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Space Design For The Fashion Industry
11/21/2012 at 10:40 AM ET
I'd like to study space design, by that I mean, for example, when a designer like Prada comes up with a season's concept, someone designs the fashion shows' spaces, the spaces within her stores, etc. in accordance to that concept.
What trade or what type of school do I go to, to study that.
11/21/2012 at 2:06 PM
Google the phrase "stage design courses" (without the quotation marks.)
11/21/2012 at 4:14 PM
I worked in the design industry - as an industrial designer. If you have ever seen the Mercedes A class - two of the guys I worked with went on to do the styling for it, and got it pushed through against their die-hard management and modelmakers.
The point of saying that is that I got a job with that firm without a single qualification. They could see that I could draw reasonably well and more importantly had a feel for it.
There are no design courses at academic institutions that will teach you how to have a feel for design. It is far too intuitive for institutions to grasp. I know that because our boss was a professor at the Frei in Berlin and hadn't the remotest feeling for design.
Whatever you study, remember this.
11/22/2012 at 1:18 AM
You go to an art school and you take up visual merchandising and interior design. You will be trained to understand the basic concepts of design, what is good and what is poor. Just as if you were an artist you'd be trained on the proper lines that flow in a painting. This is the main skill learned in these schools. You will put yourself into what you learned. But you will learn good and bad design, which by the way, will is an every evolving and changing enigma. Anyone that tells you otherwise, never experienced the training.
Having graduated from such school, I can tell you that is the only thing I learned. Much else was obsolete by the time it was handed to me. Which is OK. The things I needed to learn-- good design, how to design and the mechanics of facility planning-- is timeless. You must have an app for it to start, but seeing you are interested in the field you probably already do.
Drawing is not a skill required in this field.
Then you have two ways to go, you can either work for one store in their planning department, or work for or build your own firm that specializes in retail design. There is also stage design (fashion show space) and pop up stores are very popular. Its not staging.
From there you have a gazillion niches. There are firms that have narrowed their niches to only do auto dealerships, others just retail in airports. And they make a great living by such a fine tuned niche.
The cities with the most retail headquarters are LA and Chicago. But that doesn't limit you. Everyone from Starbucks to Quizno's to REI have their own design staff. Having been a part of this industry- it is dynamic. When we finalized one concept, we deemed it obsolete and began work on the next. Retail design has to be fresh to demand attention.
It is also left brained. A store's success is on the sales per square foot. So when you change a design, your design is evaluated on the additional sales you bring in. That's why its always fresh-- a new design peaks interest. You know why Walmart went to skylights? They found the natural light increased sales.
11/22/2012 at 2:06 PM
Just a footnote to Carol's excellent advice -- look for courses or internships in lighting, which has a huge impact in this field. Music concert experience -- where mood has to change dramatically, follow moving participants, and pulse with the beat of the sound -- is highly analogous.
Additionally, drama departments and theaters often need volunteers/interns in the staging department; and if you're within reach of a video production facility, try to intern for movies, infomercials or television shows, which provide quality interior experience.
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