Drew Wood delves into the origin of Touchpoint Retail. I love that he used the term brainchild. I’d like to have a brainchild someday.

The Science Unseen



Touchpoint Retail is blending architecture, design and branding in a novel, one-stop way that proves invaluable for its clients but potentially invisible to the clients’ patrons.

… Based in Minneapolis, Touchpoint is the brainchild of two architects and a branding guy—Nat Shea and Ken Piper, principals and founders of Minneapolis-based architecture and design firm Tanek, and Josh Hanson, formerly with Best Buy among other retail giants—who saw a major hole in the retail marketplace.  “Repeatedly over our careers as architects we’ve run into instances where we’re working with a client, and we’re solving the architectural puzzle, and it’s a beautiful space; and then their marketing group shows up and they start putting stuff up, and then our store environment might not even look like what their campaign is, or what their vision is because they’re approaching it from two separate entities,” says Shea of the disconnect he perceived from his perch atop Tanek.  Piper adds, “I think somehow it was the excitement of being called in on a job, coming in to do it and finding out all the pieces weren’t aligning, but we were the only ones who knew that.”  As architects, Shea and Piper felt as though they were often coming in too late in the process, which marginalized and compartmentalized their efforts. They knew that for a retail space or restaurant to properly materialize, all the parts of the store—from concept to design to build-out to branding—needed to mesh on the same organic level.  “I think we’ve changed that model by saying the architecture component is one subset of what Touchpoint does and now it’s a matter of looking at that project as a whole and understanding and designing it from that perspective,” says Shea.

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