Four students of the subject Lighting and Energy Efficiency within the Interior Design degree have redesigned the store window of Children (Baixada de la Plana street, 43) as part of Barcelona Design Week 2020's initiative "Christmas lights to light up shops". The aim of the campaign, which this year is focused on the Horta neighborhood, is to give visibility to the city's creative talent and get traditional local shops to incorporate design as an ally to innovate in their businesses.
We have talked with the four students who have participated in the activity, Júlia Arpal, Ot Catalan, Esther García and Arnau Relat, so that they can tell us about their experience:
- How is "Camins vora les estrelles" ("Roads next to the stars"), the proposal you have developed for Children's store?
We were inspired by Finland. We were fascinated by the idea of the northern lights and began to investigate the landscape to find ideas. We were looking for a concept that was Christmassy to transmit it to those who saw the store window from the street, but at the same time without resorting to the cliché related to consumerism and Catholic religions or Santa Claus. We wanted to go out of the ordinary and create something original. Once we were clear about what we wanted to represent, we tried to capture it in the store window: a snowy landscape with mountains and the northern lights behind.
For the mountains we made serial planes that are located at different heights and depths. We thought this was the best way to leave space for mannequins, since the owner of the store emphasized that she wanted to put a large amount of children's clothing to show the new collection. In addition, we saw that the white tone of the mountains did not influence the colors of the clothes.
We devised a system of LED strips behind each serial plane to illuminate the snowy mountains and thus create greater contrast and depth. Finally, we put a point to point controlled RGB LED strip behind the last serial plane that simulates the color changes of the northern lights, along with a piece of white fabric that generates the effect of the lights going up and enriches the visual game of the whole set.
Our students were inspired by the northern lights to carry out the project
- What challenges have you faced throughout the whole process?
There have been some obstacles that we have been able to overcome successfully. One very important issue was the lighting of the space because the fact that it was an open store window limited us a lot, but thanks to the use of LEDs we were able to convey what we wanted.
Another challenge was dealing with the owner of the store to find a way to meet all her needs (for example, she has a lot of clothes and we wanted to put as much as possible in the store window).
We have also talked with the professor of the subject and tutor of the project, José María Deza (co-founder and director of E1d Design Light Studio):
- What do you think about the students' work?
It has been an important challenge not only for the students who have carried out the proposal, but also for the rest of the class. During two sessions, the students (divided into four groups) conceptualized and developed the project at the executive level. For some of them it was the first experience with a real client and with a limited budget.
Through an internal vote we chose the winner taking into account the conceptual proposal, especially three key aspects: the prominence of light, the level of sustainability of the project and its ability to convey the true spirit of Christmas. The students also had to comply with the owner's requirements (the amount of products to be shown, the non-placement of permanent elements, etc.), but the result is fantastic. The fact that the students have seen their ideas materialized is very beneficial for their confidence and professional development. On the other hand, following a methodology when designing is something we share with the rest of the subjects and that allows students to face any challenge properly.
The team that presented the proposal did a great job beyond the class hours. They invested time in the selection and purchase of the material, and carried out the production at the School's TecnoFab. Thanks to the fact that they had everything perfectly studied, they were able to assemble the store window in a fast and satisfactory way. Of this great project, full of effort and enthusiasm, I am left with the phrase they said at the end: "It's just as we had imagined it".
The final result can be seen at Children's store (Baixada de la Plana street, 43)