The Store and the Street | MoMA R&D Salon 39 | MoMA LIVE

For this Salon, our discussion will center on the space retail occupies––physically, anthropologically, digitally, and otherwise––in society. Brick and mortar stores, big or small, luxurious or unassuming, determined the look and feel of neighborhoods and cities. They made the streets. Online stores, real estate tremors, gentrification, and more have since transformed the ecosystem. From the disappearance of downtown urban districts and suburban shopping malls, to the havoc wreaked on storefronts by the pandemic, not to mention AR dressing rooms, pluriverse vitrines, next-day shipping, and pop-ups and drops, retail is undergoing a revolution. Implications on local community-building, city planning, labor relations, and international trade also come into play.

It is against this backdrop that we convene our panel and pose the following questions: Where are we shopping and why? How has technology changed that? How do physical shops determine the built environment, and what does it mean to burst out of this framework? In what way can a store create community? How does the definition of that community expand beyond the act of selling and purchasing goods, and even perhaps thwart a consumeristic impulse? How does one design a space to generate this kind of interaction? To some, dollars are votes, making stores as sacred as voting booths; can stores carry this burden? How can we remedy the blight left behind by the closure of stores and storefronts in many streets of NY after the pandemic?

The evening will commence with a brief introduction by Paola Antonelli, followed by equally brief presentations by – here in alphabetical order:

Hazel Clark: is a Professor of Design Studies and Fashion Studies at Parsons School of Design, where she has also served as Dean of Art and Design History and Theory and Research Chair of Fashion. Her scholarship focuses on uncovering new perspectives, cultures, and geographies for the study of fashion and design, in Europe, the United States, and China. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Fabric of Cultures: Fashion, Identity, and Globalization and Fashion and Everyday Life: London and New York.

John Jay: is the President of Global Creative at Fast Retailing, where he leads the creation of products and concept stores, as well as directing brand strategy and communications campaigns for the company’s suite of retail holdings including Uniqlo, Helmut Lang, and Theory. Prior to his appointment at Fast Retailing, he held positions as the Creative Director at Bloomingdales and then as the Executive Director at the advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy.

Larisa Ortiz: serves as a Mayoral Appointee to the NYC Planning Commission and is the Managing Director at Streetsense. She has led hundreds of comprehensive retail planning efforts across communities large and small, both nationally and internationally. Larisa is the author of “Improving Tenant Mix,” published by the International Council of Shopping Centers, and is a frequent instructor and guest speaker for the International Economic Development Corporation, the International Downtown Association, and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Claire Weisz: is a founding principal of WXY architecture + urban design, a practice globally recognized for its place-based approach to architecture, urban design, and planning. WXY works closely with local communities to create and reimagine public spaces and structures such as the redesign of Astor Place and the Rockaway Boardwalks. In 1995, Weisz co-founded The Design Trust for Public Space and in 2018 was awarded the Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architects.

The presentations will be accompanied by the screening of a series of short videos cut specifically for Salon 39.

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The comments and opinions expressed in this video are those of the speakers alone, and do not represent the views of The Museum of Modern Art, its personnel, or any artist.

Image: “Man, Controller of the Universe” by Diego Rivera

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