Friday, December 21, 2012

Advanced Cabinet Systems on a Mission

Marion, Indiana—Advanced Cabinet Systems (ACS), a manufacturer of Division 12 Plastic Laminate Casework and Retail Store Fixtures, and JGBowers, Inc., their parent company, have developed a new company mission statement. Phil Bowers, President of JGBowers, Inc. and Advanced Cabinet Systems, worked closely with Whitney Bowers Christopher, Vice President of Compliance and Administration, to develop the new company core values. ACS has coined the term “Keep Calm and Change the Game,” a play off of the famous British “Keep Calm and Carry On” campaign from World War II. The term was used as a guideline to create the new mission statement.
The statement starts with the keep calm phrase and continues with the phrase “Consistently looking for better ways to advance our industry.” It was developed to empower employees and inspire different ways of thinking. “We wrote the mission statement to clearly define our company’s goals, standards, and expectations. ‘The facts’ are what we, and every employee here, will strive to live up to every day,” said Whitney Bowers Christopher.  The statement includes ten facts, each with a description. “I’m excited to have this in writing. Our mission statement truly reflects our company, our desire to change the game, and the method to achieve it,” added Phil Bowers.

View the mission statement in its entirety here

sources: one

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Climbing out of a Creative Rut

Oh, the creative rut. Or maybe creative strangle-hold would more aptly describe one of these mental blocks. We've all been there at one time or another--when you really want, or rather NEED, to be on top of your creative game...and it's just.not.happening.

As a frequent sufferer of this epidemic, I started doing a little digging around the internet to see what other creative minds do to get their artistic juices flowing. I came across this great infographic by Brian Clark of Copyblogger, and wanted to share it with you...

How to Break Out of a Creative Rut
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

Do you ever fall into a creative rut? What do you do to help get the creativity flowing again?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Retail Sound Design

A well-designed space places importance on engaging all the senses. Upon arrival, a customer is immediately surrounded by a total environment that either actively invites the person to explore the space or unknowingly causes negative perceptions about the store. One aspect of retail design that affects us significantly (often without us even realizing) is the use of sound. The right sound can lead to increased sales, but an an inappropriate sound application can dramatically change customer well-being and purchasing. 
What can the right sound do?
1. reinforce store image and branding
2. encourage purchasing and a lengthened shopping time
3. attract specific attention to a product or attract a specific audience to the store
4. entertain the customers and create positive perceptions about the store
acoustic materials create opportunities to
enhance store branding and add interest

Carefully chosen background sound in combination with acoustic materials and a professional sound technology system will ensure a positive audial experience for customers.

The following video outlines the ways that sound affects us and
a few ways to consciously provide pleasing sound in a space.

The four Golden Rules
for commercial sound:

1. make it congruent
2. make it appropriate
3.  make it valuable
4. test and test again
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4
by Jonica Klein  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Design Inspires

As we get caught up in everyday work, it is easy to forget how that work can influence people and make a difference. Life stays busy, and new projects bring challenges, but it is important to remember that good design inspires. 

I recently had the opportunity to help design the interiors for the Community School of the Arts in Marion, IN. The CSA is an organization that provides dance, music, and art education classes for members of the community, seeking to enliven and inspire kids through the arts. This project was undertaken by our senior class of interior design students at Indiana Wesleyan University. Through the process of designing this space, which included a lobby cafe, several classrooms, and a theater space, I became increasingly aware of the impact of a well-designed space, a space capable of being an inspiration. 
 Creating that final, well-designed space requires a great deal of research and design strategies. Two elements that contribute to the successful design are the recycling and reuse of old materials and the creation of new, useful structures. Reusing existing materials helps reduce the amount of waste during the construction process, lessening the environmental impact. Implementing recycling in a design enables an unused piece of furniture or casework to be seen in a new light. Recycling existing materials also lowers the final cost of a project. In the CSA design, existing casework was relocated to a more functional area of the site. Additionally, existing molding was removed from the second floor and, rather than be wasted, was applied in more applicable spaces on the third floor. Generating a new interior environment, however, cannot be achieved without the proper addition of new built features. New elements mix with existing forms and complete the design. Providing new structures and interior features transforms the remaining space into an enriching and inspirational environment. Prominent new aspects of the CSA include a custom bar in the cafe, unique ceiling and floor features, and an art deco inspired, movable stage for the theater. 
The CSA desires to be a place where children can feel special and gain inspiration for the future; every interior detail adds to that final goal. The various elements merge together and create the overall environment. Individually, it may be just a color, a piece of furniture, or a cabinet, but when combined, it means much more. Never forget that hard work has a purpose and a successful end result provides justification for every minute of the work. Every piece, both new and old, can be part of a design that inspires. Looking back on the final proposed concept for the Marion Community Center of the Arts, I have seen that effective design has the power to improve life and benefit a community. 
by Jonica Klein

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's the Holiday Season...

With the holiday season right around the corner--or at some retailers, in full swing--I thought it would be fun to take a look at a few tips for making the most of your retail space's seasonal budget and decor.
  • Window displays are an excellent way to set yourself apart from all the other retailers around you, so take full advantage of the space and get creative! Use your windows to not only sell your products, but to tell the outside world what the inside of your store feels like.
  • If you include merchandise in your displays, if possible, try to make it so that customers feel comfortable shopping from them.
  • To eliminate the need to switch displays out between Christmas and New Years, invest in decorations that you can use throughout the entire winter season. In other words, avoid themes that center around Santa, and opt for a broader approach, such as snowflakes or ever-green trees.
  • While smaller retailers may feel as if they are at a disadvantage to big box chains who are able to offer deep discount, these spaces often hold a lot more potential when it comes to decorating for the holiday season. So if you are a independent retailer, seize this opportunity to take a chance with your Christmas decorations! You have nothing to lose, so pull out all the stops and make your store a memorable place to shop!
  • Lastly, remember that you don’t have to break the bank to make your retail space stand out during the holidays. Think outside the box when it comes to sourcing the materials needed to complete your displays. Check out your local dollar store or thrift store, where you can often find Christmas decorations for next to nothing. Or better yet, take the eco-friendly approach and repurpose items you would otherwise throw away into gorgeous decorations for your space--it is incredible what a little Elmer’s glue and glitter can do for  a empty toilet paper roll. Just kidding, but you get the idea.

sources: one . two . three . four . five

Friday, October 19, 2012


Just a few videos to wrap up your work week...

Simple and inspiring ideas that just go to show, your marketing strategies don't have to be expensive to be effective!

Have a great weekend!

Check it out!

Phil Bowers, VP of Business Development at ACS, was recently featured on the Woodworking Network's blog with a great article on embracing technology within the casework manufacturing industry.

Be sure to check it out here!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cabinet Core Materials

As a designer at a fixture company, I should have some understanding of what goes in to making a cabinet--you start with some type of middle material and put a laminate on it, right? Well, yes, but while I never knew the specifics, I had a feeling there is actually a little more to it. So when my boss approached me about putting together a list of cabinet core materials, I thought, "Simple! Two, three choices max?" Wrong! There are so many to chose from, and each option has its pros and cons. Pick the right one and you have a sturdy, well made cabinet that will stand the test of time. Pick the wrong one and you may be replacing your cabinets a little more often than you had anticipated!

While you might not get the opportunity to put this information to use on a regular basis, if you play any type of role in specifying, purchasing, or installing cabinetry it is helpful to have a basic understanding of how the product is constructed.

Read on for a run-down of core materials...

1. Plywood
  •  Strong
  • Doesn't pose the cracking, warping or shrinking threat of solid wood
  • Can be manufactured in very large sheets
  • Two types:
    • Hardwood Plywood
      • Generally higher quality
      • Emits gas and formaldehyde from adhesive used in construction
    • Softwood Plywood
2. Combination Core
  •  Consistent flatness
  • Good screw-hold ability
  • Lighter than MDF or particleboard core
3. Lumber Core
  • Good bending strength
  • Good screw-hold ability
  • Excellent matching properties
  • Edges can be shaped and matched to finished surfaces without filing
  • Good bounce back, making it a great choice for long or wide shelves in cabinets and closets
  • Good choice when routed edge treatments are necessary and the edges cannot be concealed
  • This is the most expensive core to manufacture, meaning finding a supplier may be difficult
  • Only the highest grade lumber core should be considered as there is a severe drop off in the consistency in lesser grades
  • Most grades machine poorly
  • Substantial voids are often present
4. MDF
  • Very smooth surface
  • Strong
  • Not prone to warping
  • Typically consistent from batch to batch
  • Typically free of voids and blisters, which results in better veneer consistency and bond, leading to less chipping during crosscut operation
  • Easy to machine and cut edges are excellent for glue adhesion
  • Good for use in humid climates or rooms
  • Great screw-hold ability when used with MDF-specific screws
  • Less expensive than plywood
  • Extremely sensitive to heat and may experience bubbling, blistering, discoloration and peeling as the surface becomes damaged
  • MDF cabinets usually can't be repaired and generally need replaced more often.
  • More expensive than particleboard
  • More dense than particle board or plywood
  • Subject to water damage unless properly sealed with melamine, laminate, or other similar water resistant material.
5. Particleboard
  • Least expensive of all core types
  • Lighter than MDF
  • Great use of a waste product that would otherwise be discarded
  • More economical than plywood
  • Its uniform thickness, smoothness, surface integrity, ease of layup, and ability to stay flat make it an ideal core material
  • Heavier than plywood, but not as strong
  • Edges splinter easily and aren't as strong as MDF
  • Does not have the screw-hold ability of other cores, however it does increase significantly with the use of particle board specific screws
  • Its use can indicate inferior construction and materials when used in the construction of furniture or cabinets
  • Tends to swell and separate, even with brief moisture contact
  • The high glue content found in the product quickly dulls the knives and blades on processing machinery and tools
  • Emits gas and formaldehyde from adhesive
6. Hardwood
  • Expands and contracts as it interacts with moisture in the air
7. Veneer Core
  • Moderate price
  • High strength to weight ratio
  • Provides dimensional stability and good strength both along and across the panel
  • Excellent bending strength and screw-hold ability
  • Lighter in weight than other core types
  • Voids in the core and face are common
  • Not always consistent in thickness from sheet to sheet, or within the same sheet
  • The pre-veneered surface is coarser and does not accept veneer as well, resulting in excessive chipping and tearout during the machining process
  • During cutting, you will always be ripping some layers and crosscutting others, which makes cutting more difficult with a greater tendency to burn
  • Saw-cut edges are not as clean and smooth as other core types--does not take edge glue well
  • Inconsistencies in the pre-veneered surface can result in thin spots in the veneer
8. Fir Core
  • Very resilient to weather while being quite stable
  • Great screw-hold ability
  • Relative softness of the layers means that any inconsistencies in the product will even out during compression
9. Poplar Core
  • Heavier and harder than fir
  • Very stable
  • Lacks weather resistence
  • Will not compress, making voids and knots more likely to telegraph through the surface veneer
  • Poplar that is not dried properly is more prone to delamination
10. Aspen Core
  • Similar properties to Fir Core, but less dense, resulting in a lighter sheet
  • Soft and will compress nicely giving a consistent face
11. Birch and Maple Core
  • High density
  • Both species are hard and thin, making for an extremely stable product
  • It is very unlikely for a void to be found in these core types
  • Good edge strength, making them less prone to splintering than Fir and Poplar
  • Relatively attractive cores, making them a great choice when the edges of the final product will be exposed
  • Maple has slightly more grain pattern on the surface, allowing for it to be sanded very smooth
  • Specialty high-end product
  • Birch core has a tendency to splinter at the edge of a machined cut
  • These are the most expensive cores available
12. Fire-rated Core
  • Suitable for a variety of industrial and commercial building applications where stringent building codes and public safety requirements are a factor
13. NAUF Core
  • Recommended for applications where the presence of formaldehyde is a concern
  • Environmentally-friendly
14. Bamboo Core
  • Great for use in tropical or high humidity climates
  • Sustainable and environmentally-friendly
  • Strong
  • Can be made water-resistant
  • More expensive than MDF
15. Medium and High Density Overlay Plywood Core 
  • Lighter than full MDF core
  • More stable surface than veneer core plywood

Friday, October 5, 2012

Student Design Competitions

There are some really great competitions going on right now for design students! Competitions are a great way to not only see how your skills compare to other students' around the country, but to begin getting your name out there in an industry that is very competitive.

So if you are a undergrad student currently enrolled in an Interior Design or a related college program, and are interested in the possibility of winning a little exposure (and prize money--that never hurts, right??), check out a few of these competitions!
1. IIDA Student Sustainable Design Competition
"The competition celebrates original sustainable design and rewards those individuals whose projects demonstrate consistent, creative sustainable principles."

Submission Deadline: November 15, 2012
Official rules and entry here.

2. PAVE the Way 3D Design Challenge 
"PAVE the Way, a 3D Design Challenge is an exciting opportunity available for students internationally to showcase their work at a major industry event, GlobalShop 2013."

The Challenge: "Design and create a 3D model or rendering of a store fixture that communicated an existing brand of headphone."

Submission Deadline: November 16, 2012
Official rules and entry here.

3. PAVE Student Design Competition
"The competition's design challenges consist of a visual merchandising category and a store design category and provide an excellent opportunity for students to obtain real-life retail design experience."

Visual Merchandising Challenge: "To create a window display AND entry merchandiser that successfully communicate the Bonobos brand."

Store Design Challenge: "To create a “pop-up” shop that successfully communicates the Bonobos brand."

Submission Deadline: November 1, 2012
Official rules and entry here.  

4. ASID Student Design Competition: Repurpose for Today
"How can you, as a designer, create an environment that helps address a current social crisis?

The Challenge: "Scour the media to come up with a social issue on which you think you can make an impact. Then find a building, trailer, bus, train or other environment that you can use to address and transform the social issue by repurposing for today. Utilize creative and critical thinking skills to develop an informed design." 

Submission Deadline: November 15, 2012
Official rules and entry here.

sources: one . two . three . four

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cost-effective Advertising

Here at Advanced Cabinet Systems, we are always looking for ways to advertise our company that are both cost-effective and reach a large audience. I can't say that everything we do reaches our target audience, but it does help to get our name out there and give us more credibility within our field.

Below, is a compilation of free (or very inexpensive) ways to advertise your business online. All of which ACS is already taking advantage of--and reaping the rewards of a significant increase in website hits! Whether you are just starting your small business or have been established in your industry for years, a little free advertising never hurts, right?

1. Facebook: Last year Facebook introduced a new program aimed at helping small businesses promote their services. To access the free ad offer (worth $50)*, you will first need to take out an ad on Facebook, and then will be credited with $50 worth of free consumer clicks.

2. YouTube: Earlier this year, YouTube began giving away $50 million worth of $75 credits to small business owners when they sign up for a video advertising service. This service replicates many of the features from Google's AdWords, including pay-per-click and setting budgets for bids, but within the video advertising realm.

3. Pinterest: While I guess this isn't technically an advertising outlet, it is a great (free) way to promote your company by pinning things such as new products, completed projects, blog posts, and press releases.

4. LinkedIn: Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn allows businesses to claim a "company page" and provide information on their services, employees, job openings, and link to their company website. Another great feature is the fact that, unlike Facebook, LinkenIn does not offer as many interactive features--i.e. their is no "wall" to worry about maintaining--making it a great choice for employers that don't have the time or resources to spend updating statuses on a regular basis.

5. A Blog Platform: Whether you use Blogger, Typepad, WordPress, or any of the other numerous sites that offer free blogging platforms, a blog is a great, fairly easy way to give potential customers and job seekers a glimpse into what your company is all about. Blogging not only gets your name out there, but if done correctly, makes your company a resource by providing others with pertinent information on subjects in, or even outside, of your field.

Whether your company embraces one or all of these advertising outlets, they are great ways to increase your online presence and make your name more visible on search engine results. I will warn, however, that it is important to regularly maintain whatever accounts you decide to use, because honestly, how disappointing is it to find the company you have been searching for online but realize they haven't updated any of their information for the past two years?

Does your company take advantage of cost-effective or free advertising? Have you seen a difference in your sales numbers? 

*Please note that this free offer is limited to the first 200,000 businesses, on a first-come, first-served basis.

sources: one

Friday, September 21, 2012

Avoiding Social Media Mistakes

I have to admit that I have never felt very compelled to network with other people in the design industry via social media. However, a few months back, my supervisor was featured on the Woodworking Network blog discussing the vital role that social media plays in making new business contacts and increasing sales figures (you can read the post in its entirety here).

After reading the article I could see where his arguments were coming from; social media is everywhere. Unless you don't have access to the internet or have an enormous amount of willpower to resist its pull, you too are most likely linked to it in some way or another.

I recently came across an article on that gave several great tips that businesses who are just getting into the social media game would to wise to follow. Below is a quick run-down of what they had to say, but I would suggest that you check the article out here, it is a very informative read!

Mistakes to avoid when using social media for your business...

1. Starting without a plan
  •  Resist the temptation to skip creating a strategic plan that outlines your goals and any resources that you will need to reach those goals.
  • Sit down with your staff and develop a well laid out plan that includes who is responsible for what.
2. Poorly timing social media posts
  • Know your customer and how they behave on social networks. 
  • Be sure to time your posts so that they are seen by the largest audience. Research has shown that the majority of people using social media live in Eastern and Central Time Zones. Therefore if you live live in the Pacific Time Zone and are posting the majority of your information near the end of the work day, you have missed the boat on the largest possible audience seeing what you have to say.
3. Breaking social media rules of etiquette
  • Before you start, be sure to familiarize yourself with some of the basic "rules" of social media.
    1. Start conversations by asking thought-provoking conversations.
    2. Don't follow someone on twitter, then unfollow them when they begin following you.
    3. Promote other people as well as your own brand.
    4. Don't spread yourself too thin.
4. Failing to measure social media success
  • Employ services that will help you measure the effectiveness of your social media campaign.
5. Ignoring your competitors
  • Know who your competitors are and what they are up to. 
  • Keep a careful eye on their social media campaigns and use their followers praises and complaints to shape your own online presence.
Does your company have a strong social media campaign? What do you think makes it successful? 

Sources: one

Friday, September 14, 2012

The ACS Catalog Goes 3D

By Kyle Rennaker, ACS Draftsman
The 1960’s marked the beginning of the CAD Revolution with the invention of “Sketchpad” by Ivan Sutherland, the CAD industry continued to flourish by leaps and bounds over the next five decades with the creation of BIM software such as Autodesk Revit (originally created in 1998 by the Charles River Software company).  As architects and engineers latch on to this BIM technology to help improve the process of constructing and designing buildings; manufactures must be able to keep up with new demands of 3D material.  And that is where Advanced Cabinet Systems comes into play.

In June 2012, Advanced Cabinet Systems released its first ever Advanced Cabinet Systems Revit Catalog.  Up to this point, architects were responsible of creating “generic” casework as “fill-ins” for specifications in their 3D projects.  Manufacturer-created 3D models, also known as Revit Families, help remove this trouble for architects by allowing them to easily download and drop them into their project. 

Easy accessibility is just one benefit of having manufacturer-created material; there are many more reasons why it’s beneficial.  One of the big benefits would be that each cabinet is to the standards of Advanced Cabinet Systems.  Every size that is available is easily accessible through a “type catalog”.  A type catalog gives all of the size options available through a pick-list without bogging down the model, thus keeping a relatively small file size.  Finally, another great benefit is that specifying the cabinets in a project is easier because the matching product number associated with the physical catalog is included with each model.  By loading in the “custom casework tag”, every floor plan would include the product number by being placed over the matching cabinet.

By having the manufacturer create their own Revit models, it creates a more stream-lined process for designers and architects in the overall build process.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Space Saving Furniture

I live in a small house--and when I say small, I mean it. We've got a downstairs with very little space division, a lofted upstairs, and two very, very small closets where I have to shove what seems like every possession we have into on a regular basis. To be perfectly clear, we need more space--or we need less stuff, whichever. Regardless, when I received an email from my boss recently about a new line of multipurpose, space saving furniture, it got me thinking about all the possibilities small spaces hold if a little forethought is put into their design and furnishings. Whether you are dealing with a small residence, office, or retail space, there are countless space saving ideas and fixtures that will meet a number of needs--all in one compact package.

Let's take a look at a few of my favorites...and I don't know about you, but many of these made me think, "well duh, why didn't I think of that??"

1. Boxetti

Designed by Rolands Landsbergs, each modules "is designed to achieve maximum efficiency of particular demands for functionality and suitability," and boy, does it look good doing it. I love the modern look and clean lines of this collection--from the office, to the bedroom, to the kitchen, this line can make even the smallest spaces functional. Check out the full collection here.

2. Club

Created by Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri for the German manufacturer Schönbuch, this space saving mirror/wardrobe combo would be perfect in a small home or clothing store.


3. As if from nowhere...

Designed by Orla Reynolds, I can think of countless places that this piece would be useful, i.e. my own home! A fully functional bookcase discreetly houses two tables and four chairs, making the need to worry about unexpected guests a thing of the past.

4. Minuetto Space-Saving Table

Produced by Italian manufacturer Milano Smart Living, this piece is great for anyone living in tight quarters. "It starts out as a console table but quickly transforms into a large dining table big enough to seat 10 people"--um, what?! That, my friends, is good engineering.

5. Folditure Leaf Chair

Created by architect Alexander Gendell, this chair folds to less than 3/4" thick and can be hung in a closet when not in use. With an aluminum composite frame and sturdy mesh seat, this durable chair is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

6. Twin Chair

This chair, designed by Philippe Nigro, is a clever two-in-one deal that allows a person to use the chairs stacked, or two people to use them separated--great for times when you need extra seating but can't afford to have chairs taking up space on a full-time basis.

Are you a small space dweller? Do you have a piece of space-saving furniture that has made your life a little easier? Leave a comment and let us know!

sources: one . two . three . four . five . six . seven . eight . nine . ten . eleven

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Retail Security Solutions

Working in the retail fixture industry, Advanced Cabinet Systems fulfills numerous requests from customers wanting their displays to be as secure as possible. Would-be thieves are getting craftier and often times it seems that if a product is not nailed down, there is the potential that it will grow legs and walk right out of your store. If your security devices can be picked, cut, deactivated, or broken off, someone will find a way--resulting in a loss of profit for your business and loads of frustration for you.

In order to offer our customers the best security devices to meet an ever-growing list of needs, we try to stay as up to date as possible on what the market has to offer. Below are a few of our go-to products that we have found to be reliable options for combating retail theft. This may seem like a paid advertisement for one company, but trust me it's not, we just really like their products!

1. Invue Series 1000 Impact Display Stands
These stands feature an internal recoil mechanism that returns the product to the display position each time it is handled. It also has a built-in alarm that will sound if the device is disconnected from the stand--and speaking from experience, it is a loud alarm that no one in the store is going to miss! These stands provide users with a lot of flexibility, giving them the option to secure dummy phones, charge live phones, or provide customers with an interactive display that is triggered when the device is lifted from the base.

2. Invue Locking Gridwall Hooks
Many of our customers stock their accessories on grid wall panels, and these locking hooks from Invue are a great way to keep products secure, while still being quick and easy for employees to remove when necessary. 

3. Vanguard Cell Phone Security Stands
Similar to the Invue stands above, Vanguard Products Group offers a wide range of security options for hand held devices, tablets, and accessories. These devices offer the same user-friendly options when it comes to displaying products, while providing peace of mind that items are safe and secure.

4. Invue Cabinet Lock
Invue cabinet locks are great choice for retailers looking to retrofit existing cabinetry--with no tools or drilling required, installation is a snap. This lock features PowerTouch technology that transfers power from the key to the lock, meaning you will never have to worry about replacing batteries, providing years of worry-free security.

5. Invue LTO2 Tablet Security
New to Invue, this product can power up any tablet on the market while keeping it secure and functional when on display. The display stand allows the product to be mounted either vertically or horizontally, while remaining virtually invisible from the front--keeping product displays clean and uncluttered.

A large portion of my design work is geared toward the technology industry and I realize that is where most of these security solutions would be most useful. So, I would love to hear from you--what kind of security measures do you take to ensure that your merchandise doesn't fall prey to sticky fingers?

sources: one . two . three . four . five

Monday, August 20, 2012

Shipping Container Stores

As I was going through my undergrad schooling for interior design, the use of shipping containers as building structures was quickly gaining steam. Fast forward a few years (many of which I paid little attention to this trend) and I am admittedly behind the curve. However, over the past few months of work related research, several retail stores made entirely of shipping containers have flashed across my screen, and given the overabundance of really cool designs that they typically employ, I couldn't resist any longer in compiling a small list of a few of my favorites.

Reusing shipping containers is not only good for the environment, but is also a good option for retailers looking to save a few bucks, as they can typically be purchased for around $2000. They are also make great pop-up shops, offering a portable structure that is durable and easy to ship from one location to the next.

Mock-up of DKNY pop-up shop

Last year, DKNY offered a small sampling of its wares throughout Manhattan, housing them in a shipping container pop-up store. The need for a easy to set up (it took less than an hour!), portable design was critical to this project, as the store changed locations each day over the course of the three day event.

richard chai snarkitecture exterior

In 2010, fashion designer Richard Chai opened a pop-up store in Manhattan. Costing a mere $5,000, this location paired high fashion with flawless interior design.

The Starbucks Reclamation Drive-Thru

Starbucks Reclamation Drive Thru located in Tukwila, Washington has garnered a lot of attention since the 450 sq ft portable structure was constructed. Comprised of four salvaged shipping containers, it was designed specifically to explore new options in sustainability--showcasing the company's ongoing dedication to providing sustainable structures and business practices.

Ilan Dei pop-up shop in Venice

This shipping container houses the Ilan Dei Studio pop-up store and project lab, which opened in Venice, California earlier this month. The primary goal of this clean, modern design is to showcase the indoor-outdoor living of the California lifestyle. Three separate sections house a traditional lifestyle store, art gallery, and a community area for events such as yoga classes and ping pong games.

sustainable design, green design, shipping containers, shipping container architecture, Mexico, Container City, container restaurant, shipping container restaurant, recycled materials

shipping containers, shipping container architecture, Mexico, Container City, container restaurant, shipping container restaurant, recycled materials

One of my all time favorite use of salvaged shipping containers is Container City located in Cholula, Mexico. Restaurants, galleries, bars, stores and living spaces occupy the nearly 50 colorful containers carefully arranged to form courtyards, alleys, and streets.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to employing recycled shipping containers in design. From temporary pop-up stores to permanent cities, these structures provide a durable, eco-friendly alternative to conventional construction methods. This is one craze that has definitely caught my attention, and I anticipate it hanging around for many more years to come!

sources: one . two . three . four . five . six . seven