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Brief Published: 27 Jan 2014

Selfridges: Festival of Imagination


As announced back in December, British department store Selfridges is currently holding a Festival of Imagination, highlighting the importance of pushing the boundaries of design to fuel innovation. The six-week programme brings together conceptual products with a series of inspiring talks and events across three of its stores.

As part of the event, pioneering UK-based designer Dominic Wilcox has filled the windows of the London store with products from his design series Variations on Normal. Known for his outlandish and unconventional designs, the pieces on show include an umbrella featuring plant pots that are watered when it rains, an alarm clock that wakes the user up with a bugle, and even a beard made of crystals. 

While clearly not commercial products, his works demonstrate how playful experimentation can harness a fantastical and lighthearted approach to design that engages with the consumer in a new way. The pieces have a humorous approach similar to that described in our Design Direction Play S/S 15

The festival is also examined as an example of modern retail activism in the Stores as Sanctuary section of the upcoming Austerity Opportunity Macro Trend.