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Design of a prefabricated retail location is the latest competition hosted by a challenge-based design technology community
Launched last year, DesignByMany is a challenge-based virtual design community for architects, engineers, students, and construction-industry members interested in publicly sharing technical design knowledge. The site lets users post projects online in response to community-generated challenges or as submissions to frequent sponsored challenges (the sponsor is Hewlett-Packard).
With the goal of bringing more functionality to small, under-utilized urban spaces, the site’s current challenge is to design a rapidly constructible or prefabricated freestanding shop that occupies less than 200 square feet. While permitting issues were left out of the entry criteria, contestants were urged to consider foot traffic and visibility, as well as a location or multiple locations where the project could be deployed. Community voting will end Sunday before a panel of judges selects the final winner. AN‘s Fabrikator takes a look at three designs in the running:
Cloud: Amazon Kindle Bookshop
Concept: With its launch of the Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon needs a pop-up store concept to connect with avid readers who still prefer to discover reading material offline, or in a bookstore-like setting. The store will be a venue for shoppers to test-drive the new e-reader while learning about the benefits of cloud computing. The store’s exterior is designed as a series of wooden bands that can be flat-packed and then assembled around interior walls and shelving of Plyboo. The cloud is represented by an interior structure of translucent, faceted composite material suspended from the ceiling and backlit with LEDs that respond to activity inside the store, reinforcing the connection between internet activity and cloud services. Each book in the shop is marked with a QR code connected to the Amazon bookstore and with an RFID chip that will activate a Kindle located at a demonstration station.
BubblePop.Up Shop: The Bubble-Wrapped Store
Designer: PinkCloud, New York
Concept: The BubblePop.Up Shop is a modular retail cube with a triple-skin bubble wrap facade. The shop consists of a two-in-one structural skeleton/shelf display system of cubic modules. Four sides of each module are formed with compressed recycled cardboard, and a fifth side is capped with ½-inch Lexan plastic, a polycarbonate resin thermoplastic that is durable, theft-resistant, and lightweight. Bubble wrap encases all modules with a waterproof skin, providing insulation, transparency, and interactive texture. The shop will be lit with natural light in the daytime and illuminated at night with interior lighting to showcase merchandise within.
Designer: Daniel Caven, Chicago
Concept: Designed for concerts and festivals, LIFTshop is a cable-hung vinyl fin structure powered by an electrical air cylinder that lifts the shop’s roof into place once the structure has been trucked to its site. Milled vinyl fins create retail shelving for T-shirts and concert souvenirs, as well as a louvered wall that allows airflow and natural light to enter the space and keeps merchandise on display to passers-by. The shop’s roof and floor are embedded with LEDs programmed to change with concert music, while integrated speakers can project music in other event settings.