This September’s Fashion & Design Month saw the return of the RIBA Windows Project, providing unique visual displays of architectural design in selected shop windows across Regent Street.
For the first time ever, we asked you, the public, to vote for your favourite design as part of a ‘live gallery’. We were delighted to see over 3,000 of you voting, and we’re delighted to announce that Knox Bhavan & Susie MacMurray came out on top for their design with luxury bath, body and beauty store, Molton Brown.
We caught up with Sasha Bhavan of Know Bhavan to congratulate the team on its success and ask about the inspiration behind the design.
Congratulations on your win!
Thank you, we’re thrilled!
What is it about your design that you think resonated with the public?
The combination of the idea’s simplicity, coupled with the obvious complexity of its execution. Its ingenuity and lightheartedness.
Your installation was inspired by Molton Brown’s ‘Rosa Absolute’ campaign – how did your creative designs develop from brief to final installation?
The campaign and the brief we were given relied upon a detailed and intricate story. Our task was to simplify this into a dynamic physical display which alluded to the campaign without being trite or ‘more of the same’.
It had to be something very different from Molton Brown’s usual shop windows. Something unique that we as architects and artist could contribute; something bespoke, something with an element of fun.
Our final design is 21st century, abstract, powerful and eye-catching. The chandeliers, powerfully lit from below, are made of plastic bottles not crystal. The bed of roses has laser cut and etched mirror stainless steel abstracted forms to catch the light and form a glittering base.
The bespoke, crafted, handmade nature of the entire assemblage is fully expressed throughout the design, making it compelling and intriguing to passersby.
How important was the lighting to your piece, and why did you decide to incorporate a lighting element?
Our installation of chandeliers and glittering roses has light at its heart. We considered and tested various options including fiber optics and coloured filters, all of which proved distracting and fussy in reality. We believe in "less is more".
Finally, a powerful iGuzzini light placed beneath each chandelier with a few strategically placed spots above, proved perfect. The 3 powerful up-lights create an additional dynamic as they cast cloud-like shadows up onto the ceiling.
If you could describe your design in three words, what would they be?
Eye-catching, ingenious and handmade.
What’s next for you both?
Hopefully to collaborate again. To build on this experience, making different and unexpected installations for shop windows, exhibitions, festivals, and always having fun doing it.
Thank you to everybody who voted!