Selfridges’ pioneering 'Festival of the Imagination' concept launches in London
The future is now
"Imagination is the mother of originality, we encourage imagination in every way possible" said iconic retail legend Harry Gordon Selfridge. For the start of 2014, Selfridges is transforming their store into a portal that will break into the creative mind, as they explore the power of imagination to drive the process of innovation and inform the shape of our future.
Selfridges and Dezeen magazine have come together to present a futuristic concept store among other exciting concepts launching this month. The store will feature an augmented-reality watch store and more remarkably intriguing than that, a walk-around digital model of Zaha Hadid's £300 million super-yacht.
"Dezeen has long been a rich source of reference and inspiration for the creative teams at Selfridges, and we're delighted to finally be collaborating with them on such a uniquely imaginative project," said Linda Hewson, director of creative and windows at Selfridges. Designed by Hadid for German shipbuilder Blohm + Voss, the Jazz super-yacht will be the biggest and most expensive item ever sold at Selfridges. With the ability to explore an augmented reality scale model of the 90-metre yacht using a tablet computer, visitors will be able to fully immerse themselves in the design as if they are actually standing foot aboard the genuine life-size ship itself. The installation is part of The Imagine Shop, which opened on the ground floor of Selfridges just yesterday, Monday January 6 and will run until 2 March as part of the Festival of Imagination - a storewide festival that will "explore the nature, power and positive impact of imagination."
Opening the door to future opportunities, other large scale items such as cars and houses can now be experienced virtually, meaning customers could walk around and even through, objects as if they are really there. Whilst Selfridges will be able to, for the first time, explore how augmented reality could be used in the future to create an immersive retail experience, inside of the Imagine Shop, curated by Dezeen magazine, visitors will browse a wide selection of future facing products.
The shop will feature an augmented reality Dezeen Watch Store pop-up shop where customers will be able to virtually try on a range of watches. By simply wrapping a paper "marker" around their wrists and looking at a screen with their watch in view, customers will then be able to see the watches modeled on their wrists in real time. Alongside the watch, customers will be able to shop among three categories: Future Beauty, Future Life and Wearable Technology.
Throughout the span of the festival, visitors will be entertained at the Imaginarium, a space used to host talks, debates and lectures during the Festival of Imagination, which opens in store on 16 January. Architecture firm OMA designed the temporary auditorium (Imaginarium) to be installed in the London department store's basement. The installation will feature a circular 'amphitheatre' contained within a polycarbonate wall, meanwhile other walls in the space will be covered in mirrors and the floor will be painted in an Op Art-style pattern of black and white stripes, applied using a road-painting machine. The stepped amphitheatre will seat up to 72 people. OMA has also designed the furniture and a folding screen that will be used during talks. Utilising every aspect and blank wall in the space, the columns will be painted with green-screen paint for maximum use.
The Imaginarium will host daily events during the Festival of Imagination and will occupy the Ultralounge in the basement of the store, which is located on Oxford Street in Central London. The Festival of Imagination will take place at 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB from 16 January, however the Imagination Shop is open from 6 January.