Lead Author(s): Sebastian Comanescu, Dabija Sonia, Orzea Carmen
Co-author(s): Irina Mihai / Iuliana Dinca
Under the open sky
“Modern stereotypes still characterise Gypsies as wandering people, even though settledGypsies are in the majority” writes Sir Angus Fraser. The concept builds on the nomadicmovements that can be traced in regards to the Roma population entwining it with the new social phenomenon called digital nomadism. From large to small, population movements can be placed into categories, starting from long journeys that involve displacing entire families to a new country to, later on, the periodic movement of merchants from their newfound home to the places where fairs and trade took place. On the other hand, todays digital nomads, travel light, most of the time, carrying a laptop and a cabin-sized bag.
In today’s me-centered, competitive environment, every space needs to suit anyone. Therefore, the theme of the caravan is laid bare at the foundation of the project. A multifunctional space that stores everything, displays what is needed, serves as space for travelling, living, working, socialising and selling,
In terms of surface design warm tones of white, raw wood and translucent drapes set a hospitable mood, suitable for large or small gatherings.
As a general principle, we can break down the conceptual object into three main parts that will eventually determine the spatial configuration of the boutique. The horses, and the coachmans seating are the elements that you first perceive when you encounter a moving caravan. The main body that houses the private and storage areas. And finally, in the back or on the side, one can notice openings and covers that occasionally become counter or gathering space
The storefront, used to spark interest, just as the coachmans seat, is decorated with a few trinkets that complement a centerpiece on display. Once it has grabbed the passerby’s attention,the glance moves to the inside of the boutique. In the center, the table and the display podiums complement the depth of the space while on the sides, an arrangement of translucent arching textile elements tone down the shelving without completely hiding the displayed products. At the back of the store, over a white counter that blends with the surrounding atmosphere dimly glows the visual identity of the place.
While providing a sense of grounding, most of the design elements have interchangeable and moving parts. The display boxes surrounding the main table have incorporated wheels which allows them to be moved to the back or used as extra seating in order to free up space for social gatherings (such as brunches and workshops). The lower area of the shelving is housing storage boxes which, when turned around, act as display elements that can emphasise certain designs. The upper part, on the other hand can make use of interchangeable shelving, cork and pegboards.
The experience provided by the design is both one of familiarity and renewed novelty. All of the these subtle movements could be happening in the old town of a cosmopolitan city or under the open sky.