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Spatial and Environmental Design: The Weird and the Wonderful

Briefs don't come much bigger than designing the shop window of a flagship store. That's exactly the challenge John Lewis set young creatives in their 2016 New Blood Awards brief. But they weren't after any old display, they wanted the window of the future. Only something inspiring, inventive, conceptually relevant and eye-catching would do for their Oxford Street shop. We went on a spree through D&AD's archive to find you the most attention-grabbing spatial and environmental design winners so far. 

Foreword from the Foreman

"I'm looking forward to my mind being stretched by ideas that skew the conventional to create the extraordinary. The best response will allow us to see that someone's really got under the skin of the challenge and then brought their own creative spark to the table. I want to see work that's intelligent and inspired, with that extra cherry on top. So research research research, dream, think laterally and sweat it out. Find your own personal voice and trust your instincts". – Howard Sullivan, John Lewis Judging Panel (Co-founder and Creative Director, YourStudio).

Award: Graphite Pencil

80 Victoria Street - Division of Space

Category: Environmental Design / Exhibitions / 2007
Agency: Radford Wallis
Client: Land Securities

The brief? 80 Victoria Street was the largest part of Land Securities Cardinal Place office development in London SW1. One of the large floors was to be split into four smaller sections and let to separate mid-sized companies, by eventually building four partition walls. Letting agents showing prospective tenants around the vast empty floor space required something to clearly demonstrate the future division. The solution? Four items that could be used to mark out or divide the space. The objects were created at large scale and positioned where the partitions would eventually stand. The twist in scale echoes the huge proportions of the floor space available.

80 Victoria Street - Division of Space
80 Victoria Street - Division of Space
80 Victoria Street - Division of Space
80 Victoria Street - Division of Space
80 Victoria Street - Division of Space
Award:Black Pencil

 Kinetic Sculpture for the BMW Museum

Category: Environmental Design / Installations / 2009
Agency: ART+COM
Client: BMW Group

The Kinetic Sculpture was a metaphorical translation of the process of form-finding in design. Covering an area of six square metres, it comprised 714 metal spheres, hanging from thin steel wires attached to individually controlled stepper motors to animate a seven-minute long mechatronic narrative. Moving chaotically at first, the sculpture evolved through several competing forms, eventually resolving into a final shape whose profile hints at one of many well-known, historic and current, BMW automobiles. Shortly after the opening of the BMW Museum, the Kinetic Sculpture became the most watched video worldwide in the automotive category on YouTube for a week.

Award:Wood Pencil

 Piccadilly Lights Switch

Category: Environmental Design / Installations / 2009
Agency: Hat-trick Design
Client: Land Securities

Land Securities commissioned a temporary hoarding for one of their premises at Piccadilly Lights, before it was occupied by new tenants. The hoarding was designed to celebrate the company's ownership of this prestigious London location. The copy on the hoarding reads: 'Piccadilly Lights, owned, managed and illuminated by Land Securities'.

Piccadilly Lights Switch
Award: Graphite Pencil

 Coat Hanger Skeletons

Category: Environmental Design / Retail & Services / 2009
Agency: Harvey Nichols
Client: Harvey Nichols & Company

Two gigantic dinosaur skeletons appeared across the front windows of the Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge store in September 2008. The skeletons, one of a dinosaur and the other of a prehistoric fish, were designed and created in-house by Harvey Nichols’ visual display team. These skeletal forms created a powerful sculpture that on closer inspection could be seen to have been made entirely out of wooden coat hangers. To highlight this fact, items of clothing were displayed occasionally, hung from a coat hanger 'bone'. Over 11,000 wooden coat hangers were cut, manipulated and suspended within the windows to form this structure which was in place for six weeks. Since then, this skeletal sculpture has been installed in other Harvey Nichols store windows across the UK.

Coat Hanger Skeletons
Coat Hanger Skeletons
Coat Hanger Skeletons
Award: Graphite Pencil

 The Social Playground

Category: Spatial Design / Installations / 2012
Agency: aberrant architecture
Client: FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology)

As part of ‘Knowledge Lives Everywhere’, an exhibition at FACT, Aberrant Architecture designed The Social Playground, a giant interactive landscape built in collaboration with local community groups in Liverpool. The Social Playground is based around the British game of egg rolling, an Easter tradition that sees families decorating hard boiled eggs and rolling them down local hills. Aberrant’s version invited visitors to explore and race wooden eggs down and around seven different structures, which represented and revealed work carried out by the various community groups.

The Social Playground
The Social Playground
The Social Playground
Award:Yellow Pencil

 Autumn Intrusion

Category: Environmental Design / Retail Design / 1998
Agency: Heatherwick Studio
Client: Harvey Nichols

The Kinetic Sculpture was a metaphorical translation of the process of form-finding in design. Covering an area of six square metres, it comprised 714 metal spheres, hanging from thin steel wires attached to individually controlled stepper motors to animate a seven-minute long mechatronic narrative. Moving chaotically at first, the sculpture evolved through several competing forms, eventually resolving into a final shape whose profile hints at one of many well-known, historic and current, BMW automobiles. Shortly after the opening of the BMW Museum, the Kinetic Sculpture became the most watched video worldwide in the automotive category on YouTube for a week.

Autumn Intrusion
Autumn Intrusion
Autumn Intrusion

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