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RE/CORD. Virtual Retail (MA Signature Project)

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Paper Plane Design Creative

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The increasing demand for new experiences within the retail sector means that we have to think more laterally in engaging with an ever changing technological savvy population. RE/CORD is a concept design that was done as part of my Masters Degree that looked deeply into consumer behavior and future trends. My outlook was bleak. I foresee the high-street stores of today closing down, leaving a ghost town of physical stores that are full to the brim of cheap, un-inspiring un-imaginative stores that demand for the sale and not the experience. So I see a shift in virtual retail. RE/CORD proposes digital replicas of our cities that are populated with virtual designs created on commercial 3D packages. The user orientates themselves around these virtual stores and high streets as if they were playing a game. The only difference with this game is that you can order items. This project was based on the music industry and how virtual stores could be tailored to suit individual music likes and needs. The concept design process consisted of being inspired by 20 genres of music and converting these results into 3D forms. These 3D forms acted as the main form of the interior, using a wrap around technique within a popular 3D modelling program. Textures and materials were dictated by the genre of music of the individual. The overall idea was to make these stores individual and bespoke to that user. This begged the question of how? I needed a database full of people's music tastes and likes. The perfect place for this is Facebook. So the user experience works a little bit like this. 1. User connects to the RE/CORD marketplace via a Facebook app that requires them to enter their Facebook username and password. 2. The computer algorithm scans for keywords relating to music (artists, lyrics, song titles etc) 3. These keywords are matched to materials and textures that relate to the user's likes. For example: Pop music can be matched to vibrant colors and smooth and glossy surfaces. 4. The interior is created before their eyes. Now they can navigate the store as if they were walking within their favorite high street store. By integrating Facebook into this scheme it means that a 'bespoke' feel can be created for each and every user. With just a small amount of materials, colors, textures and forms approximately 246,000,000 different variations could be possible. This is my prediction and since this project was completed signs of this shift have become increasingly more popular.

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