Design / Photography / Sport / STUDIO e*

Pop Up-olympic

I’m shamelessly addicted to the Olympic coverage.

Despite my deep frustration with the unofficial Australian broadcast policy – they typically cover events featuring Australian competitors only, hence minimal gymnastic action – I am thoroughly enjoying the spectacle. In particular, the athletics, which ordinarily, I wouldn’t give two hoots about.  But who can resist those superhuman speeds, superhuman bodies and superhuman performances?

Last week, I discovered that a temporary Nike store in Sydney has “popped up” on Oxford Street in Paddington (Sydney), just in time to give us a taste of the look (and feel) of the sporting superbrand’s Olympic apparel.

Nike is synonymous with innovation and their most technologically advanced sporting gear is on view in a pop-up shop which showcases the company’s recent design developments.

The design of the space is based on the concept of international transport design and a network of multi-coloured pipes on the walls and decals on the floors support the theme.  While specific Olympic references are prohibited, there are a number of overt references including a digital clock displaying London time, opening hours in line with British Standard Time and suspended Olympic ring-shaped light fittings.

Aside from a three dimensional manipulation of the primary wall – juxtaposition of white display boxes and panels – the store provides a simple canvas, exhibition-style, to emphasise the Nike-clad athletic mannequins.  Ipads with video footage and exclusive product insights, Beats headphones, an integrated Nike+ Running App testing stations with in-built treadmill and a dynamic video navigation display on the facade add a digital dimension.

Matt Nordstrom, the designer responsible for the store, is the genius behind the Nike Pro TurboSpeed, Nike’s super-speed fastest track uniform, currently worn by Olympian athletes from the USA, China, Russia and Germany.  The micro dimples and super-lightweight material are evidence of the zoned aerodynamics that minimise drag and increase speed.  Nike’s sustainability credentials are also on display – on average, one uniform is made from 82% recycled polyester sourced from 13 recycled bottles.

Visitors can also see revolutionary construction techniques evident in high-profile innovations like Flyknit, the Lunarlon Collection of high performance footwear and the Hyper Elite Uniform as seen on the USA, Brazilian and Chinese basketball teams.

While many of the pieces on show are not yet available, there are a number of track and items available for purchase, to satisfy the aspirational, elite Nike athlete in all of us.

Shop 4, 1 -11 Oxford St Paddington / Until August 12, from 6pm daily.

(The story above is an excerpt from the piece that I penned for Indesignlive).



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