In a rapidly evolving retail landscape, where physical open-air marketplaces over time are being replaced with more convenient digital alternatives, the exhibition ‘Learning from Tianguis: Exploring Hybrid Marketplaces’ by Chiun Lee challenge contemporary methods of shopping experiences. The immersive experience delves into reaching a middle ground between tradition and innovation, showcasing how lessons learned from various Mexican brands and communities particularly around the tianguis settings can enrich the future of retail, merging the strengths of physical and digital spaces.
The heart of the exhibition lies in the Tianguis, traditional Mexican open-air markets, that has had a long and rich cultural history and a strong community-driven ecosystem. Particularly, the vibrant colour of the textiles that engulf the marketplace and ongoing interactions between sellers and buyers paint the landscape inside the tianguis. Such foundation in the tianguis demonstrates the vitality of physical storefronts as hubs of community interaction and the embodiment of culture.
In juxtaposition to the physical marketplace, the exhibition incorporates interactive digital mediums that capture and project and explores the global reach of online retail. Product recommendations, personalization in user experiences allow for the incorporation of the strengths in such retail including convenience, wide variety in products and ease of transaction.
The core narrative of the exhibition lies in the convergence of more traditional, tangible methods of communal aspects of the traditional tianguis and digital platforms that improve convenience and global outreach. Unironically, bits and pieces of each the physical and digital are already being implemented in newer brands in Mexico City depending on their business context. Looking at such precedents, the exhibition explores how this intersection can augment both the tangible, communal aspects in buying and selling with more convenient and immersive experiences provided by digital platforms.
‘Learning from Tianguis: Exploring Hybrid Marketplaces’ is one of 12+ projects at STACKT Market for the 2024 DesignTO Festival. Celebrate these projects with a free, site-wide party on Sat, Jan 20 from 6-10:30pm. Visit ‘Design Collection Opening Party @ STACKT’ to learn more.