The most remarkable part of this environment can’t be shown with a still image. As you approach the back shelves, discreet cameras track your eyes’ movements. When you look at a shelf, sophisticated software detects the object of your gaze and lights glow around that shelf. When your eyes drift left, the computer tracking your pupils dims the light on the last object of your attention and illuminates the next. The computer reacts so quickly to your moving pupils that light seems to follow your eyes in real time.
This system can track the eyes of only two people at a time, and the viewer has to be within a certain range for the system to work.
Tobii is working on this. It’s called passive eye-tracking, and it should be ready in 12 months or less.
I took a risk. Next to futuristic curves and lights fit for Tron, I set the sort of cobblestone you’d see along the slim alleys of a Spanish Mission. Look at all the mix and match you get away with when you keep the palette monochromatic. Baby blue!
The concept hasn’t been done before, and it’s perfect for a watch boutique with light foot traffic. The design diverges from the sort of Peter Marino glitz that usually characterizes luxury watch stores. Buoys, feather reed grass, and chrome give the space a “luxury missile silo” feel.
The contractors who would build this imaginary space would simulate the water with resin on plexi. Real water would be logistically challenging, messy, and expensive.
If I link particular emotions to a desert—warmth, vast open landscapes, solitude, quiet and stillness—the Milan bakery will coax the same feelings out of me, albeit to a lesser degree. These feelings partially displace ones of tight space and clutter I’d feel at an ordinary bakery.
Compared to this Milan bakery’s interior, a minimalist interior is a little cheaper and a lot less challenging* to design. A minimalist bakery would be clean, spare, and maybe even elegant. But because it doesn’t reference anything other than itself, it can’t contend with a modern-theatrical interior’s power to rouse emotions.