Tehran’s growing design community found a home in this new concept store

Tehran – In the past few years, Tehran has witnessed a wave of young designers beginning to produce their own collections, choosing to sell them in private showrooms or via Instagram. This swelling highlighted a gap in the capital’s retail market: beyond needing a brick-and-mortar place catered toward local designers, there too needed to be a place where contemporary Iranian design culture could be collectively developed.

That’s how the idea for Comode, a concept-store-meets-cultural-hub, was born. Modelled after the conceptual function of a wardrobe – able to be arranged and adapted as needs arise – the multifunctional 200-sq-m space was designed by architect Sina Momtaz. Beyond offering the purchase of fashion and design objects, Comode also sets in place a platform to host events, exhibitions and special launches.

Last summer, the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran by the American government prompted economic crisis and halted importation. Consequent budgetary constraints and material limitations for projects required Momtaz to look at Comode's future space in a different light: he chose to work with industrial materials in minimal and elegant ways to achieve a high-end look. Existing architectural elements were left untouched and the creation of the desired space instead relied on innovative considerations of furniture and equipment.

We believe that Comode may re-establish the self-esteem of Iranian designers

Though catastrophic, the crisis acted to validate the importance of Comode’s goal and tighten the local design narrative: all of the spatial components were designed and produced in Iran, and nearly nothing was imported.

‘We believe that Comode may re-establish the self-esteem of Iranian designers and, despite lots of restrictions, transmit their message through a new design, helping to retrieve our own identity,’ said Momtaz.

instagram.com/sinamomtaz

For more insight on the challenges of specifying a project during an import ban, creating a focal point for a fledgling design community and designing a retail environment that can also act an an effective events platform, read our full report on Comode in the forthcoming July/August issue, Frame 129. 

Location Tehran Province, Tehran, 64th St, Iran

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