Concepts and Ideas for Commercial Purposes
Archive 1997–2017: Exhibition | Interior | Project | Product

Camper London Info-Shop | London | 2003

Camper, 28 Old Bond Street, London | Info-shop #001 | Info-shop and Camper
The idea of working with information as decoration is not new for Camper. By way of example, in the shops at Barcelona’s "el triangle” (1998), the walls are not simply supports for photographs but are totally covered with photography. The application of hand-done text and drawing is seen in the New York Soho shop (2000), while the space reserved to leave messages was used in the "Walk in progress” (1999). Camper is also known for its graphic production, as appearing on posters, bags and other publications. The idea of the info-shops is to take these characteristics to an extreme, bringing them all together to create a new typology of shop based on the concept of information as decoration and decoration as information.

The Info-shop Concept; Ideas Substitute Convention
The basic idea is to substitute costly material, complex constructive details and exclusive elements with information. In this way the budget that is normally set aside for materials and finely-crafted finishing goes instead to the construction of intellectual content, whether written or visual. It is important that this information not be tied into an explicit advertisement for the brand. The shop is constructed with materials, lighting elements and other elements that are standard and environmentally friendly. Onto this ground the content developed by the creator is applied. This content will be independently developed on a graphic level and will be applied according to concrete criteria as defined for this type of commercial space. The creator can thus be any person who has something interesting or important to say and seeks to express an opinion. The project emulates a structure similar (though more complex) to the publication of a creatively produced book. The final idea of the info-shops project is to open Camper up to collaborations from any creative person with ideas (and not just designers) in the development of their info-shop commercial outlets. This person could thus be a farmer, an athlete, a tourist or a cook."Somera mallorquina” 2003: Only 137 Left. The Majorcan donkey is a local species, with only 137 pure-bred individuals left in 2003. The idea of the project is to create a brand image of the "Somera Mallorquina” (Majorcan Donkey), so that within this hyper-reality it might acquire the status of a "luxury object” and in consequence a "cult object”, thus ensuring that it not disappear from the real world.

Context of the Camper London Info-shop Theme
Camper is an enterprise from the island of Majorca which has already used the image of the Majorcan donkey in its advertising campaigns, though only in an anecdotal manner. The interest here lies in the tension of the theme proposed for the Camper shop at 28 Old Bond Street in London, in a country with a long tradition centred on the horse.

The Theme
Thoughts and hypotheses on the Majorcan donkey, which is about to disappear but whose image goes beyond its strictly natural state
Text by John Thackara, founder of Doors of Perception
Horse vs. Somera in the context of the new economy
Text by Georg-Cristof Bertsch, design writer, founder-owner of the Frankfurt-based brand strategy firm Bertsch & Bertsch
On the extinction of the quagga in 1878
Text by Jordi Bigues, journalist and activist in environmental and cultural issues
On the "Somera” in the Majorcan context
Interview with Aina Vallespir
Aina Vallespir lives in Majorca. She is an environmental farmer and stage actress, and works as the secretary of the "Association of Breeders and Owners of Purebred Majorcan Donkeys”, ACRIPOASMA.
Facts about Majorcan donkeys, extracted from a text from the association ACRIPROASMA

As well as the fan gift-shop
The room
The functional part of the commercial space does not disappear, being instead merged with the relevant information. The index is found in the front part of the shop. On the shop windows the title and introduction are found, serving as the front page. The texts of the contributors are distributed throughout the space, including the floor. The images of the "someras” have the aim of idealising them. This is the case with the drawings as well, which represent an animal that has been "humanised” in its gestures. On the ceiling there are 137 icons which represent the 137 individual donkeys left of the local species, each with the name given it by its owner. The space also includes photographs of quaggas with the name of the city where the museum exhibiting them are found. In this case the photos of quaggas have been taken from cities where Camper has shops. Logically the brand image is present, along with the display area for the product. Camper bags have been made especially for this store. All the information found in the display area has been reproduced on them as well, so if you make a purchase the info-shop can be taken home in bag form.

Photo Inga Knölke 2003