Converse Renew Pop-Up, London

Designed by: Seen Displays
For client: Converse Floor area: 250.00 M² Year of completion: 2019
Submitted for: Pop-Up Store of the Year

Public Score
5.47 Function
5.27 Innovation
5.46 Creativity
Converse Seen Displays Renew Launch Workshop
© Tom D. Morgan

Workbenches were built from repurposed palettes whilst defective and re-claimed sheet materials created an adaptable pegwall.

About the Project

This year Seen Displays collaborated with Converse to design a global campaign to launch the Chuck Taylor Renew Canvas crafted out of 100% recycled polyester from used plastic bottles.

Launching the collection at the recently reimagined Coal Drops Yard in King's Cross, the retail space served as an educational and inspirational environment to engage and enlighten the audience with ways to give discarded plastic a second life.

Designed to eliminate waste and for disassembly, the build was repurposed for further retail activations and displays - strongly reflecting the values behind the Renew Canvas. Materials included a mixture of wood from reclaimed timber yards, chip foam made from scrap multi-purpose foams, and repurposed lightweight polyurethane foam dust rescued from traditional waste streams of CNC fabrication workshops.

Working with Hubbub we demonstrated how the results of ‘Plastic Fishing’ projects in London's canals can be repurposed into new artwork, while students from the neighbouring Central St. Martins showcased their work exploring future conscious materials. To engage local shoppers in conscious fashion, artist and rapper, Lava La Rue, hosted a series of workshops in methods of giving pre-loved garments a second life.

By rethinking the process of design, starting with materiality, logistics, and the long-term future of each element, we believe that collaboratively we have built something new and honest. A standard we continue to use as a benchmark.

What’s unique about it

Launching the Canvas Renew, we were aware that the temporary nature of pop-up stores are usually associated with waste, mirroring the sustainability challenges that the fashion industry faces.

Converse’s continued innovation to renew the most iconic sneaker inspired us to re-evaluate traditional retail design processes, material selection and display life-cycles. We started by selecting the venue, Coal Drops Yard in King's Cross, a disused warehouse that was recently reimagined and brought back to life.

Three principles were used to make the pop-up as sustainable as possible; designing to minimise material use, designing for disassembly, and examining the build’s whole life cycle.

By creating a flexible space we provided a platform for a wide range of ideas about the future of materiality.

Timber frames were strapped together to create product plinths which could be dismantled to create seating for talks given by Seetal Solanki who asked “What is plastic and is it sustainable?”. A separate workshop space offered a free sneaker repair service and hosted creatives such as Lava La Rue, who demonstrated how to upcycle clothing. A gallery space was created from recycled pallets and sheet material to display sustainable future materials developed by students of Central St Martins.

Reflecting the values of Converse Renew Canvas by showcasing ways of minimising environmental impact, the pop-up expressed both a language of sustainability and a simple design integrity.

Converse Seen Displays Renew Launch Gallery

A gallery has been created to showcase work by graduates from Central St. Martins and the Royal College of Art working with the theme of future conscious materials.

Converse Seen Displays Renew Launch Process
© Tom D. Morgan

How 16 bottles are transformed into the canvas for a pair of Converse Renew trainers is laid out in a step-by-step process.

Converse Seen Displays Renew Launch Event
© Tom D. Morgan

The launch event for Converse Renew was zero to landfill, with all food and drink vessels being recyclable and all materials repurposed to be used again in Converse retail displays or donated to local businesses and charities.

Converse Seen Displays Renew Launch Overview
© Tom D. Morgan

By re-purposing packaging, and sourcing defective and re-claimed materials, virgin material use was minimised.

Converse Seen Displays Renew Launch Entrance
© Tom D. Morgan

The Converse Renew pop-up at Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross was designed from recycled materials, to be disassembled, and to eliminate waste.

Converse Seen Displays Renew Launch Renew Canvas
© Tom D. Morgan

Seen Displays worked with material designer Charlotte Kidger who gives new life to offcut acrylic dust by moulding it back into beautiful forms.

Converse Seen Displays Renew Launch Lava La Rue
© Tom D. Morgan

Lava La Rue ran a workshop in the Converse Renew pop-up during which clothing from the local Shelter was re-purposed to create new garments.

Converse Seen Displays Renew Launch Coal Drops Yard
© Tom D. Morgan

Coal Drops Yard was selected as a venue for the Converse Renew pop-up as it is an example of disused warehouses being reimagined and transformed back to life.

Converse Seen Displays Renew Launch Talk
© Tom D. Morgan

Designing for disassembly by using straps and clamps allowed for reformatting of the space, from retail to events, as well as allowing the build materials to have a future life.

Location of project:
Seen Displays

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