Design is the art of negotiating between competing desires. Designers are continuously asked to invent an in-between. This does not mean the in-between is a compromise. It is a new condition, in fact, one that often challenges the status quo and forces the industry, client and general audience to do the same. The in-between is inevitably the most realistic option. For a 10-week studio, students imagined a renewed future for a distinct but unassuming building in Montgomery as separate but related showrooms for home goods and office environments. Conducted entirely online, the studio also challenged students to imagine a new interior in-between home and workspace.
Retail is an in-between, and it operates both as “private space”—the personal identity of buying / owning—and “public space”—a new public realm. Retail is extraordinarily pragmatic and ordered. At the same time, it positions goods in a theatre of desire. Increasingly, retail is an online space, with brick and mortar locations a chance to experience the virtual display of goods as a physical experience. This studio challenged students to invent retail as a space in-between private + public, pragmatic + theatrical and virtual + real.