15 June 2018 • Lior de Vries
A pop-up store for a sustainable future
The Hague University of Applied Sciences opened an edutainment pop-up store during the Festival Designkwartier in The Hague. The pop-up store was a collaboration involving students in Industrial Design Engineering and User Experience Design and MYOMY, a maker of sustainable bags and accessories. The goal was to get people to consider the origins of a product and how it is produced before they would buy it. The students thus designed and built a shop giving a peek into transparent, sustainable production practices.
Five months ago, MYOMY let the Innovation Networks Research Group know that it was interested in its research on pop-up stores. MYOMY proposed working together on the design and sketch of a future shopping experience: a shop that focuses on information and communication instead of selling products. The students were assigned to devise a pop-up store concept and then realise it.
The students discovered that creating a pop-up store wasn’t that easy. One of them said that the complete lack of limitations for the project made it a pretty overwhelming assignment. Nevertheless, the students managed to come up with a functional pop-up store that provided a real MYOMY experience. Visitors to the Designkwartier were impressed by all the work the students had put in as well as the informative material presented to them using an interactive tool.
MYOMY is known for its beautiful designer leather bags as well as its transparent and sustainable business practices. So instead of a focus on selling bags, the pop-up store concentrated on informing visitors about the malpractices engaged in by manufacturers and how these could be corrected. The goal was to get people to think about the origins of a product and how it is produced before they would buy it. The students thus designed and built a shop giving consumers a peek into transparent, sustainable production practices: the kind that should become commonplace.
The four main topics to be addressed were design, materials, production/personnel and logistics. In short, the pop-up store was meant to explain MYOMY’s philosophy of creating products of excellent quality by:
- Giving employees a safe place to work and paying them an honest wage.
- Producing bags without using polluting chemicals or generating harmful residues.
- Minimising polluting emissions generated during the transport of their products and reducing the company’s ecological footprint.
The information about these topics was provided in the form of a game: visitors could try to provide the right answers to questions and thus become eligible to win a MYOMY bag. The game was played by 100 visitors.
Anja Overdiek, a researcher who conducts research for the Innovation Networks Research Group into the options and design requirements for pop-up stores, was pleased with the result. ‘In two days, we got a lot of answers to our own questions relating to how a pop-up store could be more meaningful for both customers and for a brand promoting itself based on its sustainable products and production methods. It was interesting that people who had just experienced the pop-up store wanted to buy a MYOMY bag on the spot.’ With this kind of success, the researcher and MYOMY want to try a second prototype of the pop-up store in the autumn.
This project was supported and co-supervised by Carmen Hutting from the Innovation Playground and funded by The Next Economy Research Platform. The students who worked on the project were: Andra Dauti, Robin Bousquet, Morgan Duta, Mireia Muntane, Oliver Greenwood (all in Industrial Design Engineering), Skirmantas Bajoras, Karparas Litinskas, Gilermi Brasil (in User Experience Design) and Hani Chladilova (in International Communication Management).