In New York it is fairly obvious that retail and restaurants are constantly worried about their images, where re-branding is becoming as common as waiting in line for a cup of coffee. The retail scene is as fickle as they come, as stores open and close in a constant domino effect of which-neighborhood-is-cooler. I don't know what the statistics are, nor do I care, but seen from the street, a store can be boarded up one day, selling merchandise the next (profiting over short term trends), then shutting its doors because that trend they were supporting, died off. To counter this annoying process, along comes Grand Opening, a refreshing take on retail that befittingly transforms itself every 3 months. On the website, "Now Storing: Pong," is announced as if the very idea of retail was actually a verb or an action.

Perhaps this is all a sign of things to come: Will we finally realize that design for dis assembly will be necessary in order to perform to market conditions? As is, the construction industry's methods are outdated and heavy. By heavy, I mean they are not conducive to change and manipulation like their counterparts in the aeronautical and automotive industries. Metal studs and dry wall are the heavy, non-malleable elements of choice, but why? Could these materials be replaced with prefabricated elements, or even materials that perform to an entropic point, then signaling to change? I think this little store on the Lower East Side of NYC can help us realize that designing for changing conditions can ensure shop keepers that they must be AGILE in the face of rapidly changing demographics in urban environments.

No comments: