Monday, December 21, 2009

Brixton Village by Spacemakers

What I found interesting and inspiring about the Brixton Village project where the shops that looked less like retail environments, the ones by the designers/artists that with a very brave move didn't see this as just an opportunity to sell something but instead to say something, the creative process behind their creations (don't think they where even on sale!) or a story, like at
Cabinet of Curiority

These "shops" created the most abstract and surreal narratives, and in my opinion made an interesting connection with the markets existing environment.

It would have been nice to see a connection with the past of the market or the other shops, like “mirrors”...

More information about the Brixton Village project on

Sunday, December 20, 2009

...down the pub

Over our yummy hot green curry we began to ponder the main mission in defining our 'Fickle Street' How and what are we doing with our shop front?
We want to stand out and attract attention but for the right reasons?

The identity and individuality of each towns high streets around the UK has dwindled since the likes of McDonald's, Starbucks, Tesco's and B&Q arrived on the scene.
A lot of family businesses or unique, quirky stores just cant keep up with the competition especially in this harsh economic time.

How can we show the people on the streets what is missing?
Give them a mirror to look closely at what they are spending their money on. Mass, cheap, production. Service is questionable, community forgotten, crafts lost.
And does a £3 coffee really makes you smile that much??

Lets mimic the Brands and Chains who care only about making money... Mirror their actions in our window displays across the road or next door. Make a subtle statement.

Or maybe there is just fun to be had with the concept of reversing what is expected in the fickle street window displays:
New Look Vs Old Look
Cheap line factory produced clothes Vs Vintage quality clothing

Machine produced Vs craft produced

Same mass brand Vs homemade and individual

Nearly a snow day

On a very cold December evening we trekked down to Brixton Market. The clever chaps had decided to promote a festive shopping experience by encouraging magical pop up stores. Although still going strong during the day, Brixton undercover market has also been experiencing some problems of late and a higher percentage of shops and units have been left unused and empty. This scheme enabled start up companies, or artists and designers to promote their work and create a shop environment for networking and potential customers. Interesting stuff.

{Documented in pics by Sandra D.}

We then headed off to the pub for some brain work.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Home is where the pub is...

Derelict 32 by maggie jones..
image from flickr

Friday night I went to Designersblock hq/home/pub and it was one of those 'yeah! a shop doesn't have to be/look like a shop' moment just as this pub is now (soon to be demolished) a place for all kinds of events, mostly a venue for parties and exhibits. I like thinking about displacement, put something where it doesn't quite fit, make something useless or turn a pub into a private-public-space as Designersblock's (owned by the Geffrye Museum) pub.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Displaying Conversations

Whether they are the conversations lost in space that have already taken place or the shop's own voice (is that weird), I'm referring to Clare's post, honing in on "conversations" and the history behind the space that Sandra mentions. Some visual food:

Images various sources


image from Peepshow

Found myself drawn to the peepshow virtual Christmas shop window display. I like the eye catching cartoon colours they use. Its eye catching without being cluttered.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The big question: What are we going to exhibit?

After talking to my cousin Angelos who, as a scientist is a very down to earth kind of person I started reasoning on one of the main ideas that influenced this project: we aren’t actually advertising or selling anything! After explaining to my cousin the idea behind the Fickle Street Project, it didn’t have a name then, he told me that one of the golden rules of selling is to lure your customer into the store, if this fails you have lost him and a possible sale! So I thought what if we decide not to make any money? Fickle Street Project is not inviting anyone to walk inside the store, we almost make a point of it being closed, but just to enjoy what is in the windows without feeling invited to buy. Not selling is probably one of the main reasons behind all these shop closures, so can this project be inspiring although it’s not designed to make any money? Clare suggested that this project should raise awareness about all the shops that had to close down, and suggested a link between the history of the shop before it shut and what we are going to exhibit. This does not explain just what we are planning to exhibit but hopefully should offer inspiration as some of these shops have a very interesting past and the type of things they used to sell where quite specific and unique or part of a long gone era We would like this to be the inspiring brief for the Fickle Street Project but without being nostalgic about the past