Shopping is the democratic anvil on which much consumer driven change is made manifest. In this session, we will explore how some brands and some designers embrace this cutting edge consumer interface.
There is a long cherished view amongst creative professionals, that their work drives change – ‘design, the change maker’. This is a self-regarding conceit, which may have enjoyed some provenance in ‘top down’ times past, but in the modern, participative world of internet technology, self expression and customization, ‘bottom up’ is the driver.
Design will often be the enabler, indeed the handmaiden of consumer choice, but change is owned by the people, be it political on the streets of Kiev, or on the catwalk as an expression of street-style.
How professionals embrace a world where everything is ‘designed’ and everyone is a ‘designer’ is the challenge.
Rodney Fitch, founded his design consultancy, Fitch, now owned by WPP, in 1972. He exited the consultancy at the end of 2009 and now works in higher education and as an independent advisor, consultant and non-executive to a broad portfolio of clients.
During a distinguished career in design, Rodney has also been active in the development of design education and the arts in the UK. He is a Senior Governor of the University of the Arts, London, helping to manage Europe’s largest collegiate university of the arts and he has served as a member of the Design Council, the Council of the Royal College of Art and as a past President of the Designers and Art Directors Association and of the Chartered Society of Designers. He has been a trustee of the Victoria & Albert Museum and is now Chairman of V & A Enterprises, the museum’s commercial business. He was awarded a CBE in 1990 for his influence on the British design industry.
Outside of the UK he had the honour in 2005 to be inducted into the Legion of Honor and Hall of Fame of the Design Institute of America, whilst in Holland, he supervises an MA course in Retail Design at the Hoegeschool Academy, part of the University of Rotterdam and is also Professor of Retail Design at Delft University.
In particular Rodney Fitch’s work delivering ‘consumer experience’ in the retail environment is acknowledged the world over. Projects range across all the retail sectors; from food and fashion, to phones and financial services; from the planning of shopping malls to merchandising, from duty free to luxury.
Recently Rodney has a growing presence in the emerging BRIC markets, particularly in India where he is helping to develop the organised retail sector in India for both global and national brands.