Making emergent technology approachable

Designing a new retail brand experience to showcase o2's emergent technology

Let's take you back to the dawn of the mobile phone, right around the first Apple Phone. When having any camera on your phone or ability to change your ringtone was amazing

Located in the newly re-christened Millennium Dome, The o2, the o2 Concept Store was the culmination of an invited competition and two years of development working directly with the client to bring the distinctive brand identity to built form.

Much of the concept store's design ethos revolved around the client's strapline, See what you can do. In the entry there lives the "speaker pot symphony": enlarged ear-bud headphones which individually play parts of a specially composed piece of music. The store's perimeter is lined with inflatable walls with glowing LED's which react to visitor's movement and touch (and bubble!). Inside the store are four experience tables - Photos, Video, Music & Games - where visitors can interact with the latest handsets at each table. Experiences were created specifically for each table: you can take photos and print or send yourself a photo postcard at the Photo Table; or you can take, edit & send video to yourself or your friends at the Video Table; or you can listen to music or make your own ringtones at the Music Table; or at the Gaming Table you can play games on handsets connected to large monitors. Each experience was the culmination of extensive research & development, with a wide array of off-the-shelf equipment tested to ensure that it complied with our required specs & performance criteria.

The handsets live in the handset planters at the center of the store, where users can test out live handsets which sit on sliced tree rounds. Those users who wish to recycle their old handsets are encouraged to do so in a bin made out of recycled handsets. The Guru Bar, a dual till/expert space made out of unfinished railroad sleepers, is located at the rear of the space along with a signup lounge. Finally, at the rear is a large supergraphic along with the Headphone Trees: floor to ceiling beech trees with oversized headphone ear-buds which play music. The trees actually have new tree limbs growing off them, so the staff have to water them occasionally.

I was an individual contributor of this project from the initial conception & schematics, to DD & CD's, material research, construction administration & management, and research & development of all interactive elements.


project duration 2005-2006
firm Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture
project client o2 / Telefonica
location The o2, London
budget minimal

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