Modern Emporium

Studio philosophy

This studio will appeal to students who are fascinated by the ever changing landscape of retail design.

It will look at the retail market from big brands and stores to smaller, independent retailers, temporary pop-up environments to modern vending.

We will explore what makes retail spaces – big and small – exciting, functional, memorable and pleasant to be in – or the opposite.
A special focus will be on branded environments. What is a brand? What defines it? Is it just about labels or familiar logos or is there more behind this heavily used buzz word than meets the eye?

Our aim will be to take the intangible ideas of a brand and transform them into a tangible, physical space.

Knowledge of merchandising, the retail journey, materials and lighting will be built up through a serious of lectures from High Street retailers, shop-fitters, retail architects and lighting designers.

Project 1: Marks & Spencer : Homeware Store

We are very excited to be teaming up with high-street giant Marks & Spencer this year to help them rethink the spatial concept and customer experience of their International Homeware Store to attract a younger customer base.

You are asked to look at the M&S brand, its Vision and Mission and indeed the latest PLAN A strategy that is followed in all sectors and departments within M&S.

You will investigate not only M&S Homeware outlets across the globe but other ‘homeware’ stores where you can compare and contrast styles and customer bases looking at key factors of appeal and retail experience.

You are asked to explore ideas of season and trend. How do they alter across the world? What are the fluctuations and transformations within the store design, how do these changes affect both the structure and the detail of your design?

Project 2: Estee Lauder: Pop-Up shop

Through a chosen site, the brief will look at transporting a specific high street brand (Estee Lauder) into an unfamiliar, new and inspiring environment in order to attract a different target demographic. The focus will be on evolving ideas of approach, first impressions, thresholds and immersion to the transformation of space within an un-used or vacant environment. From brand evaluation, the retail journey, quality of experience, materiality and customer participation will be explored.

You will be working with a wide range of different tools and media to convey and explain your ideas not only to your fellow students and tutors but your ‘client’ Marks & Spencer who we will meet for client presentations and critiques.

We will be working with mood boards, hand sketches, drawings and collages followed by CAD drawings and 3d computer models to detail and further illustrate and prove your ideas.

There will be a chance to work cross discipline within workshops concentrating of the theatrical and textural elements within retail spaces.

Project 3: Major project

Brief: individual in agreement with studio and course leader.

Other briefs throughout the academic year:

  • Banbury Walker 48 hour Internship competition.
  • D&AD competitions, similar themes to be explored and developed through an appropriate brief.
  • Independent Project that follows similar themes and narratives.

Study Trip

The study trip to Milan will support and contrast the retail ideas that exist in London. It will reveal cultural and geographical fashion similarities and differences and how this translates through materials and customer experience. Milan represents and highlights the best in fashion retail and at the same time hosts the furniture fair which allows for alternative, ephemeral and avant-garde ideas which inspire and set trends throughout the world.

Levi Store, Berlin Jump


Course Interior Architecture BA (Hons)
Interior Design BA (Hons)
Where CR512A, 41 Commercial Road
When Tuesdays, Fridays
Tutors Markus Nonn
David Jenkins

Salamata Bah
Chyan Blackwood
Fahmida Choudhury
Delita Cole
Monique Denis
Ryan Davies
Navid Esgandar Zadeh Fard
Julia Guth
Julie Havanci
Nimisha Jina
Jakub Klimes
Anna Laufenberg
Semone Modeste
Peju Oshin
Kayleigh Shoult
Kamile Sulinskaite
Gabriela Szuwart
Diana Todorova
Monika Tomic
Christopher Walker

Marcia Toche de Carudho
Kesha Clarke
Sabrina Y Durani
Dalia Hussain
Charmaine Mokodas
Thamina Moshahid
Agathe Oury
Ina Parker
Augustina Posiunaite