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DIGITAL & INTERACTIVE Fuzzwire’s Lean has seen a growth in interactive and experiential displays with tie- ins with social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Fremlin Walk shopping centre in Maidstone was one of the centre’s to embrace digital technology as part of its Christmas offering last year, launching what was billed as the world’s first virtual advent calendar.

Christmasworld 2013

Christmasworld - The World of Seasonal Decoration - is a leading international trade fair for festive decorations, trends and innovations, held in Frankfurt over five days each January. To coincide with the exhibition, the organisers commission design consultants bora.herke. palmisano to produce a trends guide, outlining colour, pattern and material predictions for the coming season. “In our work, we bring together the key

developments from society, fashion, architecture and design and use them to create relevant trend statements for the sectors of the industry at Christmasworld,” says the international design consultant. This year it has identified Precious Jungle, Fantasy Forest, Glowing Desert and Gracious Coast as the four main themes for Christmas 2013.

Precious Jungle Precious Jungle combines the elegant and expensive with the cool, regal colours of the jungle. Precious stones and birds of paradise stand out against a background palette of greens and blues. Elegant gold adds additional warmth. Materials are dominated by strong ornamentation and designs. Choice fabrics such as velvet, silk and brocade are embroidered or decoratively adorned. The theme offers a lot of room for inspiration and the range of relevant products is varied - glass ornaments, feather or plant motifs, heavy Christmas baubles decorated with gold, leaves and flower arrangements.

Fantasy Forest Fanciful, humorous and modern, this playfully

romantic style breaks the classic mould, putting traditional fairy-tale motifs and Christmas reds and greens in a young and modern context. The ‘enchanted forest of fairyland’ is presented in a full red set against the animals and forest figures dipped in green paint. Natural materials such as pine cones or acorns are painted silver and lend an abstract, ethereal effect.

Glowing Desert Glowing Desert reflects the power and beauty of contrast with a combination of natural, warm shades, such as ochre, sand, purple and coral complemented by sparkling and shiny metallic colours and set against a coarse desert backdrop. Dried wood, thistles, bleached stone ware and ceramics combine with ribbons of natural silk or linen to give a restrained rural effect. Elegant glassware, iridescent Christmas baubles and shiny candles go together to create vibrant contrasts.

Gracious Coast In this light, feminine and delicate style, modern pastel shades are contrasted with black, anthracite and ecru. Clean and fluid sculptural shapes create a 50s feel for a conscience clash between modern and traditional. Historical scenes on copper engravings from the 17th and 18th centuries find themselves next to modern photographically-accurate patterns, for example. Fine fabrics and textiles with delicate structures and needlework create a feminine touch. Delicately coloured glass and ornaments with enamel and mother-of-pearl effects bring grace and lightness.

The campaign used augmented reality, compatible with iPhone and Andriod handsets, which merges the physical environment with the digital to manipulate real time images. With the aid of the Fremlin Walk app, customers could view daily offers from the centre’s retailers, which appeared as they hovered their smartphones over each day on a giant floor mounted advent calendar. “We’re pushing ahead with our entire

digital marketing strategy with some really exciting new projects,” says centre manager Lloyd Wright. “The augmented reality advent calendar is a world first that we are particularly proud of – especially as it seems to have caught the imagination of retailers and consumer alike.”

In line with the digital trend, Springfield has

developed baubles containing 7in LCD screens which can be programmed individually to show video, slide shows, marketing messages or a simple Christmas greeting, and it’s easily changeable - the user simply plugs the bauble into a PC and loads the new message or video onto it.

Similarly, inspired by a project it did at

Bullring two years ago, James Glancy Design built a series of trees covered in small screens which doubled up as digital photo frames. Customers were invited to upload their favourite Christmas snapshots to the centre’s website and the best ones - including a dog dressed in a Christmas jumper - appeared on the screens. “It was amazing - very community involved using simple technology,” says Glancy. “People are screen sensitive so they really drew your attention - they were super noticeable. And it was great to see people’s willingness to go online and upload their photos to the site, which also meant the centres’ captured information for their databases.” While digital campaigns and decorations

are undoubtedly a great way for customers to interact with a shopping centre and its brand, Seasonal Transformation’s Saunders doesn’t think it will be adopted on a wide scale for


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