This design studio was developed in partnership with Scentre Group and examined the current challenges that face the retail sector due to the immediate impact from the COVID-19 social restrictions and more broadly the transformation of retail operations through online sales.
Students conducted detailed research into the history, current challenges and potential future of retail environments and supporting operations. Early explorations saw the experimentation with a hybridization of 3 brands and retail typologies including the fixed tenancy, kiosk, food court and event.
The final brief asked groups of students (design teams) to develop a response to the hypothetical scenario that a large anchor store decides to vacate Westfield Doncaster leaving a substantial amount of retail space that would require renewal. The brief therefore opens a larger question around future models of retail, the integration of new technologies, social models, and the mall. The brief also required the design teams to address how the ‘vacancy’ is managed in relation to shopper’s experience.
Key considerations in this brief included the implications of social distancing on retail layouts and planning for optimum workflow, a re-evaluation of tenancy sizes, possible hybridization of retail typologies (food court, kiosk, fixed tenancy), innovations in the display of goods and services, reconsiderations for stock location with delivery/pick-up, broader activity for shopping centres (temporary, seasonal, event), integration of online/virtual shopping experiences augmenting physical experiences.
Dr. Roger Kemp
Program Manager, Master of Interior Design