One of the most visible changes since the pandemic has been the transformation of the retail sector. Systemic design is an innovative approach to provide solutions for emerging needs from growing complexities of societal & planetary challenges affecting the retail sector.
Retail concepts 2022+
Life has changed a lot in two years. In order to lure people back visiting stores again the environments need to reflect changed shopper behaviours. Based on narrative evidence from continuous trend research during the last two years, I have created four conceptual starting points for retail instore design: RESTORE, ACTIVE, SOCIALISE and ESCAPE. Each concept idea has a different mood and character based on shopper behaviour and motivations.
These retail concepts follow previously introduced New Normal design directions: Calming Order, Creative Order, Organised Chaos and Creative Chaos. (Read more below)
CHARACTER OF THE SPACE
Each concept is also linked to a specific character of the space: Purist, Builder, Carer and Dreamer. For example the Restorative space has a Purist character, which is driven by individual, personalised choices and logic. On the other hand, the Socialise area appeals to a Carer character, who is collective in nature and led by emotions.
I have previously identified Co-existence as a main theme for 2022+. (Read more below)
It is about design for both human and non-human. During the pandemic it has become clear that there is interconnectedness between systems of nature and human. Coexistence is a more systemic approach following i.e. Symbiotic thinking and ability of living together, most often for mutual benefit.
Sense making of system design can be used in order to gain deeper understanding of complexity and behaviour changes. Systemic approach can inform decision making by providing of wider points view from different perspectives.
What kind of systemic Co-existence strategies can be found to cover the retail concepts?
I have identified four strategies that can be used to improve systems behind each design concept.
- Allyship is about giving voices to be heard withing a system. Representation and ethics are growing tensions and emerging expectations rising from pandemic. Allyship can be used for example to generate better resources for minorities.
- Co-creation can be used to develop systems rising from the creative economy. Expectations are growing to use digital technology to increase social value and impact for all.
- Co-production can be used to fulfill growing needs to build new ecosystems for planetary design.
- Co-belonging is allowing others to be part of the system. Co-belonging creates a system that enforces common ground.
Sense of agency is important for both Allyship and Co-creation strategies. Equity which is about leveling the playing field is important for Co-production and Co-belonging.
CASE Fashion industry
Fashion designer Bethany Williams uses Alternative Systems and confronts environmental and societal issues through the innovative use of materials and systems of working. Through its infrastructure and supply chain the studio strives to invest in communities and create ethical ways of working.