To say South Korea’s capital city, Seoul is infused with so much creativity that it leaks onto every slab of concrete you place your feet upon is but a mere understatement. The atmosphere is simply stained with creative expression. You’re simply surrounded by creative ideas that parachute you into a whole new way of life. It’s so thick you can almost taste it sparking off ideas in your hippocampus whilst inspiring your brain cells to work double time. Welcome to Seoul, peeps.
So let’s delve into what I like to call a coffee table conversation and explore some of Seoul’s creative interior spaces which might give us some insight into the future of interior retail spaces.
It’s true that we’re living in a transitional period where stores are still coming to grips and mostly playing with the early stages of creativity and technology. We’re at a time where creative expression is highly valued. It’s a time where set designers, visual merchandisers and those adept at the skill of narrating stories through visual means are shouting songs of praise and adulation to the fact that their jobs are now valued in the eyes of others. It’s an exciting time because for once we’re about to see retail stores find unique ways to share their brand story in a way that resonates with their customers. I’m all here for creative expression and individuality so this is simply an answered prayer in my opinion.
As I type these words I can’t help but reminisce on some of the moments that made me gasp in excitement whilst walking through some of Seoul’s creative interior spaces. I walked inside Blute, a garden cafe that had gardeners attending to the plants while the aroma of coffee beans swirled through the air romantically.
The coffee drinkers were surrounded by hanging geraniums. Yellow daisies dangled from the ceiling and if that wasn’t enough there was a garden area outside for plants to get a soak of the sunshine and bask in the glory of the fairy lights that effortlessly hung around the white trees in the patio.
The idea of fusing together two completely different spaces in a way that allows you to take inspiration from this collaborative space is something I think we’ll see much more of. We’ll see other interpretations of what a coffee space looks like even if it veers off considerably from the conventional model Starbucks sold us many years ago on Carnaby street. So I guess it’s just about time to redefine interior spaces which leads me to think that we’re moving towards a time where creativity will no longer be contained or made to fit a single form of creative expression. We’re seeing signs of it now but we’ll soon see different ways retail store choose to integrate various experiences into a combined space. Instead of having a coffee space that only serves coffee. We’ll see coffee spaces that incorporate elements of fashion sourcing inspiration from fashion design from South America, the land of the coffee bean. Though it’s an idea yet to be put in motion here in the UK. It’s an idea that retail and design spaces in Seoul are already exploring with a keen and genuine interest.
Not only will the spaces around us change but we’ll also have to come to terms with how to redefine ourselves in these newly formed spaces. How will we engage in these spaces and what sort of ideas and visual social cues will be implemented in these stores? For instance, the talk of feminism and human rights is a subject that we as a society are beginning to boldly talk about. So will retail and design stores also find themselves in the centre of these discussions. I think so.
Creativity can’t be contained
So what did Seoul’s interior design spaces teach me about my own creative journey? Well, it simply reminded me that creativity can’t be contained. The moment I think I know better and decide to keep it enclosed within its neat corners it rages back. It recreates itself and like the phoenix, it comes back with a whole new speck of life. As a creator that gives me great hope because it means that I certainly can’t be boxed. I can’t be labelled, put in a corner and contained because the moment I choose to create I choose to open the possibility, question the conventions and with a mind of my own I write what creativity looks like to me.
Inspiration behind ‘South Korea’s creative spaces’
Shortly after my month long trip to South Korea I decided I wanted to write about those things that inspired me to adopt a whole new perspective/outlook on creativity and South Korea’s creative interior spaces was one of them. I enjoyed walking into fashion stores, gazing at unique interior designs and just being excited about the various ways creativity is explored within interior design spaces. I’m pretty interested in trend forecasting and always seem to question what ideas or lifestyle choices we’ll adopt in the future.