craft:pegg invited to exhibit at RIBA annual project to design a series of shop windows for retailers on London’s Regent Street

craft:pegg's installation for the National Geographic Store on Regent Street, London
craft:pegg's installation for the National Geographic Store on Regent Street, London

The Regent Street Windows Project 2011 features 10 original architect-led window installations along Regent Street, forming a street-wide open-air exhibition open 24/7.

According to the RIBA website, on account of craft:pegg’s portfolio of work interpreting cartography, the practice was teamed with the National Geographic store. The brief for this installation was to stimulate debate about the city of the future and fuse this with the brand values and retail strategies of the National Geographic Store.

craft:pegg’s finished piece is constructed primarily from recycled materials, features a 3.5m free-standing living wall, a three metre high stack of National Geographic back-issues and a sculpted screen of card print tubes to dramatic effect. The information cloud is peppered with images from the magazines history and text challenging the reader to question both the historic interpretation of city and speculate about the future directions that cities will take in the coming decades with the rise of Ecological Urbanism.

Lead designer John Pegg, commented: “We’ve been involved in several high-profile retail-led schemes over the last few years. Retail developers have realised the external character of their developments sets the quality, tone and brand identity for the whole scheme, so as a landscape team we’ve been up close to high-end retail for some time.”

He continued: “The big difference in creating what is essentially a temporary installation is the freedom it gives from the need for robustness. You can afford to play around and try some outrageous ideas that don’t require the longevity our regular client group requires.”

craft:pegg built the installation themselves because, Pegg explained, the actual process of making is all too often lost in the professional context. “This is something we focus on in our teaching but also an element we try to bring to our schemes when we can.

“It is very easy to stop the design process at the arms-length stage of producing drawings, but that kills all sorts of opportunities for learning and creativity that are vital if we are to evolve as adventurous design teams,” he said.

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