No Shop, by Thomas Matthews


Designer: Thomas Matthews

Title: No Shop 

Year created: 1997

Location: London, England

Materials: the design of a retail operation with nothing for sale

What is the piece’s impact? The temporary piece, which was done for the group Friends for the Earth, garnered quite a bit of media buzz. Meant to drive attention to the UK’s “no Shop day” (“Buy nothing Day in Canada/US). Occupied a space for a week, but only open to the public for the 3 days around No Shop day.

How does this project relate to this change as art? “No Shop uses the visual language of shopping – sales banners, coupons, shopping bags, and so on – to question our excessive consumer habits. Once inside the store, the visitor realizes it has no goods to sell; only information.” (source)

What makes this an artistic project? While this was undertaken by a design firm, it does lack the typical “functionality” associated with design.

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