• [N]on-line High Street

    Shang-Jen Victor TUNG, [N]on-line High Street. Model.

    Royal College of Art (RCA)

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Shang-Jen Victor TUNG: As all shopping can potentially be completed online, the physical space of the shopping center is free to absorb new urban activities that will strengthen its relation to the city. In response to the current crisis of High Street, this research draws inspiration from East Asian cities and hybridized retail or transport facilities. Various kinds, and lengths, of interval (waiting time) for transport define ranges that a passenger can reach from the transport node, and define the route network to surrounding resources. To be adapted to shopping in the above condition, shopping spaces should be dynamically changed in both function and attribute.

    Reflecting influences on shopping behavior and spatial consequences achieved by new retail technologies, “[N]on-line High Street” is a proposal for a hybrid scheme of online and physical retail at the future Bond Street Crossrail Station.

    The proposal is a response to dynamic shopping spaces with three types of substantialism online-shopping database.

    Dynamic Storage and Replenishment System = “Bidding Monitor Database.”
    Experiential Shopping Surface = “Categories Regions Themes Stories Database.”
    Mobile Device as Purse = “Member Database.”

    The architecture of such an infrastructure is a porous system that not only provides plenty of space for customized projection and interaction, but also shapes the speed at which customers can experience the building. The varied landscape, based on the combination of several modules, is determined by the circulation system and dynamic storage system that, utilizing real-time purchasing data, allows minimum stock to be held in-store.

    Dynamic replenishment by analysis of purchase data allows minimum stocks in-store. Only hot sellers, pre-orders, orders for try-on, and goods for special events are in stock. Experiential shopping surfaces, adopting augmented reality and physical virtuality techniques, allow dynamic changes of space, adding value to every customer’s visit. Logins with mobile devices connect the architecture to customers.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    SVT: The eBay pop-up shop in Covent Garden for Christmas sales and Tesco virtual subway stores in Seoul make me doubt if there are other option for future retail besides online and brick-and-mortar shopping. Japanese Architects such as Sou Fujimoto and Akihisa Hirata, who are interested in relationships between occupants and architecture, were influential for “form follows relationship.” I tried to script human behaviours, site elements, and so on in order to define space with relationships of occupants and programming of space.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?:
    SVT: 建築が生まれるとき by Sou Fujimoto, The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?:
    SVT: Thomas Heatherwick, Sou Fujimoto, and Akihisa Hirata.

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