London architects take retail windows to the ‘next level’ – by activating the community

To give our audience eyes and ears into the live judging sessions that took place at Frame Awards 2020, we're sharing coverage of the insightful jury conversations that decided the winning projects. Below, we celebrate the recipient of the award for Window Display of the Year: Winter Windows 2018 by Squire and Partners. Find the full collection of reports in our newly released May/June 2020 issue, Frame 134.

London – ‘They took the window to the next level – we should reward that. And they’re promoting creativity in children, teaching them how powerful design can be.’ So wrote the jury in its report for Winter Windows 2018 at The Department Store in London. The project is a collaboration between designers from Squire and Partners and a group of Hill Mead Primary School students. Over the course of two workshops run by the practice, the children were challenged to create expressive winter shapes based on emotions or senses, such as excitement, light or cold. After selecting eight winning designers, Squire and Partners tasked its model-making team to turn the sketches into physical light installations for The Department Store’s windows.

Squire and Partners collaborated with primary school students for a series of windows at The Department Store, a community-driven move that earned top marks from the jury.

Natacha Prihnenko of Hermès said she’s noticed a new tendency for ‘using shop windows as bridges between communities. That’s the best thing brands with a strong philosophy can do.’ De Bijenkorf’s Vincent Sturkenboom appreciated that the project was ‘not really about windows but about people. The windows make the store the centre of the neighbourhood. I’d like to do this in De Bijenkorf.’ The jury members unanimously agreed that the project was deeply moving, with Hannah Carter Owers pointing out a deeper significance in relation to its location: ‘Art and design education in the UK is at risk, with government cuts meaning many schools have lost art and design resources and teachers. Initiatives like this can help to inspire the next generation of creative talent and show youngsters that a career in design is something to aspire to and is a legitimate, rewarding way to earn a living.’

Frame Awards 2020's Retail category was proudly sponsored by Chemetal. The People’s Choice award for Window Display of the Year went to Giants by RAY Atelier.

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