City is one of the greatest inventions of mankind. In this colossal form of production, the status of individuals’ lives is also infinitely magnified. We are now living in a highly commercialized society. Shopping centers at the most essential areas of the cities have become the landmarks of the contemporary lifestyle. The new generation consumers have a different and reconstructed perception of cities. Homogenous shopping complexes have long been transformed into places offering unique experience through artists, designers or commercial brands. The experience-oriented consumption which integrates such new elements as culture and art has become the panacea to make a breakthrough in the development of shopping centers.
From 2012 to 2018, Karv One Design, as a revolutionary, participated in the emergence of a new super IP for cultural consumption. This time, in the K11 art-themed commercial center adjacent to the Canton East Tower, the landmark of Guangzhou, Karv One designed an artistic space for Yan Ji You book store. For the flagship store in Guangzhou, Karv One innovatively created stories and topics for the space and built connections between visitors’ perception of the space and the profound connotations of the brand with metaphorical and enlightening stories of the space. Shrouding metaphors in the enigma of riddles is how Karv One responds to the development of the current real economy.
Space of Artistic Metaphors
黑洞·引力场 | Black Hole·Gravitational Field
Once again, Karv One looked beyond the conventional design expressions of Jan Ji You and came up with an innovative design for the K11 store reflecting the inspiration of the “black hole and gravitational fields”. Mystic black is the color of choice that is applied consistently through the whole multidimensional space. Interactive puzzles are embedded into the metaphorical space to appeal to the curiosities of the visitors for exploring a journey of innovation. It is also an embodiment of a unique aesthetic of design.
隐喻，揭开空间的谜题 | Metaphor, Solving the Puzzles of Space
The entrance is the starting point for an exploration journey. Karv One put a lot of ingenious thoughts in the signboard design. A special paint is used to achieve the rough yet delicate metallic texture of the decoration panel, while the color black is used, enveloping the entire space in a mysterious atmosphere and style.
▼主入口，黑色则赋予整个空间充满神秘的氛围和格调，entrance area: the entire space is enveloped in a mysterious atmosphere and style
In ancient times, our ancestors carved symbols on stone slabs in order to record major events and their lives. Later generations are now able to explore the ancient civilizations by solving those riddles. Karv One designed the luminous characters on the decorative panel of the signboard, showcasing the three major moments in the development of the written language, and symbolizing development and exploration. This marks the beginning of the space metaphors. Standing at the entrance, visitors could glimpse into the space inside. Complexity has been made simple through ditching excessive decorations for the whole space. Stainless-steel is used extensively indoors to enhance the overall quality.
启发，时空刻度之始 | Inspiration, the Start of the Space & Time
The podium area is where there is huge footfall. It is a symbolic usherer for the space in the sense of design while in the structure of the spatial metaphor, it is an inspiration. Karv One chose to use reflective black mirrors, coupled with a dynamic led display, to deliver a strong sense of time and space. The special platform in the area is like the point where the time that travels through different spaces solidifies. Standing here, you may be reminded of the scale of the clock. Different from the normal clocks, a cycle is formed by 26 numbers and 26 English words. It is a hint for the entire space puzzle. The ingenuity of the design is to immerse the visitor in the space in order to uncover the mystery.
▼投射在地面上的数字是对整个空间谜题的提示，the numbers projected on the ground offer a hint for the entire space puzzle
探索，艺术与想象无界 | Exploration, Boundless Art and Imagination
Karv One implanted puzzles in the spaces, which incited the curiosity of the visitors to seek to explore every one of them. The values of spaces have also been maximized. Visitors are able to interact with the entire space by walking through the book area, themed art area, coffee area, and the children’s play area.
It is worth mentioning that, Karv One designed two distinctive themed art areas in order to harmonize the spatial layout interrupted by the hollowed partitions between spaces, which makes the whole space arrangement more practical and stylish. Premium art installations are surrounded by tall walls of books. People walk through the “gate of art” and can watch and feel arts at close range. The crowds shuttle through space and form a harmonious relationship with artworks and books. The “emptiness” at the top of the space not only extends people’s imaginations, but also forms an interactive response with people. This is an important place where visitors are willing to stay. The coffee area is designed with a large range of stainless steel ceilings, effectively connecting different business formats. Partitions lower than the ceiling help achieve the integration of products and space.
▼主题艺术区域，themed art areas
解谜，记录空间的旅程 | Puzzle Solving, Journey of Recording the Space
A key consideration for Karv One is how to maximize the bond between the space and people in it. From solving puzzles to the spatial exploration, each visitor leaves with his/her own experience of a journey. Both visual and auditory riddles are cleverly embedded by Karv One in the cabinets and walls at various locations throughout the space to guide visitors to solve mysteries and consider the relationship between puzzles and spaces.
In the visual theme, Karv One combined the moon cycle with the eyesight test table to form a password. The decoding method is to match the numbers with the corresponding English words. In the auditory theme, the five-line staff is designed into 13-line. The decoding method is to match the position of the notes on the lines with the English words. Each visitor will get his/her own answer according to the hint of the riddle. It might be Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” or Shakespeare’s “Twelve Nights”, or it might be the visual beauty of the riddle itself…During seeking and exploring, each person builds a journey of his/her own, which also represents a profound connection between man and space.
▼视觉主题谜语，visual theme puzzle
▼听觉主题谜语，auditory theme puzzle
On the whole, Karv One enhanced the sense of art and quality for the space experience with the continuity and diversity of various guiding systems. It is not difficult to establish interactions between people and space when the previously beyond-reach art is made accessible to the general public. In the process of searching and exploring, each person is able to take away a profound memory. The space journey itself is a life experience full of artistic beauty and possibility.
▼不同风格的导视系统，guiding systems in different style
Karv One, with this thoughtful design, created for the brand a magnetic field full of magical life experience. As a valuable venue, the space also serves as a platform for the public to mingle and share, thus gathering long lasting vigor and vitality in Guangzhou.
设计主创：Kyle Chan / Derek Ng
设计团队：Jacky Wan / Leon Zhang / Carol Chan / Derrick Leung