Selfridges has launched its latest campaign, Our House, which revisits the original 1909 definition of its store as 'the House'. The campaign will explore the question: What does home mean to you? Our House will consider some of this question's multiple answers in true interactive, enlightening and original Selfridges style.
Our House is set against the backdrop of a world changing fast and dramatically and in which the definition of home seems to be a state of flux. Selfridges is encouraging people to 'slow down!' in 2017 in the face of such dramatic world events. The retailer is asking customers to pause long enough to consider what home means to them, and will reflect on – and celebrate – the essence of what makes a house a home, its rituals, and home as the purest expression of self.
2017 – Our House, Your House: A Home For All
Nearly 110 years on from opening day, with Our House Selfridges celebrates its own heritage as a home away from home for its customers by inviting The New Craftsmen, a craft retailer that represents and sells the work of British makers, to build a conceptual and interactive house within the Oxford Street store.
Entitled a Home For All, the temporary conceptual house invites customers to review their understanding of what makes a house a home and explore the essence of home making as the ultimate expression of self through a series of thought-provoking and immersive experiences. Phones and gadgets will be silenced to disconnect customers from everyday life. Then they are invited within A Home For All through four core rituals widely associated with home: Rest, Gather, Play, Cleanse. Each core ritual has its own space within the temporary house for customers (house guests) to take part in.
Activities include potato peeling, bread making, fabric dying, spice grinding and loom weaving, amongst other immersive experiences and workshops that fuel a sense of community and play. They facilitate freedom, expression and discussions whilst allowing the 'house guest' to unleash their imagination, creativity and inner-maker.
On exiting A Home For All, house guests will have had the time to reflect on what home means to them and perhaps learn how to better nurture their inner-maker and make the most of what they call 'home'.
As part of the campaign, Selfridges has opened its own General Store in its London and Manchester Exchange Square stores and online. The department store acknowledges the modern consumerist paradox of being crippled down by choice by featuring a pared-down choice of only carefully considered, beautifully made products in its General Store, which ground us in a sense of homely comfort.
These products celebrate the everyday rituals of home and are edited in six main sections within the General Store, from sleeping (under the Pause section) to cleansing space, body and mind (under the Renew section) or eating and sharing (under Host). The General Store features designer collaboration with brands such as Faye Toogood, Conran x Eames Foundation, Temperley, Loewe and Roksanda – the last two venturing for the first time into home interior design.
For the first time, customers can book a tour of the Oxford Street store and discover some of the store's secrets – or the 'House' as Harry Gordon Selfridge would say.
'When we brought back in January 2013 our historic Silence Room, first created in 1909 by our founder Harry Gordon Selfridge, we were taken aback by the hugely positive engagement from our customers into the initiative. The Silence Room, in which no way noise was allowed, was built to offer customers a haven away from the hustle and bustle of London, and life in general,' says Linda Hewson, creative director at Selfridges.
'Whether in 1909, in 2013 or today, the world only seems to be accelerating its pace and the feeling of losing grip on harmony and order is stronger than ever. So once again, some enduring and undisputed values from the past appear to show us a possible way forward... back "home".
'This time, with Our House, we are not recreating a Silence Room, but building a whole house made home for all our customers to interact in and find themselves reconciled with a pre-digital time when home rituals and making simple things well were the heart of life. With Our House, we are also reminding our customers that our founder designed Selfridges to be their home away from home where everyone is welcome,' says Hewson.
Selfridges has unveiled a series of Our House windows to support the campaign, with a scheme entirely dedicated to a visual exploration of some of the rituals and materials commonly associated with 'home'.