Our relationship with nature is always changing, continuously forcing us to upgrade our ideas and approaches. The new store titled “New Nature”, designed by Salon Alper Derinboğaz for Reflect Studio’s new brand, aims to provide an up-to-date overview of nature, bringing innovative materials and experimental recycling methods into the AI generated objects in the living habitat of the store.
‘Reflect Store – New Nature’ seeks to provide a viable exemplar for the idea of next sustainability moving towards the approach of a generative space, a laboratory where new life can grow. By giving space to non-human actors and employing generative tools, the project seeks to create an experimental environment where humans and non-human objects can inherently interact with each other. Going beyond the commercial motives of the shopping place, the project brings DIY culture to the fluid space of the store and encourages the creative participation of the visitors.
Inspired by the “Hot Spring” hypothesis, which describes the viable conditions for the gradual transition from transmuted inanimate matter into the living world, the project adopts a generative approach that mimics nature’s evolutionary approach. Rather than designing the finished objects, the project seeks an iterative process that will generate a certain number of outputs that meet certain conditions and parameters for the design. The generated forms dispersed to the space functions as furniture and implies a future common habitat with their proportions, textures, and colours.
Through operating algorithms into the design process, an experimental way for the production of spaces was achieved where non-human beings share an equal stage with humans. Objects gain their own autonomy while evolving with algorithms. Instead of the shop window that displays items for sale, the window becomes a view into what we see as an experimental future habitat, a stage set for human and non-human objects in which new relationships are tested. Thereby the inward-looking shop window becomes an outward-facing future stage.
The interior space consists of five separate parts: the customization area, the showroom, the payment area, the storage, and the changing room. Welcoming the visitor at the entrance of the store, the amorphous “Maker’s Table” defines the customization area as a collective plane where people can creatively intervene on products. Surrounding this collective and fluid environment with a showroom, the space provides a fluid experience for the visitors between the customization table and the products.
The project seeks to create experimental composites diversified with the production techniques by recycling waste material from the production phases. Waste aluminium parts become an ingredient in the aggregate mix of the terrazzo flooring as a stable and maintenance-free element. Sigma profiles used in hangers allow fast, mechanical and versatile design possibilities through its channelled structure and joining details. Shelves were produced from epoxy resin material by recycling the antistatic plastic bags used back in packaging. And the waste fabrics were fixed with resin and transformed into seating units. With its steel carcasses structure, the green bench in front of the changing room minimises the section thickness of the material in use and reflects the image of an aerodynamic object. Likewise, the display table design aims to achieve minimum weight and material use with the hexagonal porous structure of aluminium composite panels. The metal water ripple sheet used in the changing room and the metal laminate coating used on the walls reflect a future image of a natural habitat in the interior space.
Rather than merely highlighting the products with spotlights, aluminium lighting elements were homogeneously distributed in the ceiling to illuminate the total space. And RGB led units illuminate the ceiling with transforming colours attuned to the daylight environment referring to the natural context in the isolated climate of the shopping centre.