stand out they would need to take a unique and unconventional approach in their vision. In the hopes of creating something authentic to their brand, Yatofu Creative was hired to design an interior that reflected both the client’s brand visions, as well as their own artistic perspective.
To challenge the density of department store environments, Yatofu Creatives explored various ways of contrasting their concept with neighboring retailers while still retaining a sense of coherency within the greater context. Their resulting solution looked to juxtapose their concept with the polished and uber-finished interior of conventional department stores.
“Due to their nature, department stores are usually organized with a strong sense of logic, which can often become very cold and clinical. We wanted to disrupt this sense of artificial perfection by evoking emotions and memories through an artistic and sculptural approach.” –Yatofu Creatives
Yatofu Creatives took to their metaphorical chisel to carve into the volume of the space, referencing monumental architecture and abstract sculptural forms. They were also inspired by a local designer’s (Jini Chu, 楚吉妮) research project on makeshift concrete bases and barriers, and the beauty of their necessity. In manifestation, each display fixture is uniquely designed with artistic sensibilities and a strong sense of proportion, while still upholding functional considerations.
To further their vision, the bold sculptural forms were covered with a rock-like stucco texture which evokes the surfaces that are more commonly found on exterior applications. A palette of neutral earth tones were chosen to accent the rough organic qualities of these forms.
“We wanted to address the physical feel of the space. Too often is the physicality aspect overlooked in retail design, and tactility is often the most direct way of creating emotional connections and experiences.” –Yatofu Creatives