The Future of Shopping Episode I

Emma Foley
Apr 12, 2024

What might it look like to address the challenges of our near future? What area would we even be interested in exploring? What methods and tools would we use to work on a solution? These are some of the questions that we, on the inaugural Future Of team, considered at the onset of a 6 month design challenge. With our cross-disciplinary team, we dove into the process of selecting an area of focus, determining what our process would include, and establishing the framework for our work together. Take a look back on our first 3 months.

Developing a Concept

The first Future Of team consists of 2 Designers, 1 Front-End Engineer and 1 Project Manager. We have a range of skills and interests so to start things off, we worked to zero in on what topic we wanted to explore and what tools we might want to utilize. Through brainstorming, workshops, and discussions around our shared interests, we landed on our topic: The Future of Shopping. With a focus within that of fashion and sustainability, this was an area we all had personal interests in and a lot of thoughts around what it could look like in the future.

Establishing our Process

Once we determined our topic, we had to then figure out our structure and approach for how to address a very large idea. By sticking to a weekly, hour-long working session together (with a bit of homework here and there outside of that time) we found ourselves with a box to work within that allowed us to get messy but decisive. We used Miro to write sticky notes, share visual inspiration, and make connections across ideas. And by working backwards from our end point, we landed on a project that we could reasonably create within our timeframe.

When thinking about what we’d like the Future of Shopping to look like, we found ourselves focused on how sustainability would be a crucial piece of the puzzle. So in our process, we ended up concentrating on how “shopping” could be turned into swapping clothes and buying secondhand, skillsharing to DIY or mend what you already have, and connecting with a community to make effective adjustments to current habits. What we saw as the Future of Shopping was a digital space that could act as a house for a plethora of resources to make sustainable choices.

Diving into the Work

As our concept developed, we also concurrently delved into a mood boarding process. We each took time to explore similar initiatives or businesses, inspiring visual ephemera, and relevant branding components. And we made a point to factor our own skills into our ideas: things like 3D and illustration and how we might incorporate those mediums into our concept.

In our mood boarding process, we found the visual ideas helped to inform our decisions with what we were even creating in the first place -- and vice versa. Because we allowed ourselves to move fluidly between our different process “steps” we were able to ensure our direction was clear and aligned with the goals we set for ourselves.

No items found.

Up Next

With the groundwork laid, we’ve now begun the phase of designing and building out our digital space. Stay tuned for the final product.