Mall design in China: Bangkok-based Concept i's next move

What design firm based in Bangkok has state-of-the-art design projects from Shanghai to Saudi Arabia?

Shopping mallConcept i is the answer (See their portfolio of international projects here).

The interior design of shopping malls in China is their newly targeted niche market and the subject of today's article.

Click button to listen to China Malls and rightclick to download

Local firm Concept i taps huge potential of Chinese malls by Kanana Katharangsiporn

The Thai architecture firm Concept i Co Ltd is eyeing prospective growth in the retail property sector of economic powerhouse China, where more than 1,700 new shopping malls are planned for the next decade.

Managing director Geoff Morrison says there will be 1,766 new retail projects of more than 100,000 square metres each planned in booming China between now and 2020.

They will be located in first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, second-tier cities such as Nanjing, Shenzhen and Chongqing and elsewhere throughout the country...

...Retail design is about visualising, landscape, lighting, image, identity, sequence of space, showing and display of product, making shoppers relax and stay longer," says the Canadian architect who worked in the UK and has been in Thailand since 1993.

He says retail design trends have moved toward bringing hotel styles to shopping areas by offering hotel services like spas. Malls are no longer just a box, but rather a part of daily life where people can relax and socialise.

Retail is a lifestyle, providing education, health care and entertainment. It should be somewhere people feel convenient and comfortable, with a variety of choices for the right target," says Mr Morrison.

Retail developers should really understand the target visitors, developing expressive malls that can change all the time and meet shoppers' needs.

Another trend is for luxury malls to come closer to mid-market shopping to tap energetic shoppers in this segment.

The retail sector is a potential market for the design industry, as it can take five to eight years for a shopping mall to undergo a major renovation, depending on competition. In some locations, renovation is once every two to three years.

The retail renovation process is complex and multifaceted, involving a web of market, financial, operational, technical and creative skills. Renovation should always set its own key target - to pay for itself quickly," he says.

Owners should experience a surge in leasing and rental income immediately following a successful renovation. In successful projects, owners may achieve up to a 70% increase in gross income following renovation or a 25-30% increase in average leasing rents...

[In the photo above on the right:] For the expansion of Mykal Department Store owned by Dashang Group in China, a glass-facade building in the centre creates a smooth connection between two existing buildings on both sides.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Retail, ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN, Local firm Concept i taps huge potential of Chinese malls, 27/09/2010, Kanana Katharangsiporn, link

Concept i - an international firm providing design services which include: interior design, architecture, landscape and graphics design (See website and brochure)
portfolio - a collection of examples of your creative work (photos, writing, etc) used to show employers, clients or a school in order to prove your ability (See Wikipedia on artist portfolios)
retail - to sell directly to the public for their own use ขายปลีก
design -
planning the appearance, function of products (product design) or the arrangement of rooms, furnishing, and decoration in buildings, offices, and houses (interior design) (See Wikipedia)
designers -
people whose work is design
interior - the inside of something ภายใน
interior design -
the art of designing and decorating the insides of homes and apartments, "not to be confused with interior decoration, interior design draws on aspects of environmental psychology, architecture, and product design in addition to traditional decoration" (See Wikipedia on interior design vs. interior decoration and a list of Wikipedia articles on interior design)
architecture - the activity of designing and constructing buildings, houses, and other structures (See Wikipedia) สถาปัตยกรรม
niche market - a small market with special needs and requirements

firm - a company บริษัท
potential - the possibility of success ที่มีศักยภาพ ที่เป็นไปได้
tap - use, use some available resource
tap potential - use some available resource to achieve goals
eyeing - thinking about something for a future project
prospective - likely to happen in the future
prospective growth - likely future economic growth
property - land with the buildings on it
retail property sector - the part of the economy where shopping malls and stores are bought and sold
sector - a part of the economy ภาค (เศรษฐกิจ) (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) (See Wikipedia)
powerhouse - a successful team, country, organisation or person with a lot of influence, power and energy
decade - a period of ten years ทศวรรษ
expansion - when something increases in size, number or importance การขยายออก
facade - the front of a building
tier - level

visualising - forming a picture of something in your mind
landscape -
an area of land that has been made to have a special appearance (made beautiful to look at) 
lighting -
the use of light to make rooms in a building or home more beautiful and nicer to live in (See Wikipedia)
image - the picture of something that people have in their mind, what people think about something ภาพลักษณ์
identity - what something is, who someone is (the features and descriptive words that make them what they are)
sequence -
a set of things happening one after another, arranged in a particular order
architect - someone whose job is to design buildings สถาปนิก
spas - a resort or beauty salon for relaxing personal care treatments
socialise - to spend time with other people, talking or doing some activity มีการติดต่อกับผู้คน
lifestyle - the living conditions and things people do everyday (fashion, home decoration, pets, cooking, music, tv, movies, garden, etc) รูปแบบการดำเนินชีวิต
convenient - an easy way to do something
variety - many different types of things or people ความหลากหลาย
target - a goal เป้าหมาย (here: the customer you are trying to attract to the store)

target visitors - the shoppers that the company is trying to attract to the mall (by doing the redesign)
expressive - outwardly showing thoughts or feelings  
trend - a new development in clothing, make-up, etc แนวโน้ม
luxury - the best and most expensive of something ที่หรูหรา
mid-market shopping - middle class people shopping (not poor but not rich either)
energetic - having or involving a lot of energy กระตือรือร้น, กระฉับกระเฉง
segment - a separate part ส่วนต่างๆของสังคม (here means market segment, see next)
market segment -
a group of possible customers in a market for a certain kind of good or service who have income, age, habits, etc (See Wikipedia)

undergo - to experience something which involves a change ประสบ 
renovation - repairing and improving an old building, putting it back in good condition การฟื้นฟูบูรณะ

process - a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
complex - an area that has several difficult to understand parts
facet - one side or aspect of something (one part of it that needs explaining)
multifaceted -
have many sides or aspects to it
operational - keeping something working or running normally ที่สามารถใช้งานได้
technical - requiring special detailed knowledge (example: computers, electronics, manufacturing), involving materials, processes, and machines to do specialised work เฉพาะทาง
creative - creating and developing new original ideas, especially in art or literature
skills - a type of work or task requiring special training and knowledge ทักษะ ความสามารถเฉพาะทาง
key - important คนสำคัญ

surge - a sudden increase in something การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว
leasing - renting
income - money that people or companies receive from business or work  รายได้
immediately - happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
gross - being the total before costs and taxes are taken away

About the author

Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer