STORE: Future Retail for Cultural Exchange

MSD has formally aligned itself with fashion label ALPHA60 as Education Partner, with collaborations to enrich the teaching and learning activities for both MSD students and the general public. Over a two year period starting in 2020, the partnership encompasses the development of learning opportunities through studio and elective subjects, and public-facing exhibitions featuring the outputs of the collaboration.

Through a range of learning opportunities the collaboration will explore the future of what a fashion ‘store’ can be. A public space in and of the city, the contemporary fashion store is no longer an environment strictly for consuming material, it is a scene of cultural storage and exchange. Utilising experimental digital technology, inventive material, and innovative display methods the collaboration will strategise on the role of the contemporary fashion store, its impact on the city, and how design and architecture can enhance experiences of cultural exchange.

What if customers were no longer identified as consumers, but recognized as researchers, students, patients, museum-goers? What if the shopping experience were not one of impoverishment, but of enrichment? Rem Koolhaas - On Prada New York

The collaboration will critique and expand the idea of what it means to ‘store’ cultural material - garments, jewellery, literature, art, data, ideas, experiences. The store will be explored as a space not only for supply, but for the spatial storage and display of real and virtual material, engaging the public, mediating the city.

Over multiple semesters students who participate in the collaboration will be able to work with Georgie and Alex Cleary, Alpha60 Creative Directors, to develop a range of ideas that will be exhibited through a variety of physical and virtual mediums and may even become integrated into the Alpha60 stores, collections and online content.

In semester 1, 2020, these ideas will start to be explored through two masters subjects, a design studio “STORE”, and an elective “Siii Lab - 3d Scanning & Virtual Reality. These two subjects are designed to complement each other with content and materials produced being used and shared across both subjects. Students interested in being part of the collaboration are encouraged to enroll in both, however can also enroll in either as a standalone subject.

Siii Lab: 3D Scanning & Virtual Reality (ABPL90422)

Siii Lab introduces students to critical views on 3D scanning and virtual reality technology by digitally reproducing and representing spatial environments. Siii Lab focuses on the relationship between image making technologies; 3D scanning, photography, film, real-time render engines - and architectural representation. ALPHA60 will provide the architectural spaces, objects, situations and events that students will scan, analyse and represent during the elective.

STORE Design Studio

This design studio will be the key element that conceptually explores and develops design outcomes responding to the idea of what it means to ‘Store’ cultural material - garments, jewellery, literature, art, data, ideas, experiences. The design work produced in the first semester will be further developed in subsequent semesters formalising the conceptual ideas into built projects.

This webpage will become the digital storage location for outcomes produced during the collaboration. Check back regularly for updates and insights into where the ideas are leading.

STORE collaboration led by Jas Johnston (ExLaB) and Ben Waters (Siii Projects).