In the past two years, the parent-child business has been growingly booming, and more commercial spaces are trying to incorporate parent-child themes. In this context, a variety of composite spaces carrying diverse business formats have emerged, and designers are being pushed to constantly change their thinking to solve the problem of integration between different business sectors.
The renovation of the children-themed public area in Ningbo MixC exactly needs to solve such a problem. In addition to meeting the client's demand to create a fantasy space filled with imagination for children, the designer has also taken a unique approach, starting from the most detailed observation, to translate the children's 24-hour daily life into a surreal fairy-tale experience, and build the public commercial space into a non-commercial venue for public that combines parent-child experience and inspiring education.
The entire public area is divided into five themed zones, each built with visually-appealing and stylistically-unique structures so that customers are always able to explore different surprises along the path of the circular movement.
The gift box and apartment themed areas eschew the empirical design approach. Enlarged gift boxes are stacked to create a small town, where hides inside the shops. The houses blown around by storms forms an anime style, reflecting the childishness of the comic world. Following the logic of space and function, the designer has created a surreal and fantastical experience inspired from everyday scenarios for customers. Pavements are interspersed with curves and twists, and every corner is crammed with curious and ingenious designs of interest to engage consumers' curiosity and desire to explore, prolonging their stay.
The two themed areas on the east side of the mall are designed for children's mental enlightenment, with a chessboard theme area and a test tube theme area focusing on logical thinking and creativity respectively. On the second floor where the chessboard area is, the designer adopts the narrative elements and composition from Alice in Wonderland, which renders out a dreamy tone for the space. The comic-style design let children's creative world to break through into reality, restoring children's dreams and encouraging parents to occasionally look at the world through children's eyes, while the test tube theme area on the third floor is a fun and educational way to lead and inspire children's curiosity and desire to explore. Both theme areas create an emotional experience for children that engages all five senses and is a physical textbook for heuristic education such as left and right brain development.
In addition to the renovation of the children's themed public areas on the second and third floors, the designer also has built the outdoor terrace area into the most romantic spot for visitors in the whole mall, in response to the needs of the client. The target group has expanded from the younger children's level to a youth group. The designer mainly adopts pure white color to create a different texture from the children's area, while leaving the space blank for the romantic stories that is going to happen in the space.
The overall design of the children's-themed public area in Ningbo MixC blurs the physical boundaries between the shops and the public space, allowing the shop façade to be integrated into the space, which also serves as one of the key design elements of the public area. The designer has broken through the traditional behavioral model of shopping, evolving pure consumption into a multifunctional place that integrates parenting, leisure, purposeful education and consumption. As the design landscape of the commercial space becomes more artistic and imaginative, people will find more emotional connections in their daily lives and consumption scenarios, and we will get closer to a beautiful new artistic community of the future.