SOFTlab installs colourful funneled
canopy in Melissa shoe shop

| 4 comments

American design studio SOFTlab attached 20,000 translucent flowers to a flexible plastic mesh to create this installation for the Brazilian jelly-shoe brand Melissa's New York flagship store (+ movie).

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab

SOFTlab were invited to create an in-store installation to reflect the shoe brand's 2014 design and marketing campaign called We are Flowers.

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab

The New York-based firm responded by creating a flexible structure made of 5,000 mylar panels, which is suspended from the shop's ceiling to form a canopy and funnels that extend down in different lengths and widths.

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab



This canopy is covered with 20,000 flower shapes, similar to those used by Melissa for its new collection of footwear and accessories, which have been recreated in a translucent polyester film usually used to apply colour to glass surfaces.

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab

"The only criteria was to use the flower shape from that campaign and for it to be very colorful and of course amazing," said SOFTlab founder Michael Szivos. "They also asked us to do something that would take over the whole store."

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab

The form of the structure was designed using computer modelling program Rhino, which generated drawings that were then used to program a laser cutter. Each of the pieces of mylar were riveted together by hand and the final piece took five days to install, with the team only able to work in the space at night after the shop had closed.

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab

"If anything came up regarding the size or complexity of the installation they always said 'go for it, we want this to look spectacular'," said Szivos. "That attitude helped out a lot and I think made the project a real collaboration."

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab

"We had to do material tests and prototypes, create the geometry through form finding tools, create the tools that would allow us to automate all of the drawings for laser cutting, design the details for hanging and then laser cut everything. It was a lot of fun, but had a lot of parts that all had to come together in the end."

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab

The Brazilian footwear brand, which has been producing its trademark "jelly" plastic shoes since 1979, has previously worked with a number of well-known fashion and product designers on shoe and accessory designs. Past collaborators include Vivienne Westwood, Zaha Hadid and the Campana brothers.

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab

SOFTlab were invited to contribute to the shop space after working with Melissa on a project designed by the Campana brothers.

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab

"We helped produce and fabricate that project since the brothers are in Brazil," explained Szivos. "That project went well and Melissa was interested in our design work so they asked us to design the next installation."

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab

"There was some talk in the beginning about whether it was really feasible to have a surface cover the entire ceiling of the store, I am glad we did," said Szivos. "I think that is what really changed the store and creates a whole new environment. Some people come in off the street just to see it.

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab

"Bringing in artists or designers to do something unique and take over the store is great because it is always changing and shoppers are always surprised."

We Are Flowers installation by Melissa and SOFTlab

  • Sarkis Semerdjian

    The architectural design of the store is from Pascali Semerdjian Arquitetos from Brazil. It would be nice to mention…

  • Dave

    Not mentioning the architect of the store in this context is unacceptable… why?

  • Hey

    Looks a little too much like the work of artist Janet Echelman?

  • Leo Moriarty

    Once the fire officer is happy, I suppose.