For Stephane Dou and Changlee Yugin's fashion boutique in Taiwan, CJ Studio designed a roller coaster of a display fixture
R.D. Kumar -- Interior Design, 11/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
Stephane Dou and Changlee Yugin are celebrities in Taiwan, famous not only for their clothing designs but also for spectacular fashion shows in unlikely venues—a parking lot was one runway substitute. Clearly, something extraordinary was called for when Dou and Yugin were planning an in-store boutique for a new department store, slated to open in Taipei. The duo commissioned CJ Studio to come up with a concept that combined industrial minimalism with a digital aesthetic—a treatment that could stand unquestionably apart from the other fashion designers on the sales floor. After a number of meetings to flesh out the idea, principal Shichieh Lu developed a stainless-steel display fixture inspired by a Marcel Duchamp painting, Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2. Lu's version featured a frame of curving stainless-steel tubes connected, at 7-inch intervals, by straight stainless rods, and he proceeded to create sketches, renderings, and a 1-to-20 scale model.
That's when the department store executives announced that it wouldn't be opening after all. Lu's futuristic undulating vision looked doomed, indefinitely, to design limbo—until Dou and Yugin went in a completely different direction and leased a freestanding boutique in Taichung, a more leisurely city 93 miles from Taipei. This 1,400-square-foot space was rectangular, as opposed to the square store-in-store, but Lu managed to elongate the display structure to fit its new environment while keeping the frame's tubes at 1 inch in diameter. To test the strength and stability of the adaptation, a factory made a 3 1/4-foot section.
The testing complete, it took six weeks to fabricate 10 sections and two days to install everything. (Final cost: $20,000.) Suspended from the ceiling by steel cables and supported by 2-inch-high stainless-steel legs, the loops peak at 9 feet and dip to 2 feet. The twisting shape folds, comes together, and moves apart but never touches, like a couple flirting on a ballroom floor. In fact, Lu now calls them the Dancing Hangers.