open concept

Words & Design by Marco Lee / Renderings by Nick Callies

DESIGN ISN’T AS COMPLEX a world as many would think. Like everything else rewarding, design is a game where you either win or lose, and in conjunction, only the most articulate and fearless have the ability to push forward. In this age of tasteless identity and digital dependency, the language of design is somewhat lost, defined by architecture built by the Internet.

Fashion, unlike design, offers liberties that some may take to neglect the existence of required functionalities in everyday life. yet in contrast, like music, this realm seems to find it increasingly difficult to stay true to one’s basic principles. It is as if many brands are absorbed by the expansiveness of the internet and have become directionless – what is important is that every aspect of one’s product reflects what they believe in or clear identities of what they are inspired by.

In context, NEEDS&WANTS, since its inception in 2013, has remained following an ideal of essentials, derived from architecture, travel, design, and flora. Indeed there is an art to presenting minimalism without the scarceness that often reflects an uninviting nature. The NEEDS&WANTS approach to design is concentrated and intentional, presenting just enough to reconvene the discourse between contemporary menswear and traditional sportswear.

The concept behind the NEEDS&WANTS container comes from the importance of travel. Modified is an 8 foot by 20 foot shipping container in collaboration with Glasshaus Living, a Toronto based firm specializing in modern window and door solutions. The interiors feature a floor, consisting of chevron pattern tile, further complimented by bleached birch panels acting as wall veneers. The glazing on the longitudinal facades are two large square panels of mirrored one-way glazing that not only provide access to day lighting, but are intended to expand the physicality of the space.

Side note:

*Design stems from parti, the primary concept or idea which an architecture is developed on. The parti resembles the essence of your product, simplified to basic form and line drawing. Concept drawings of this shipping container explore a duality between the liner and the vertical possibilities of a glazing module – accentuating the relationship between the internal and external as an expression of solid and void facades.

This glazing is an expression of NEEDS&WANTS as a brand, emphasizing the focus on the importance of travel, the beauty of spaces in which we inhabit, and the excitement of memory. These panes enable a situation in which large mirrors are created – but unlike the internally viewing paradigms of traditional retail, the mirrors that are being used to present the pieces are external. Created on the outside of the container, the intent is to accentuate the surroundings and locations of the space.

For example, if the container were to be set at a pier, the person trying on the clothes, are given the opportunity to share the vision that these garments were designed for, and better understand the colors, the cutting and material. Some galleries only use natural light to display classical paintings. Produced under the qualities of this setting, it is only rational that their true beauty cannot be perceived unless displayed in similar light (Suppose, Shiino). Clothes, like art, should be treated the same way – the external mirrored glazing attempts to bring the garment back to their intended environments so they can be fully understood and properly viewed.

This container will act as the first physical showroom and retail space for the brand – a solution that allows the space to move and adapt to various locations. The NEEDS&WANTS space calls out, refusing to be a static being, but rather a dynamic identity that changes to create settings for pieces matched with each landscape and urban location. Sometimes what is pleasing to the eye is not always beauty, nor order, nor harmony, but rather consciousness derived through timeless innovation.

Even in the contemporary context, and although heavily shaped by its digitality, design is nevertheless relative to that of a conversation between two friends, a dialogue shaped by back and forth’s, here and there’s, needs and wants.