Camper is fast building a heritage of collaborators that reads like a list of Wallpaper* leading lights. Over in Tokyo, Konstantin Grcic has taken his first foray into retail interiors, injecting a dose of industrial luxe to the Daikanyama district store. He has peppered the store with his concrete-based Chair One, constructed a 'Camper Brick' display on which to show the shoes and direct the flow of traffic in the store and, the most intriguing element, posted a giant map of the area on the far wall. The map is interactive, pinpointing customers' current location and allowing them to post their own local highlights and recommendations.
Meanwhile over in London, Tokujin Yoshioka, Furniture Designer of the Year in our 2007 Wallpaper* Design Awards, has applied his ethereal vision across the new Camper store on London’s Regent Street. Taking an altogether more natural approach, he's decked out the store in his now trademark material petals, finishing the theme off with his Bouqet chairs for Moroso. We grabbed some time with the Japanese maverick to find out a bit more about his latest project.
How did the collaboration with Camper come about?
In July, 2008, I was commissioned to design both a store and a pair of shoes for the 'Camper toðer' collaboration project, designed by Camper with various creators around the world.
Why did you decide to use your Bouquet chair for Moroso as a starting point?
The idea incorporating principles of nature was in fact derived from the installation presented in New York in 2007, where approximately 30,000 sheets of tissues covered the entire space creating a scene reminiscent of snowscape. The store shares the similar world-view of the Bouquet Chair and brings elation to the viewers.
You’ve been using the same folding technique for a couple of years now – what is it about the effect that you like so much?
In recent years, I have been presenting designs, which incorporate the law of nature or a phenomenon. With Camper, I tried to express the elements existing in nature such as plants and flowers. Gathering each flower petal of different appearances has created the ever-changing expression in scenery of the store.
Does it take on a specific significance when applied to the Camper brand?
Folding technique may not take on a specific significance for Camper. But the colour used in the material signifies the corporate colour of Camper and also the images of the brand, which is positive and energetic.
Camper has a heritage of working with the world’s leading creatives in their store designs – is it important to make your own stamp and create an interior that people instantly recognise as yours?
I think the principle of this project is to bring a new value to Camper through each creator's design method. Therefore, I pondered on a new design, which embraces Camper's brand identity and my originality. However, I don’t think all the customers recognize that I designed the store. The most important thing is whether the customers enjoy being in the space and the design helps with that.
Since you won a Wallpaper* design award as best furniture designer in 2008, the design world has changed quite radically. Have events in the past year and a half changed your approach to design?
The Wallpaper* award gave me an opportunity to communicate with more and more people through my works. More generally, in these years, I’ve wondered how people understand my work in relation to the things that are happening in the world. This is how I’ve come to notice that my work is close to the principles of nature and natural beauty. However, my attitude to design has never changed. The reason I continue to design is to make people happy.
What else are you working on at the moment?
I will be designing a Teijin stand for the Japan industry pavilion for the Shanghai EXPO, which will be held in China from 1 May, 2010. I’m also currently working on some very ambitious and interesting projects, which I have dreamed of for a long time but are still confidential.