Lewis Carroll’s magical Through the Looking-Glass isn’t the only book to reveal a shadow realm of imagination and inspired possibility—perhaps old-fashioned print exerts even greater power in our digital era. Which is why design director Li Xiang used creatively shelved volumes to entice readers, particularly millennials, into an ambitious and growing retailer’s 11,000-square-foot shop in a luxury shopping mall. Li’s highly original vision strives for both cultural relevance and sensory nirvana.
Inspiring texts appear on a glass wall that encloses a chamber built to embody the metaphor of an all-white forest, a grove of precious lore with a clean, meditative vibe. “Knowledge is as indispensable as the oxygen we get from trees,” she explains. Her “trees,” apparently randomly located and stretching skyward toward enlightenment, are slender columns incorporating stacked cubbies to hold books. Meanwhile, she adds, light from ceiling fixtures dances through the space as “joyfully as elves guarding the forest.” Mirror on the ceiling visually doubles its height for a fantastical effect.
Project Team: Liu Huan; Chen Fan; Zhang Xiao; Tong Ni-Na.