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Heritage Connecting the past with the present

Heritage Connecting the past with the present Design research and proposal for a senior capstone project by Amanda Scott

A final deliverable for IDES 431 Design Theory + Capstone Prep - Fall 2012 coordinated by Jason Lempieri and Jonas Milder

Industrial Design Program Š 2012 School for Design College of Art, Media, and Design University of the Arts 320 South Broad Street Philadelphia PA 19102

Part One: Research

Queuing in Retail Environments

I began the journey of this project by studying retail environments, starting by observing queuing habits of retail consumers. I was interested in the layouts of the designated queuing areas and how these layouts, combined with other factors such as written wayfinding devices or objects affected the consumers’ behavior.

H&M has placed low priced point of purchase items by the line to hopefully inspire customers to make that one extra purchase before checking out. Many customers did make this choice.

The grimace on this young girl’s face was a direct result of getting lost in that labyrinth of ropes. There is a system of ropes at the checkout portion of this Ross store that literally managed to confuse everyone that I watched walk through it. It is set up with the hopes of being helpful, with labels dictating where you should go. The issue with these labels is that they’re entirely untrue. They lead the consumer to believe that if they choose a different maze a vastly different outcome will occur, which isn’t true. This leads to confusion.

The line at the apple store is not particularly in perfect order. Because there is no definitive area to stand, customers aren’t sure where exactly to stand and therefore stand in clumps. A few times this made for confusion as to who was next in line to make a purchase.

The Perception of Retail Environments

Observations: Philadelphia AIDS Thrift

Subsequently in the project I became interested in the general perception of retail spaces. I was interested in what makes a user feel a certain way about different stores. For example, what makes the experience of shopping in a thrift store different than the experience of shopping in a higher end establishment?

The shopping environment at Philadelphia AIDS Thrift is cluttered, to say that least. As with most thrift stores, the maximum amount of products are packed into each small amount of space. Although this store takes measures to be both unique and organized, its products are still arranged in a rather messy fashion, with a high number a products in a small space. There is a high product to space ratio.

Free People

The shopping environment at Free People is more organized with neat stacks and racks of clothing arranged together in a cohesive fashion, based on color, pattern, and pairing with other items. Mannequins display suggested outfits. Except for in the front of the store, there are is actually a fair amount of clothing on each rack. This store contains and medium to high volume of products, but displayed neatly and with a running theme. There is a medium product to space ratio.


spatial design perception of spaces

Juicy Couture

(perception of) retail spaces user experience color smell


perception of value

sound What defines a space?

modern ancient high end low end

What makes a space feel luxurious? What makes a space feel cheap?



What makes us perceive that something is valuable?

The shopping environment at Juicy Couture is extremely organized with small stacks of clothing on a few shelves and small racks of sparsely placed dresses and sweaters around the store, meticulously arranged by color and size. The bags sit on display on shelves, only one of each. A high percentage of elements in the store are solely decorative. There is a relatively low product to space ratio.

The Perception of Retail Environments Due to this research, I became interested in what would happen if these retail experiences were to be mixed up. I had come to the conclusion that a lower product to space ratio combined with higher attention to detail in product arrangement and organization made the perceived value of the products higher, and conversely, a higher product to space ratio combined with little to no attention to detail in product arrangement and organization made the perceived value of the products lower. Therefore, I was specifically curious to find out if one could change the perceived value of products by altering the way they are displayed and/or marketed. I researched a few precedents exploring this issue.

The former creative director of Target, Tim Murray, with the help of designer Craig Frazier, has fully rebranded San Francisco’s Goodwill, redesigning its website, stores and fleet of trucks. “After many years convincing people to consume more stuff, I felt a need to address the environmental impact of my actions as a marketer. A logo does not [make] a brand, so we set out to rebuild everything around it. We started by establishing a new brand position—See the Good and Grow It—from which we could develop a new brand expression and related advertising.” - Tim Murray

In September of 2011, adidas Originals celebrated the 10th Anniversary of their first flagship store located in the heart of Germany with the Originals Flea Market in the backyard of the store for friends and family to celebrate the store's birthday by paying homage to the original store concept.

The Culture of Re-Use

Building with salvage materials

Material used in production of building, product, etc.

Upon realizing that, due to my own financial constraints, I would not be able to test my theories about retail environments on a proper scale, I decided to refocus my efforts. Based on my deep interest in thrift stores, I decided to refocus in the direction of the culture of re-use.

Types of Reuse

Building/product used

Building/product reaches end of use

Material resold


Building with salvage materials

Use of old/pre-owned items

Building/product demolished

Material processed/sorted

Material collected


Use of old/pre-owned items

consumer purchases product

consumer uses product

“new� product produced

consumer discards (recycles) product

product processed for material

Consumer purchases product

Profit (if applicable) (sometimes) goes to charity

Consumer uses product

Product re-sold or given

product picked up product sorted product cleaned

Consumer donates/sells product

Interviews Fern Gookin

Director of Sustainability Revolution Recovery

Warren Muller Luminary bahdeebahdu

What does sustainability mean to you? Sustainability is a holistic system for financial, social, and environmental stability. Why do you recycle materials? Putting materials in landfills makes commodities obsolete. Recycling them keeps them in the loop and reduces the need to mine, harvest and extract virgin resources. Do you use recycled materials in your own work and if so, why? Yes – it’s part of our company’s mission. What's your favorite part of the recycling process? The building process? I like the sorting process – materials come in mixed together, move across a conveyor, and are separated by type by the time they reach the end of the line. Do you have a favorite found object or material? Sometimes we find live plants in dumpsters. We’ve rescued some, and they’re in our office now. Would you say that used objects and materials have any special qualities that their new counterparts would not have? Yes and no. You often cannot tell if a “new” product has recycled content, so it wouldn’t have any special qualities. Artists and designers that reuse materials in their work sometimes incorporate the historic value of the material. At Revolution Recovery, what material do people and/or companies bring in to be recycled the most? Wood is our largest material by volume. Rubble (brick, block, concrete) is our largest material by weight. How often and what kinds of people and/or companies request recycled materials? Our materials go to a variety of outlets. These are larger processing facilities that specialize in a certain kind of material. What is the most requested recycled material? Artists, designers and community groups tend to request wood. However, this is a very small fraction of the materials that go through our facility. We move out large quantities of many material types including wood, cardboard, mixed paper, rubble, plastics, metal, drywall and other materials.

What does sustainability mean to you? When I started doing this, sustainability wasn’t a part of the conversation. I had no materials, so I started using stuff that I found. Where do you find the objects and materials you use in your work? I collect objects from companies that demolish buildings, on the street, from people that know me and my work, from flea market, or from clients who want things made. What draws you to the materials you use? Would you say that used objects and materials have any special qualities that their new counterparts would not have? I’m very particular. There’s something about each thing I find. I become friends with my stuff and keep it around; sometimes I might not use it for a year. It’s very mysterious, it could be about color or texture. I like that [the object] looks like it’s been somewhere. It’s an impulse.

Interviews Intrigued by the magic Warren found in recycled objects, I decided to interview some users about favorite things of theirs that were old, used, or secondhand.

Frank Huang

William Schaecher


Shark Tooth Fossil

• Made in the 1700s by Tononi • Acquired from a violin collector

• Acquired from father Why Old?

Why Old? • The older a violin, the better it is commonly thought to sound • Much higher quality than violins made today

• Sentimental value • Comes with a story

Mike Abbonizio

Freestanding Closet

1921 Singer 66 Sewing Machine

• Acquired at Philadelphia AIDS Thrift

• Acquired through ebay

Why Old? • Singer machines from that time were essentially scaled down industrial machines • Reliable, heavy duty, and beautiful

Why Old? • Sturdier and made with better materials than a similar new purchase, for the price • Convenient • Benefits the AIDS fund

Inspiring Precedents Nina Fabicon’s Vintage Balenciaga Jacket and Dress Recreation

Alix Lambert/ Jamie Hayes - Past Perfect Jamie Hayes graduated from Columbia College with a degree in fashion design. Her collaborative company with Alix Lambert works with the personalities of different people and the pieces of clothing they treasure. She began by remaking pieces of vintage and clothing that her friends have requested. She works with people closely to define fit and style. She also had each new owner of a remade piece write an essay describing their feelings about that piece. She is now designing “Personal Uniforms”in the style. “You always love things better when you’re like, ‘Oh, my friend gave it to me,’ or if it’s a hand-me-down from someone you really liked, or it was your grandma’s. That’s part of what this project is about—what is infused in an object, how you feel when you wear that.” - Jamie Hayes Damon Locks’s Teenage Jacket

Elizabeth Hoffman Ransford’s Nancy Drew Dress

Dyanna Charles’ Salsera Top

Tisha Tucker’s Old Favorite Top

Inspiring Precedents Gary Harvey

Urban Outfitters’ Urban Renewal Collection Gary Harvey’s first collection showcased nine of his stunning dresses at the Estethica exhibition at the London Fashion Week (Feb 07). The collection creates a dramatic display designed to change people’s perception of second-hand clothing and create fashion with a conscience. Gary uses material he finds in places like secondhand clothing stores to avoid waste, he says of good quality second hand clothing, people "wear it one or two times then discard it because it's suddenly deemed aesthetically unimportant and out of date when there's years of life left in the garment." His collection "was a comment about thinking about the real cost of the garment that you buy, about that cost being natural resources, exploitation of labour, the biodegradable nature of garments."

The clothing in this collection are constructed from vintage and deadstock fabric, trim, and clothing pieces gathered from all over, giving each piece a unique, one of a kind aesthetic. The pieces are carefully handcrafted in Philadelphia.

Part Two: Decisions

Heritage. Whether it’s a time or a place, every person comes from somewhere. Our backgrounds and our past are a huge part of what makes us who we are. Clothing is a large piece of that culture. I want to work one on one with people to design new treasures inspired by pieces of their heritage.

Swedish jewelry designer Efva Attling and Lars Jacob in Kings Road, London, 1971.

Inspired by the color palette and large collar, I’ve taken this 1970s menswear look into the modern women’s wardrobe with a cropped jacket and wide leg trousers.

Penelope Tree in New York 1967 - Printed Shift

Penelope Tree’s classic 1960s shift silhouette gets an edgy update with a dark pallete, form fitting knuckle-length sleeves, and a scoop neckline.

Grace Kelly mid-1950s silhouette, stripes

Dorothy Gish, 1932, Full shoulders and empire waists

Grace Kelly’s classic 1950s waistline enters the new millennium with a long high-low cut and a dash of ash grey.

The empire waist silhouette and voluminous shoulders made popular in the 1930s enter the modern woman’s collection in the form of a sleek black jacket.

My goal is to work one on one with people from different places and time periods and learn about their culture and background. I then would like to use this information to create pieces of clothing that celebrate their heritage and bring a piece of their past into the modern light. My interest as a designer is to explore human interaction with and feelings about fashion.

Strengths Weaknesses

Threads Opportunities



for fashion for reused materials knowledge of precedents and industry

need more lack of research people involved

culture work with like minded people/ deveolop own designers line/aesthetic

memories sharing

Timeline Week 1 Begin finding users Week 2

Find users

Week 3 Week 4

Find users Find users

Week 5

Find users

Week 6

Study users

Week 7 Week 8

Study users

Week 9

Study users Begin drafting pieces

Week 10

Draft pieces

Week 11

Make pieces

Week 12 Make pieces Week 13

Make pieces

Week 14

Make pieces

Week 15

Make pieces

Week 16 Reinvestigate Week 17 ... Week 18


Week 19 ... Week 20 ...

Amanda Scott Capstone Book  

student work of Amanda Scott

Amanda Scott Capstone Book  

student work of Amanda Scott