What are the major architectural, social and structural factors that have initiated innovation in the design of shops? Your answer should refer to examples from the eighteenth century to the present day
Major Architectural, Social and Structural Factors that have Initiated Innovation in the Design of Shops
Social, structural, and architectural factors work collectively to influence shop and department store designs. Since the eighteenth century, these factors have significantly influenced shop and department store designs and architecture. The factors have over the years initiated innovation in the design and development of shops influencing their architecture. Major social factors stem from social integration, globalization, and the multiculturalism of the communities. The influence of regional interaction and the impact of different socio-artistic and economic events such as exhibitions and expositions and the religious and social class influence define the overall development of the society. Moreover, other social factors play a major role in the development of shop designs and architecture. Moreover, different architectural and structural factors have contributed greatly towards the development of shop designs since the eighteenth century up to now. The identification of the influence of the different factors shows the initiation of innovation in shop/department stores’ designs (Gorst, 2003). This essay discusses the influence of the social, architectural, and structural factors in initiating innovation in the design and development of shops.
Factors that have Initiated Innovation in the Design of Shops
Different shop designs in European countries developed from the influence of the Exhibition, Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. The influence of the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (the Paris Exhibition) initiated innovation in the development of shop and department stores around the world (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2016). It attracted architects and developers from various regions with different designs developed from different inspirations (Poulin, 2012). Additionally, it involved key players from French department stores and other parties from different countries. The involvement of the Printemps and the Galeries Lafayette and the development of pavilions in the Exhibition grounds played a significant role in influencing the development of shop designs. The social integration and the effective platform for sharing and initiating design innovations triggered a significant development of shop architecture. The numerous visitors drew inspiration from designs such as the French Moderne Design, which they thereafter copied and enhanced through innovative designs (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2016).
The early twentieth century recorded insurmountable architectural and shop design development influenced by different social factors. Architects developed and redeveloped various shop designs in Britain in the 1920s through to the 1930s. The architectural development of shops was influenced by issues such as the 1925 Paris Exhibition. The Exhibition sparked the development of architectural designs and styles that influenced shop designs significantly. Following the exhibition, various department stores and shops rebuilt their premises or redeveloped their facades with inspiration acquired from the Exhibition. There was a shift towards the use of marble, neon, and chrome, which caused the revitalization of shop designs by initiating innovation in the development of designs and architectural styles (Blanc, et al., 2003).
Additionally, the increase in population through the centuries has influenced the development of shop architecture and designs. The world’s population has grown significantly since the eighteenth century calling for the redevelopment of structures and the general development of the society to cater for the needs and demands of the high populations. The increase in population caused the development of different sectors to ensure socio-economic growth (Frampton, 2007). Of the major changes made was the development and redevelopment of shop designs. There was increased diversification of shop designs in the early twentieth century as demand for goods and services increased and shop owners required space and platforms for the display and sale of their merchandise (David Vernet, 2007). The designs shifted from low and lesser storey buildings to high-storey buildings with large open-plan spaces. This was also partly caused by the increasing number of department stores. The early twentieth century architectural designs used the latest technologies such as steel frames and large sheets of glass to meet the demand. Moreover, the designs used electric lighting and reflectors integrated into the ceilings off the display windows and replaced the previously used gas lighting of the 19th century. As such, the increasing demand from the rising population caused a socio-economic upsurge and triggered innovativeness in the design and development of shops and department stores (Miller, 1981).
The Liberty department store located at the Regent Street, West End of London is an example of the stores that developed to meet the need caused by increasing demand for goods and services.
The social changes experienced as women started to attain emancipation and right to various freedoms and the changing notion of shopping for pleasure rather than necessity triggered innovative shop and department stores’ designs. In the early 20th century, women were beginning to enjoy freedom and could wander unescorted in different cities, especially in Europe. Following the freedom came the demand for goods and services and the social change towards increased consumption. The construction of designs such as the Selfridges department store was inspired by the quest for the promotion of the social change towards shopping for leisure rather than for necessity. As such, the change triggered innovation of the design. Constructed in the early 20th century, the design was different from earlier designs in various ways. It used a steel frame structure, plate glass, and included display windows that have over the years branded the building (Blanc, et al., 2003). Moreover, the steel frame base lay on the brick pile foundations and was supported by another steel frame holding all the internal walls and the concrete floors of the building.
The design of Selfridges’ 27 Oxford Street display windows was inspired by the desire to attract customers and tourists to the building. According to Pegler (2015), the building is of great significance in the area. Its windows have become synonymous with the brand it promotes and plays an important role in attracting tourists, designers, developers, customers, and fashionistas among others. They contribute greatly towards the revenues collected from the store, thereby serving the major purpose for which they were designed. According to Frampton (2007), almost 20 percent of the business-winning trade comes from the windows. The influence of the windows and the building on the architecture of shops and department stores in the region is immense and so is its influence on modern architecture. Various designers and architects have drawn inspiration from the architecture and design of the building and integrated components of the designs in other designs across the UK and around the world (Pegler, 2015).
Social, architectural and structural factors set a clear distinction between the architecture and design of shops in the different centuries since the 18th century hitherto. The social factors include the increasing social changes experienced in the society while architectural and structural design differences develop from different factors such as new advancements and market demands. The factors outline significant changes or differences in the shop designs. The early 20th century shop architecture and designs differ significantly from the 19th century designs. The early 19th century architecture in Paris, France differs from the architecture and shop designs of the early 20th century. This was mainly due to the social and architectural changes experienced in the region. The development of arcades and different designs in the 1780s through to the 1830s depicts numerous factors that influenced innovative development (Manco, 2013).
For instance, poor architectural planning of Paris in the 18th century left narrow pavements that were crowded with people and horse traffic making shopping in the area an ordeal. Shopping areas at the time included arcades such as the Galeries de Bois developed in the 1780s, initiated innovative designs and architectural development. The innovativeness led to the development of buildings such as the Galerie d’Orleans, which replaced the Galerie de Bois. The early 19th century (1828-1830) designed was the first to use glass tunnel vault and led to the development of similar designs and architectures. An example of the early 19th century design is the Royal opera Arcade developed by Nash and Repton between 1816 and 1828 (Manco, 2013). The developers mainly used wrought and cast iron in the construction of the building and designed a dome over the bays. Considering its elegant designs and its integration of efficient construction materials, the building inspired the development of other shops and department stores across the UK.
The social, architectural, and structural factors led to the development of modern shop designs, which continue to be developed. The modern structures/designs depict different designs as compared to the 18th and 19th century designs. However, many other build on the architectural designs of the past, showing the influence of the architectural factors. Moreover, most are different in numerous ways due to the influence of the technology, globalization, and socio-economic, structural, and architectural advancement. The integration of different architectural designs, the application of more efficient building and structural materials, and the influence of different designs from different parts of the world show the impact of the factors in improving innovation in the development of shop designs and department stores (Stratton, 1997). Modern designs integrate steel frames, vitrolite, and use smooth and curved facades. Such a building is the Simpson’s, Piccadilly in London, which was constructed in 1936 (Pegler, 2015).
Moreover, religion has played a significant role in the development of shop designs. For instance, the Christianity-inspired architectural designs in England continue to have an impact on the development of architectural designs of shops. Since the eighteenth century, religion has greatly influenced the development of architecture around the world. The influence on different structural constructions and the continued expansion of religion continues to impact on and influence all sectors of structural and architectural development. Religion-inspired designs integrate innovation and other architectural styles to develop designs that respond to changing practices, beliefs, and local traditions. The expansion of religion into different areas and the increasing population since the 18th century has led to the spread of Christian architecture and the integration of the designs in different structures. Though initially the architecture was mainly used for the development of religious buildings, its effects is evident in residential and shop designs. Various shop designs in the UK use interior and exterior designs inspired by religion, specifically Christian architecture.
Since the eighteenth century hitherto, various social, structural, and architectural factors continue to initiate innovation in the design of shops. Historical changes have led to numerous social, structural, and architectural changes that serve as significant factors influencing innovation in the design and development of shops and department stores. From the increased in population to increasing consumption and consumption patterns, social factors have played a significant role in the development of innovativeness in the architectural development and design of shops. For instance, population increase from the eighteenth century to the early twentieth century caused a change in the design of shops and department stores from the low-storey and high-storey buildings. Additionally, as consumerism and consumption increase constantly, shops are designed to meet the demands of the populations and act depict effectiveness for the various roles they are designed for. Such a cases include the Selfridges building and the Liberty building constructed in the early 20th century in accordance with the social changes experienced at the time and foreseen. Additionally, social integration, architectural, and structural factors have over the years influenced enhanced innovativeness in the design and development of shops and department stores. Integration from exhibitions and advancement in architectural and structural engineering sectors causing developments of more efficient materials of construction have triggered innovation in the design of shops. Moreover, architectural factors such as existing buildings have contributed greatly towards the enhancement of innovation, and consequently, the design of shops.
Blanc, A., McEvoy, M. & Plank, R., 2003. Architecture and Construction in Steel. London: Taylor & Francis.
David Vernet, L. d. W., 2007. Boutiques and Other Retail Spaces: The Architecture of Seduction. New York: Routledge.
Frampton, K., 2007. Modern Architecture: A Critical History. New York: Thames & Hudson.
Gorst, T., 2003. The Buildings Around Us. London: Taylor & Francis.
Manco, J., 2013. Researching the history of shops. [Online]
Available at: http://www.buildinghistory.org/buildings/shops.shtml
Miller, M. B., 1981. The Bon Marché : bourgeois culture and the department store, 1869-1920. Princeton University Press: Princeton.
Pegler, M. M., 2015. Stores of the year. No. 15. London: Hi Marketing [distributor].
Poulin, R., 2012. Graphic design + architecture, a 20th century history : a guide to type, image, symbol, and visual storytelling in the modern world. Beverly, MA: Rockport Publishers.
Stratton, M., 1997. Structure and Style: Conserving Twentieth Century Buildings. London: Taylor & Francis.
Victoria and Albert Museum, 2016. The Modern Shop: Architecture & Shopping between the Wars. [Online]
Available at: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/t/modern-shop-architecture-shopping-between-wars/