Year of Gathering

May 15, 2020

“Bad retail is dying …
better design matters.”

– Greg Mottola
Principal, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

We began this year with an ambitious plan to host a series of conversations across the U.S., inspired by our firm’s latest book, Gathering. We’d planned to bring people together in extraordinary places – the ones that inspire and connect us. Gathering features our civic, institutional, and commercial work, specifically spaces to gather. While we cannot come together at present, we believe in the enduring power of these places. These are places that feed our souls, not only because they are beautiful, but because they allow us to connect with one another.

With Gathering, we wanted to develop a book that explores the collaborative, iterative process from which these spaces evolve and a book that celebrates our shared sense of community. The nature of people has always been a primary influence for our practice: how we move, touch, and see; our intellect, emotions, and dreams; and how we interact with one another. Our current circumstances have rewritten those interactions for the moment, but we remain hopeful that we’ll rebuild and find the place for the surprise encounter and serendipitous connection that so delight and inspire us. Those very places and our underlying shared human experience inspire us. We look forward to the day when we can gather together again. Until then, we invite you to dream with us about all the spectacular places waiting for us.

When we launched Gathering in New York, the conversation centered on transformative retail experiences. We gathered at A/D/O in Brooklyn because each of the breakthrough brands we’ve worked with, Apple, Blue Bottle, and Everlane, have stores within six square-blocks of each other in Williamsburg, making it the perfect backdrop. When we consider the world we’ll be re-entering as we address the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, the themes we explored in Brooklyn are still relevant. Because fundamentally, we’re always considering; How do we make places people want to be? How does better design improve our experience?

About the video
Panelists included Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Principal Greg Mottola; Marshall Ryan, Director of Store Development for Everlane; Donald Albrecht, a curator currently working with the Museum of the City of New York; and Aaron Nice, Director of Real Estate for Blue Bottle Cafes. The discussion was moderated by Curbed architecture critic Alexandra Lange.

 

Past events:
Revolutionizing Retail: Designing for Apple, Blue Bottle, and Everlane
Brooklyn, NY // February 6, 2020

Rethinking Public Spaces in Seattle
Seattle, WA // February 20, 2020

Share: