deanna doersch
wild logo.jpg

Wild: a Plant Experience

/ Retail Concept /

Wild is a brick-and-mortar concept that is equal parts community gathering space, tactile meditation, and plant store. It provides an alternate to a traditional retail experience, while leaning into person-to-person connection.

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Inspiration photo by Jose Hevia

Inspiration photo by Jose Hevia

Wild is an experiential plant home.

Wild is a place to stay for an afternoon.

Wild is a place to bring your friends visiting from out of town. 

Wild is a refuge from the flurry of the city.

Wild induces more peace in than taking a coffee break.


My Role

UI Designer / Graphic Designer / Art Director 

The Needs

In the early months of 2018, I had had a high stress job that, by nature, had me overwhelmed and constantly glued to my computer. It took a toll on me, leading even the slightest annoyance to derail my day. I found myself needing a space to retreat, feel some plants, and reconnect with myself.

Wild is the manifestation of that dream space.

The Process: intro

I started this project not knowing what the end products might be. I wanted to allow guests to engage with the space without feeling like they have to curate themselves or buy something.

The Process: the feelings

I first identified how I wanted to feel, and then what feelings I was trying to avoid:

Avoided Feelings:

Pressured, lurked upon, excluded, rushed, cold

Desired Feelings:

Warm, welcome, engaged, encouraged, at peace, known, community

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The Process: visual mood

Taking one blind step after the other, I decided to make a mood board. I couldn’t explain it, so why don’t I show it? I strongly felt it needed to contrast other floral brands that used the white minimal style.

I wanted color and style and over-the-top design. I wanted a jungle in South America.


 

The Process: space layout and interaction

If I had a physical space, I wanted it to be truly unique. I wanted Wild to show what having a storefront could really do for a business. It had to push future places to create more innovative and engaging interactions for their guests.


The Process: space layout and interaction

(Front Section)

The front section and entrance would be a bright pseudo-library, good for working solo or meeting a friend. A sign would provide guests with the “key” to get into the next section of the space, such as a moving of a book or picture frame.

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The Process: space layout and interaction

(back gathering space)

A doorway slides open and reveals the main area, which is  a multipurpose gathering area, decorated like someone’s green + overflowing apartment. Signage lets guests know that everything is for sale, because layout is anything BUT retail-y. This space is fairly open, allowing for events, small shows, and meetings to take place in the center. Guests are encouraged to sim some coffee and tea as they make themselves at home.

the website

Because this brand is so analog, I kept the site short and sweet. Checkout the home + ecommerce pages below.


Successes

The final Wild concept achieved:

  1. IRL engagement - Because the space is a unique concept, it would drum up excitement and curiosity. If staff are able to genuinely make connections with the guests, they open the door to create actual relationships and create a community. Other spaces fall short when they fail to provide a unique in-person experience to accompany their products (or don’t treat them humanely until they buy something), leading guests simply order online.

  2. Strong art direction   There was a clear vision for how this space would exist, but also how this space would look. In the age of instagram, it was important for me to have a rock-solid art direction to convey credibility and design chops.

  3. Perseverance - This project spanned over the course of six months, with me returning each time I had a breakthrough. I have so many half-backed projects, but to come out with actual deliverables for this one felt so rewarding. In the future I hope to build it out even further through a sketch-up model.

Critical Reflection

Since I didn’t know what my deliverables would be or when I had to have this done by, it’s hard to critique this process. If I wanted to refine this more, I would do user testing for the storefront, ensuring that guests knew what they were able to do in the space. Since there aren’t any similar experiences, I think it would be helpful to have that data to inform our design.