The Design Company Hatches a New Retail Experience
The Design Company, also known as TDC & Co – is a multimedia design company founded in Cape Town with a rich history in retail design in South Africa and abroad dating back to 1994. Established in 1994, in a spare bedroom in Cape Town, TDC & Co has since become one of the most sought-after design practices for numerous established retail brands and shopping centres across the country.
It was no surprise that a high-end client like we are Egg turned to TDC & Co to transform an omnichannel retail space of over 3000 square feet into a fresh and immersive new retail space. A retail experience for micro vendors, each showcasing different offerings such as beauty products, apparel, technology, and more.
The brief was clear: to create a unique and immersive shopping experience, not only for customers but also for the vendors. It was a refreshing and new opportunity for vendors to showcase their products in a way that was different from the usual window or tabletop displays. A key element in this project was to engage the customer, and TDC & Co knew this very well. They used multi-sensory elements that pique your interest as a shopper by cleverly engaging your senses through touch, audio, visual, and smell – to name a few.
This was a new face of retail, and that led to the project being aptly named The Egg. Inspired by the birth of something new, fresh, and a place that brings a different way of doing things, The Egg was a redefinition of shopping.
As with many other design projects that take place within a pandemic, involve multiple teams, and whose construction takes place in a busy and socially distant shopping centre, the challenges faced on this project were enormous and persistent at nearly every stage of the project. Working with numerous distant stakeholders on a project like this meant that collaboration had to play a major role in getting this project started, delivered on time, and on budget.
TDC & Co BIM Manager Craig Knight shares that the use of Autodesk Revit was key to effective collaboration as the model designed on Autodesk Revit was their central BIM model, which meant that there was a single information-rich model that everyone involved in the design process could refer to and work with.
Knight also mentions that TDC & Co has been using Autodesk Revit since 2017 and will continue to advocate the use of Autodesk Revit on all of its retail projects due to its continued success in using this design solution for its retail projects. After realizing the many benefits of Autodesk Revit’s intelligent 3D modelling, Knight hopes that more retail designers will adopt Autodesk Revit – not only for its efficient design features but more importantly for its powerful modelling and integrative way of working.
Retail design with Autodesk Revit
While Revit in South Africa is already widely used in commercial architecture, Autodesk Revit is still a relatively new concept for retail design. Knight expects this to change quickly as the benefits of using 3D intelligent design tools such as Autodesk Revit far outweigh the benefits of using 2D design tools.
Collaboration is an important part of retail design and working with multiple stakeholders – most of whom are freelancers – is inevitable. What TDC & Co cleverly did in the run-up to this project using their software Autodesk Revit was to create all the Revit components, known as Revit families, and assign each shopfitter to a specific fixture. This decision greatly benefited the entire project as it gave the project manager great control over the project and a clear overview of the project’s progress.
A look into the future of retail with TDC & Co
Merchandising, interior design, ergonomics, and advertising are central to retail design and creating a positive shopping experience for retailers and consumers. Revit and Autodesk Construction Cloud solutions enable the fusion of design, construction, and project management into one BIM solution, enabling retailers to explore and present the above to the market much faster. Internationally, companies are beginning to adapt and evolve their processes to leverage the latest digital technologies in creating store designs from feasibility to delivery.
With this in mind, Knight also explained that the interesting thing about retail design is the fact that you learn from project to project. Using intuitive tools such as Autodesk Revit allows retail designers to see a project much more clearly upfront – avoiding costly rework and project delays, and reducing the time it takes for a store to open its doors to customers.
Knight concludes, “TDC & Co looks forward to continuing to drive change in the future.”