It’s always rewarding for us to collaborate with those who share our values and are pioneers in their own design specialism. LESTRANGE are paving the way for a shift in the fashion industry, in a similar way to how OHD are promoting a positive shift within the built environment industry – considering planetary wellbeing, reducing impact, and conscious consumerism.
“Getting the insight from Oliver and his team on the holistic nature of Biophilic Design dramatically enhanced our perspective in finding a language to inspire a closer connection to nature.”
- Will Green, Founder LESTRANGE
We were approached by LESTRANGE to help formulate the interior design strategy for their global stores, culminating in an accessible guide that could be used across different regions. They needed a design guide that would reflect the brand ethos, and while there was an existing foundational knowledge of Biophilic Design, they were eager to extend this to ensure future stores had a point of difference that was fitting and unique to LESTRANGE.
One important aspect of the design guide was representing the environmental aspirations of the brand into the physical retail space. Encouraging direct experiences of nature where possible and indirect where not, plus a consideration of the human spatial responses – how they can improve people’s experience of retail spaces thus increasing dwell time and a sense of community.
“LESTRANGE have successfully embedded our Biophilic Design strategies in their approach to the new stores. It’s great to see the cabinet of curiosity we suggested integrated in the ‘essentialist’ way; the items they have chosen to display are well considered too – from the mycelium bowl to the modular, upgradeable, and repairable speaker playing natural soundscapes”.
- Victoria Jackson, Senior Researcher & Biophilic Design Strategist
Having these positive experiences in nature or nature inspired spaces can help people recognise the benefits of thriving natural environments. In turn, this can help motivate more regenerative approaches, behaviours and attitudes – moving beyond conservation to encourage restoration of both nature and our relationship with it. This plays out within the fashion industry through conscious consumerism – slowing down, connecting with materials, and buying less, but better-quality items.
We started our creative process with LESTRANGE by researching their existing brand identity and translating this into spatial terms, addressing both the tangible elements such as materials and sensory considerations, as well as community and placemaking. The OHD team looked at how the strategy could better connect LESTRANGE’s community and physical spaces to nature through Biophilic Design.
“We really wanted to create material guidelines which were in keeping with LESTRANGE'S commitment to working within our planetary limitations. Suggesting an innovative range of largely bio-based materials which embodied the values of the brand and their community, without compromising on aesthetics or quality.”
- Rosa Isaacs, Design & Material Strategist
From here we embarked on a collaborative discovery workshop with the team in London. During the workshop we creatively discussed material and planting strategies, as well as other spatial approaches to help the team and their designer Fred Rigby consider how to integrate a biophilic approach into their store design.
"Their knowledge on materials and sources for research provided a great deal of inspiration and we used recommendations like the Clayworks render, a non-toxic natural compound, in our King's Cross store. Plants play a major role in initial experience of Biophilic elements, and this was a major area of education from the guide."
- Will Green, Founder LESTRANGE
The final design guide was created as a curatable and bespoke document from which future store designers can pull inspiration to fulfil LESTRANGE’s biophilic approach. Within it there is an extensive range of strategy pertaining to the senses, community, planting, materials, and products.
This gives the designers of any future stores the biophilic tools to create a space that is both consistent in reflecting brand values as well as offering an experiential retail approach that is unique to the locale of each store.
“It’s essential for businesses to not only enact their sustainability strategy but also communicate that to users and customers alike in a transparent and brand appropriate manner. Biophilic Design can do just that, reflecting an organisations’ core values and ethos, whilst simultaneously enhancing spaces and experiences with nature, as LESTRANGE have managed to do so beautifully.”
- Oliver Heath, Founder Oliver Heath Design