The whole world on your shelf
In autumn 2007, Smånsk was contacted by the editorial office of Vagabond travel magazine, who were in urgent need of a new look for their travel bookshop in the hip and vibrant Södermalm area of Stockholm. With a monthly readership of 188,000, Vagabond is Sweden’s leading travel magazine, and their travel bookshop is well established and provides inspiration and highly specialised information for travellers.
The design was based around the concepts of proximity, distance and multidimensionality. A map is the lowest common denominator of all types of travel, and in the eyes of a designer, its street patterns bear resemblance to a bookshelf.
The idea was to bring the outside world into the shop. A map of the local area provided the basis for the floor pattern, which continues up the walls in the form of a shelving system able to accommodate guides to all the world’s travel destinations. Segments corresponding to parks on the map are elevated from the floor, acting as units for displaying merchandise. The spiral staircase connects the shop to the editorial office at the same time as the street level entrance gives visitors to the office a welcoming first impression.
Written on the wall are the words of Saint Augustine, which summarise the company’s idea: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
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