How quickly six months have gone by - as we enter our seventh month operating as TA!LAB, we couldn’t be happier to share what we have learnt from this experience. So much has happened; from small hospitality commissions to a big stringy installation at London Design Festival. Indeed, the last six months have been a whirlwind of activity and valuable lessons.
Firstly, retail is not dead. With multiple high street closures being the backdrop as we started planning our business sometime last year, many retailers have been stumped as to how the high street might regenerate itself. The answer is simple, and not new: focus on the experience. Product and service have its limitations for retailers. Both can only go so far to provide value that consumers appreciate. What we have seen successful brands incorporate into their business plans for the next decade is a tailored, flexible spatial experience in their physical stores - complementing their offerings through the online marketplace and beyond. The high street remains the cornerstone of every marketing campaign with face-to-face communication setting the tone for brands to remain relevant to a new generation of spoilt-for-choice consumers.
It is with that in mind that we started planning TA!LAB, offering a unique way of spatial design as our core focus. We see spatial design as the intersection between architecture and branding. That is to think about design as an exercise across all touch points: form, functionality, atmosphere, enjoyability, advertising, branding, and dwell-time.
As we are writing this, we have just finished our first public installation for 100% Design, the UK’s oldest and largest trade fair for architectural and interior industry specialists (see more here: https://www.instagram.com/_ta.lab_/). We designed a hand-woven macrame installation titled Toxic Wonderland in vibrant lilac and fluorescent yellow in which we chose to showcase all the latest trends of the season. With little time for rest, we are already knee-deep in our next adventure: leading a charrette with the School of Architecture and Planning at Newcastle University themed ‘Made (Not) For Instagram’, a tongue in cheek exploration of spatial branding in the age of social media,
We’ll be in touch again soon, and if you think you’ve found this newsletter interesting or of value to someone else, we invite you to pass it on. Go ahead, forward it to your friends, colleagues or even your mum. That’s all from us at TA!LAB for now...
Karl & Cynthia.