Beautiful People :: Wonderwall Inc.
Aoyama, Tokyo

With the holidays quickly approaching, the competition between retail establishments to create the most intriguing window displays is well underway.  And for many of the big box stores, this holiday frenzy has been puking red and green since July.  For a little taste of elegance, I recommend the seductive retail design of Wonderwall, Inc. for the Beautiful People Shop in Aoyama, Tokyo.     

Wonderwall Inc., established by Masamichi Katayama in 2000 is well known in the industry for their commercial spaces, most notably retail and hospitality. Self described as a "total concept" firm, Katamaya[Wonderwall] is convinced that pushing the boundaries of the unknown is the only way to tap into the subconscious of the occupant, and in the case of retail design, the consumer.

Simple, yet deliberate use of typical design elements are at work in all of Wonderwall's designs.  Here, the careful coordination of lighting and interplay of materiality give the illusion that these pieces of clothing are frozen in time.

The feature wall, consisting of over 10, 000 monochromatic artificial flowers, softens the otherwise minimal design sense, but also contributes to the unusual sense of balance that embodies the entire store.  

Moments of warmth and color like these exposed filament bulbs indicate key areas and act as a sense of way finding to the occupants.

And at the end of the day, good 'ole light, shade, and shadow really bring this design to the next level--something that can be valued year round.  So, what did we learn?  Stick with the classics, but avoid the typical--advice thats valuable in more than just design.

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