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  • Chanda P Kumar

Roam, But Get It Right!

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

As a land that's is witnessing tremendous growth in retail, Indian designers are constantly getting to work with international firms and brands. As a studio that is involved in various international projects in India and overseas, FRDC breaks-down the core ingredients to get things right when venturing into a new turf.


As designers, we are always looking for freedom to explore & being boundless in creativity. We seek new realms for creative expression, We seek to evolve & mature, We seek fresh inspiration and We seek new connections



Designing in a new turf: Here are the core ingredients for the perfect brew


Understand

People | Place | Culture & Way of Life


All design processes must be initiated with the understanding of ‘who are we designing for?’ For instance in the Middle East, the script reads from the right to left, which has influenced the way of life here. Hence, understanding this cultural nuance, we adapted the same psyche for browsing & zoning for the Raymond store in Jeddah.


In another project, Cosmos – a multi-brand electronic store in Mauritius and Madagascar, we initiated the design process by understanding the people, their buying behaviour and culture in these island countries. Group shopping is a phenomena, where large families and groups walk-into stores. Hence, big and spacious stores is the expectation and the same was considered in creating the brand experience for Cosmos.


Reflect

Lifestyle | History | Essence of the Land


Strategy, designs, experiences and merchandising can crafted as location-specific narratives. For chain stores, this gives you the chance to transform each store into its own themed destination. A collection of ‘stories’ and not stores.

These triggers could range from anything deep rooted in a community such as art, music, films or landscape itself.


Perspective

New thinking | International Outlook

Being relevant to the times is vital, as we see rapidly changing beliefs and perspective to the existing scenario. While Jockey is an international brand, over the years it is now perceived as a ‘home grown brand’, considering its wide network and present in every neighbourhood.

For the new flagship in Connaught Place – New Delhi, the brand wanted to elevate and project its international image, where we as the design consultant had to ensure that the brand’s DNA is maintained while creating a more new-age experience. Our exposure to international markets and work, enabled us to craft an impactful yet balanced narrative for jockey, being true to the brand’s ideology. Here, we incorporated a more dynamic ambience via technology, the women’s section (traditionally tucked away towards the rear) was brought up front, and also celebrating athleisure (which the Gen Z considers as casual wear or even work wear) was emphasized with the store experience.


Collaboration

Elevating standards | Foster new connections


Steve jobs put this idea in very simple words “Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.”

While collaboration on international projects & the involvement of team, client & associates definitely elevates design & engineering standards & adhere to international practices, it creates new connections. This leads to new learning and opportunities too.


Learn & Relearn

Open & receptive | Cross-Culture learning


International projects, whether in India or overseas, definitely unlocks the studio’s creative & project management skills. Cross-culture exposure not only lets us learn something new in design, but also people’s behaviour, sensitivity and how we need to transact.


On many international brand assignments, our chance to visit new countries and meet people, helps in psychologically preparing designers on client’s expectation.

Learning happens even when we dine and drink, bringing new learning to the table, which at times could help us relook at our existing thinking/ methods/ processes.


To conclude, as designers we need to go deeper. Our work must be designed for people, it must have ingenuity with familiarity and lastly build bridges among communities.

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