nikole nelson: new balance experience store nikole nelson: new balance experience store
sep 07, 2011

nikole nelson: new balance experience store

‘new balance experience store’ by nikole nelson, new york city, USA entry art constructed from actual shoe parts image © jeff harris

new york based artist and designer nikole nelson collaborated with athletic apparel new balance’s retail design team to conceive the ‘new balance experience store’ located in the flatiron district of new york city. brand derived sculptures depicting the inception and evolution of the iconic series of products lines the interior. after witnessing the manufacture of merchandise at the production plant, the artist repurposed raw materials found on dumpster dives to create art evoking the process. the entry features a 13 foot tall installation comprised from parts of new balance shoes and various apparatuses for the shoe construction. a hybrid of technical and organic, the focal sculpture features converging angled boxes filled with depictions of individual moments in time throughout the brand’s history.

entry art constructed from actual shoe parts image © jeff harris

a glowing red wall in the rear of the space invites shoppers to delve into the store’s depths. layers were the key to the authenticity of historical brick construction authenticity as mortar was custom tinted, thickly applied and strategically scraped after drying. the edges of the bocks were chiseled to sculpt the desired movement of the 16 foot high installation. metal columns were cleaned and restored to their original glory while the wood floor was stripped, stained and distressed with a large company logo.

entry art constructed from actual shoe parts image © jeff harris

‘it comes back to the power of the experience and that is where this store more than succeeds. it is not enough to design for design sake alone – brands have a history, like living things and as consumers we want to be part of that history. my passion for design stems from the process of discovery; I learn a brand inside and out so that I can design from within.’  – nikole nelson

entry art constructed from actual shoe parts images © jeff harris

new balance tags used in a repetative motion to create a cave like viewing experience image © jeff harris

antique sewing machine image © jeff harris

deconstructed new balance shoe becomes beaming element of entry sculpture image © jeff harris

rear wall installation image © jeff harris

(left) rear wall installation (right) column restoration images © jeff harris

column restoration and floor staining image © jeff harris

collaborating with assembly area designers idl, nelson painted distressed nb logo on floor

raw demolitioned space pre-construction

rear wall installation concept sketches and design development samples

build-out process of rear wall art installation on-site

(left) nelson’s studio (right) entry art sculpture in production and on-site installation

new balance historic replicas fossilized

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions’ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication.

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