Year of Gathering: Innovation in the Face of COVID-19

May 15, 2020

Third spaces are not just throwaway; they build community. We’re learning the value of them now that they are no longer with us.

When we came together in February to celebrate the launch of Gathering, we considered transformational retail experiences rooted in brand values; the desire to physically experience a brand – both by drawing energy and inspiration from being in a store to the tactility of the product; and the role retail environments play as a third space in our larger communities. Repeatedly we heard the refrain; “bad retail is dying,” meaning that consumers seek meaningful, value-driven brand experiences both online and off. To build on that original conversation, we brought together two of the speakers from the event to consider the future of those experiences in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Principal Greg Mottola was joined by Donald Albrecht, curator and critic. Donald brought an important historic perspective to our conversation, allowing us to learn from the past to inform the present and the future.

The Year of Gathering series has gone virtual. Inspired by our latest monograph, Gathering, this series is a forum to convene people and ideas. We had hoped to gather in exceptional spaces throughout the year, but until we can do that again, we invite you to join us online.

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