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Monday, May 1, 2017

‘Just Play’

By Annie Aggarwal with inputs from Avinash Yadav
Photography: Luca Morandini; courtesy the architect
Read Time: 2 mins 
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Studio Apostoli lives up to its reputation of cutting-edge design by crafting out a sportswear flagship, ‘Just Play’ with its finger on the pulse of an urbane techno-savvy clientele…

Recently inaugurated at the brand new Adigeo Shopping Centre in Verona, Italy, and designed by Ar. Alberto Apostoli, post extensive market research and user study, ‘Just Play’ is a space that its target customers - youngsters aged four to fourteen can truly identify with.
 
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In collaboration with Nike Inc. and holding Nike, Converse, Hurley and Jordan brands, ‘Just Play’ instantaneously captures young minds with bright green and fuchsia pillars on the sides of a central, subtly meandering path. These prismatic totems feature recessed video walls composed of 16 screens and breach into the ceiling providing clear-cut theming.

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Areas divided based on gender, age group and corners to feature the four brands, all follow a consistent language of fluid, irregular shapes throughout. Product display is highlighted along the walls and via custom-designed freestanding shelves and hangers, in brightly coloured metal, Plexiglass and lacquered wood; the forms reminiscent of sports equipment like skateboards, etc. Island units in wood and metal continue the irregular geometry in a volumetric dimension, whilst bright bold lines on the ceiling reminiscent of an athletic track define the subtle reflect to a sports-thematic. The floor, partly wood with basketball court markings referencing parquet gyms and partly resin with an effect of ‘street’, completes the store.

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Lighting augments the feeling for both parents and children. RGB fixtures with Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) caters to pre-programmed scenarios: parents in the morning with soft, smooth light; while children in the afternoon and on weekends are greeted with impactful, dynamic lights and colours.

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Technology furthers the experience, offering maximum connectivity and interaction. A multimedia tree (the hub) at the entrance displays all the products on sale, offers feedback and contact with store community. Tablets provide a guided, tailor-made shopping experience based on customer preferences, much like a real browser; through the store lined with recessed wall screens, and virtual mirrors that contain a library of 3D garments, also available on display, making them appear as if the user had them on; models and colours changeable with a click. The whole experience shareable on social media makes the shopping experience more rewarding and allows integration with the online store.

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The design goes beyond point of sale approach, and employs marketing and communication strategy in an ambitious and innovative play of elements to create a store that enhances play for its young customers; the concept already set to expand nationwide and beyond.  

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