RALPH LAUREN BLACK
Architectural branding requires a loose yet legible link, not the strict fidelity of a “perfect copy”. With this in mind we developed a spatial branding strategy for Ralph Lauren's coffee venture, Ralph's Coffee. We began with the goal of creating an interior design that would become a cultural touchstone, recognizable around the world.
Ultimately we proposed a strategy of simplifying the brand's spaces into a combination of three elemental spatial devices: the checkered floor, the pleated curtain wall, and the zig-zag coffee counter. These spatial branding devices would serve as a means to scale designs up to the brick and mortar and down to the pop-up kiosk while maintaining a recognizable edge and elegance throughout all the locations.
Within the architectural backdrop of Ralph's dichromatic spaces M-Rad designed and proposed a collection of colorful Art-Deco-inspired furniture pieces. By looking back at the influential style of geometric forms, non-local colors, and extravagant mix-matched materials, we began to wonder how a contemporary Art-Deco project might look today. The resulting collection explored how the digital age, with its inherent distortion of fact, could generate a playful (albeit tongue in cheek) reprise. Making an ironic nod to computer-generated graphics and video games, the furniture disrupts its own pure geometry with contrasting color variations, and basks in a cartoonish representation of light and shadow.