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Carly Hagedon

Open Season, Part IV

Lab1270 – Union Market, Washington, D.C.





Between a four-week deadline, a limited budget and an empty warehouse space, the design team from Edens (Bethesda, Md.) was able to execute a “creative lab,” intended to launch new businesses and concepts in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market shopping district. Along with an always-evolving retail studio, the urban warehouse has been described as a motorcycle workshop, co-working lounge, art gallery and kombucha bar – and this will continually shift over time, as the space is meant to incubate and launch myriad brands.

“We wanted to open a space for small retailers, we call them ‘maker-preneurs,’ ” says Jennifer Maguire Isham, director brand and strategy, Edens. “They had to have retail [and] something else … what I like to call ‘retail-plus.’ We had styling sessions, painting classes, photo sessions and an advice booth for people to talk about how to use their time off [work] productively.”

After bringing the space up to code, the design team left the architectural shell of the building and instead focused on designing signage and graphics, art and fixtures, as well as repurposing donated furniture, aiming to make each section of the building unique, while remaining flexible for shifting occupants.

“The design process is an ever-evolving, collaborative effort that is bringing together game-changing talents across many different retail disciplines,” says Norma Morales Perez, director of design, Edens, about Union Market’s Lab1270’s raw and holistic design. “The flexible space is a retail ‘stage’ for us to reach the shopper on an intimate, grassroots level in our nation’s capital. It’s all about theater.”

Read more about the 22nd annual Visual Competition winners featured in VMSD's July 2016 issue by clicking here, and be sure to check throughout the month of July for part V of this Visual Competition coverage.


Click here to read about the Best in Show winner.
Click here to view Part II.

Click here to view Part III.



MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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