Studio183, The Art of the Concept
Binary oppositions - they’re helpful. They’re helpful in their ability to allow us to categorize our existence, they’re helpful in their allowance of disparity and they’re certainly helpful to those that prefer a simplistic means of self-identification. Without good, there is no evil. Without pretty, there is no ugly. Without East Berlin, is there a West? But remember, there was a “No Man’s Land” between The Wall - there’s always a grey area for escape and contemplation - even danger. This grey area is seemingly what most seek to avoid - it’s perplexing, sometimes even excruciatingly so and mysterious. It’s Berlin.
In fashion and design a recent binary set-up has been brick-and-mortar retail vs online shopping, and from a financial and supply-chain angle it can seem interesting, if not alarming. The fact is that brick-and-mortar retail have quite some time left to win us over. But again, what’s the grey area between these two? Easy - the birth of concept stores and pop-up shops worldwide. If the “death of brick-and-mortar” has done anything, it has forced marketing and financial analysts to undergo a shift towards an experiential and experimental retail experience for the average shopper.
STUDIO183 is an untainted and splendid illustration of how experience-focused retail is able to cater to specific audiences with shorter attention spans. Typically when one is seeking a multi-sensorial experience they head to a museum, make dinner with friends with the right soundtrack or take a walk along the canals. Now, you can head to BIKINI Berlin, where STUDIO183 has a second location, or their flagship store, located in Mitte.
They have successfully turned retail into a full-on curatorial experience that integrates high-quality design, fashion and art while also providing a contemporary platform for young designers and entrepreneurs to sell their products. As they offer both local and international designers a chance to be featured, they’re defining the Berlin experience as it always has been and truly is - integrative, inclusive and thoughtfully specific.
The recent claim, that concept stores close the loop between the digital and physical worlds, is also worth mentioning. And again - here we are with the binaries. Why do the digital and physical worlds have to be opposing? Increasingly, we are encountering concept stores and pop-up shops that test the nature of both time and space. The Beatles pop-up shop in New York was as transient experience as they come - being on a double-decker bus and relocating around New York City every other hour.
Just as they shouldn’t (because that wouldn’t be very Berlin to simply settle for the status-quo) STUDIO183 hasn’t sought to close the gap, but rather create an eternal, aesthetic loop between the two worlds of digital and physical. The sign of the times isn’t about choosing one or the other, it’s about combining your resources, testing your boundaries and giving recognition to those people and products that add dimension to the design world. Utilizing everything from Tumblr and Facebook, to a great floor plan, organized, colorful clothing racks (or no racks at all) and Instagram, have shown that STUDIO183 has an exemplary eye for detail. Now, people have accumulated specific interests that tend to be whimsical, if not otherworldly. The difficulty of providing a proper collection line-up and presentation to suit these needs is an art in itself. As all concept stores seek display a narrative, STUDIO183’swould quite simply be, a history of the new avant-garde in Berlin.
STUDI0183 @ BIKINI BERLIN
BUDAPESTER STRASSE 46
Mon - Fri, 10am - 8pm
STUDIO183 BRUNNENSTR. 183
10119 BERLIN MITTE
Mon - Fri, 12pm - 8pm
Saturday, 10am - 8pm