LUMSDEN celebrates 150 years of John Lewis.

LUMSDEN celebrates 150 years of John Lewis.

📅05 Maggio 2014, 11:26

Lumsden Design has brought the rich history of John Lewis to life in an interactive exhibition to celebrate the retailer’s 150th anniversary.

Working closely with the John Lewis communications team, Lumsden has designed the immersive exhibition that explores the retailer’s unique heritage from draper’s shop to iconic British brand.

150 years of John Lewis The free exhibition on the third floor of John Lewis on London’s Oxford Street opens to the public on 3 May for seven weeks.

Peter Cross, communications director at John Lewis, said: “Curating and presenting 150 years of history of a British icon was no mean feat. “From the recreation of the odour of a 19th Century draper’s shop to the terror of the Second World War, Lumsden has been relentless in creating, with us, a truly memorable and atmospheric experience.”
150 years of John Lewis
Callum Lumsden, creative director of Lumsden Design, said: “It is an engaging and joyous story of one man’s vision of running a better business and how this still remains inspirational 150 years later. It needed to be a truly immersive, informative and compelling experience for visitors so they will walk away with a clearer understanding of the value of John Lewis and how it has shaped the face of retailing in the UK.”

150 years of John Lewis Lumsden has split the 2,800 square feet exhibition into eight distinct zones focusing on key chronological points on the John Lewis’ timeline. Film, graphics, sound and scents are used alongside artifacts to change the pace of each zone, bringing the story to life.

Visitors enter the exhibition through the doors of the original 1864 draper’s shop to an engaging recreation of the original haberdashery interior which the Lumsden design team have based on a surviving illustration.

Central to the narrative is the vision of John Spedan Lewis, the man with the revolutionary idea that all workers should be co-owners and share in the success of his company. ‘The Birth of the Partnership’ is celebrated in a recreation of Spedan’s study where he convalesced for two years after a serious riding accident in Regents Park.

Using some of Spedan’s possessions, such as his microscope, cricket bat and even his collection of butterflies, Lumsden has given a rounded insight into the man. Next, visitors see the original three handwritten books of the John Lewis Constitution, a business model now recognised across the world.
150 years of John Lewis
Then, on to the ‘Craft of Shopkeeping’ area that explains how John Lewis’ passion for customer service has guided the business ever since. This is followed by a dramatic WWII installation where Lumsden tells the story of the bombing that threatened the future of the business. A montage of bleak, black and white images of the Oxford Street store combined with sound creates a heavy atmosphere.

The metal ‘takings’ tin damaged by the bomb adds a poignant note. In contrast Lumsden has created a bright, lively interior for the Design Zone, celebrating the work of the famous designers, artists and brands associated with the retailer. A colourful, bespoke weave inspired by the retailer’s textile mill, Herbert Parkinson, fills the exhibition wall and ceiling. Visitors exit the exhibition with a glimpse into how we will shop, live and look in the future, through a unique collaboration with the Royal College of Art.

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