Windows of Opportunity

Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Selfridges, Liberty, Harrods: these shop windows are almost as famous as the store itself. And it’s because window dressing – in this digital era – means much, much more than a mannequin in a frock.  

Why would a potential customer be inclined to venture through a mysterious, impenetrable door without first getting an enticing peek of what’s available inside? Herein lies the power of window displays, storefront space that – if approached imaginatively – has the power to stop traffic. And while the Christmas season is just around the corner, now is the time for visual merchandisers to get on top of it.

Take a look at some of the window displays that wowed passersby during Milan Design Week this year – artist Lorenzo Vitturi’s candy-coloured graphic masterpiece for Valextra, the stunning collaboration between designer Hella Jongerius and theorist Louise Schouwenberg for la Rinascente department store – and you’ll appreciate how window dressing is becoming less an arrangement than an art. And it’s an art that Projection Artworks is increasingly passionate about.

Our particular area of expertise is in aligning interior design and store window dressing with the fast-paced digital era, using groundbreaking daylight-visible technology to captivate consumers and tell them what a product or brand is all about. For as the retail industry experiences seismic shifts as a result of the rise of the internet economy and the digitally-enabled consumer, shops and window displays are being digitized to keep up. And below we’ve listed three groundbreaking Projection Artworks creations to prove it.

So – attention, designers – perhaps you already have your winter window displays nailed. But here are some ideas of how to use projection mapping to give them greater digital depth, while dramatically increasing consumer engagement.

Beijing. Moscow. Tokyo. Shanghai. London. New York. This campaign took the world by storm, involving six next-generation window displays in six cities across the globe – designed to reflect the power and performance of Adidas’ new sneaker PureBOOST X. For this imaginative experiment into the versatility of light, we created intricate animated content that was projected across and around the shoe’s streamlined silhouette. It required a bespoke modular frame system to adapt the content across six different displays – and a whopping 31,000 lumens per square metre to make it visible in broad daylight.

Last year, our Christmas-themed display for Topman’s flagship store on Oxford Street stopped the West End’s hundreds of millions of seasonal shoppers in their tracks – featuring 3D animations projected across geometric mountain shapes, bringing the ethereal other-worldliness of the Arctic to the heart of London. Thanks to our team’s expertise and use of one of the world’s strongest projectors, running at 4K and 30,000 lumens, Topman was the only West End retailer to use daylight-bright projection in their Christmas window. Spectacularly bright, bravely original: it injected fresh energy into the frenetic Christmas shopping experience.

We projection mapped a 1.5m Fabergé egg for Harrods' window last Easter – an intricate job on an unusually shaped canvas and one that utilised our pioneering, custom-designed DisplayMapper technology. By applying a potent amount of light to a relatively small area, this gleaming egg – a collaboration between Projection Artworks and Just So agency – was powerfully visible in broad daylight, while an ‘interactive desk’ allowed customers to change its colour and patterns, depending on their mood.


Posted by James Murray on 20.07.2016
We're pioneering specialists in light + pixel technology. We turn any surface or environment into amazing content using projection-mapping, OLED/LED or lighting design. We create brand impact, powerful storytelling and technical innovation.
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