Coffee Addicts, Rejoice!

IMG_6105_2Good news for all you coffee lovers, its getting easier and easier for you to get your fix. At Starbucks’ recent Leadership Experience conference in Seattle, the company announced plans to debut a new Mobile Order and Pay concept in Portland-area stores (just one more reason to look forward to the 2015 design:retail Forum!).

The new mobile system will enable on-the-go customers to order and pay for their drink of choice—yes, even that grande, half-caff, non-fat, no-whip mocha with a caramel drizzle—ahead of time. A fresh cup waiting for you when you step into the store? Now, that’s service.

The Portland roll out is expected to occur before the end of the calendar year and the company is planning the launch of Mobile Order and Pay across the United States in 2015 (woohoo!). Continue reading →

This Idea Might Stick

Novel phone and tablet cover company Goo.ey recently partnered with London-based design agency Pope Wainwright to create a pop-up experience on the Selfridges London Technology Walkway. There are five oversized Goo.eys on display that allow passersby to experiment with the best Goo.eys for whatever life might throw at them and their devices.

Pope Wainwright also created a video for the display showing people sticking their electronic companions to all manner of glossy surfaces so that they may Skype, watch movies or take the “ultimate selfie.” The smooth skin of the cover creates a vacuum with whatever slick surface it’s pressed on to, yet it is not supposed to stick around in one’s pocket or purse. Continue reading →

Eyes on the Prize

Time is winding down at the West Coast edition of design:retail‘s Student Window Challenge at Saks in Los Angeles! With less than two hours left to go, the FIDM students’ visions are starting to come to life—check out some photos of today’s action below. They are working hard to get their window designs completed—we can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Judging takes place tonight at 5 p.m., so make sure to visit Saks Fifth Avenue’s Beverly Hills store and see the finished product! The winning team will be announced at the After Party and Awards Ceremony at D-Bar at The Fifth Avenue Man immediately following. Continue reading →

Sustainable Art

thelivinghyfi02_v2bEach summer, the MoMA PS1 outdoor exhibition space in Long Island City, N.Y.,  displays a unique work from an up-and-coming architect who is ready to break onto the scene. This year’s creation is “Hy-Fi,” three spiraling towers that use special materials to emit as little energy, waste and carbon emissions as possible.

The “bio installation” was the brainchild of David Benjamin, principal of New York-based firm The Living, which also won the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1’s 15th annual Young Architects Program.

Hy-Fi lords over the courtyard and is an architectural marvel. Made from corn stalks and living root structures, compostable Ecovative bricks comprise the bulk of the towers. Continue reading →

The Man on the Street

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The Azeeza store window in Chicago.

As a visual merchandiser and window display artist, July in Chicago has become one of my most favorite times of year. This is when Project Windows, a visual design competition celebrating the art of window display in downtown Chicago, comes to life. From luxury retailers, like Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Marc Jacobs, to big-box brands (think AT&T’s Michigan Avenue Flagship and Macy’s State Street) to the beloved independent and local retailers scattered in between, this contest celebrates all types of window displays and the unique programs each individual store maintains.

In our fourth year of Project Windows, the Art Institute of Chicago approached us looking for a way to get their message to “the man on the street.” For a world-renowned cultural institution such as the Art Institute of Chicago, we were really struck by the idea of “hearing, seeing and doing,” which is a large part of the fabric that makes up tourism marketing for a museum like this. Continue reading →