A set of window displays revealing urban dreams of tomorrow have transformed London’s Regent Street into an open-air exhibition, thanks to a visionary collaboration between prominent architects and fashion retailers.
The Royal Institute of British Architects has enlisted architects to produce a series of 10 window installations in collaboration with the Regent Street Association and Elle Decoration.
The Cities of Tomorrow project runs along Regent Street, forming a street-long, open-air exhibition that can be viewed 24/7. The initiative follows a successful project last year as part of the Festival of Architecture.
Displays have information panels, as well as interactive codes that passers-by can scan on their smartphones to find out more about the displays. Collaborations include the following:
- Honey with Duchamp
Concept “Breathing kaleidoscope: creating an ever-changing pattern of movement, light and reflection, our installation breathes gradually in and out. Colours, shapes, objects, lights and the images of onlookers are revealed and obscured as it goes from inhale to exhale. Each breath of the piece is different; each breath creates the world anew.”
- Ian McChesney with Levi’s
Concept “Coinciding with the launch of the Levi’s WaterLess jeans - made using significantly less water - this installation is based on water and fluidity. More than 100 pairs of jeans are fixed together in a giant whirlpool.”
- Marks Barfield
Architects with Gant
Concept “Nature and the City: convex mirrors are a favourite artistic device used from Jan van Eyck in the 15th century to Anish Kapoor today. Silver birch is a species that would have once been found in the natural woodland that pre-existed central London.”
- HUT with Aquascutum
Concept “The display is based on a series of material layers that act as a water shield in both architecture and clothing (‘aqua scutum’ in Latin). These overlapping layers, constructed from building materials, occupy the window spaces, creating voids within which the current Aquascutum collections are displayed.”
- DSDHA/Diploma Unit 11 at London Metropolitan University with Banana Republic
Concept “With the possibility that current development will alter the uniquely contradictory character of Soho, DSDHA and the students of Unit 11 have declared a state of emergency. Together they propose a new Urban Constitution for an imagined Free State of Soho.”
- Office for Subversive Architecture with Ted Baker
Concept “Ted’s always said that travel broadens the mind, and Ted’s Hail & Ride [concept] is a unique mixture of store window and public space.
By replicating the bus stop outside the store, the installation mirrors the public space into the shop and interacts with a typical red bench to create a place where the journey both begins and ends.”
- Symbolic representations of London; questioning its future and evaluating the impact of the past; what was and what could have been
- The representation of product features; dissecting products and giving pieces new meaning
- Fragmented, faceted and pieced structures; structures used to symbolically represent elements and actions
- Merging window areas with public space to create a place with both a beginning and an end