Sales comps are on the upswing, new and more projects are rolling in, orders are being placed – all signs that the retail industry is moving in the right direction again. But in case you need another reason to have hope, VMSD gives you 12.
We call them The VMSD Designer Dozen and they represent the fresh, innovative and talented new faces driving the future of retail design. When VMSD began brainstorming new ideas for 2012, we knew that we wanted to celebrate the young designers in the industry who are introducing new strategies and concepts and impacting the shopping experience in the 21st Century.
We reached out to the industry to nominate young professionals (35 years or younger) who stand out from the crowd. The 12 lucky stars we’re recognizing this year come from design firms and retail organizations across the country. Their work impacts the shopping environment on several continents and a variety of sectors, from restaurant and grocery to luxury apparel and electronics.
A few things jump out when looking at this year’s recipients. (Read their profiles in the March issue.) This group knows it faces a lot of hurdles – increasingly faster project timelines, budget constraints, the need for more sustainable solutions, and balancing multiple viewpoints into one cohesive brand statement. But they stand undeterred. In fact, they thrive on the pace and the challenges. “I love solving problems through design in a multi-functional team where collaboration pays off,” says Meredith Seeds, Luxottica (Cincinnati).
And they enjoy having a hand in shaping the retail landscape. “I love the thoughtfulness that goes into guiding how the shopper will experience the product in the built environment,” says Rachel Lanzafame, Bergmeyer Associates (Boston).
But don’t expect work of the “been-there-done-that” mold. This dozen is looking for new technologies, environmentally sound ideas and design solutions that allow for brands and retailers to connect on new and multiple levels. “Working with clients who are willing to raise the bar and try new things is by far the best part of my job,” says Aaron Birney, Gensler (Los Angeles office).
So keep an eye on these young design stars. The future looks brighter than ever under their talent and passion.