Instant Branding – A New Model for the Pop-Up Shop


Admittedly our blog content has been lacking in the past weeks, and this is exactly why. I (Rodolfo) have been working on my architectural thesis, meaning I’m finally done with school. Hurray for me and the company! lol Let the expansion begin. If you recall, we posted a video about a super cool project named Pop-Up Hood, we took a great liking to the core values and premise under which it operates. As such, I looked to create a similar Pop-Up Shop condition which operated under similar principles – local made is good and it should be supported. The thesis aimed to create the ultimate Pop-Up shop via a generative process that created a proscribed kit of parts derived from needs of Pocket Square Clothing. These kit of parts were to allow for the ultimate bad ass in house design studio. Storefront, Showroom, Design Space and Workshop or Research and Development were to be all encompassing in the Pop-Up model. Simple was the goal, the more generic the module – the easier it becomes to brand – the more versatile it becomes.

The following article is a comprehensive study on the Pop-Up Shop model and its ability to allow for instant branding. Beyond branding the work looks to create a community of designers or Pop-Up shops so as to repurpose existing conditions within the arts district in hopes of creating a meaningful redevelopment. It serves as an example of elemental changes which can transform both commerce and community to create new ideas about place. Before delving into the thesis project itself, you will find a video of POPUPHOOD, a Pop-Up shop model which looks to transform a community in Oakland, California. Enjoy!

TL;DR: We are repurposing existing railroad tracks so as to allow for mobile Pop-Up shops to operate.

Writing a thesis and designing a project which adheres to your studies can be complicated to explain without showing you know what the hell you are talking about. I’ve condensed the material as best as i could and highlighted buzz words so as to increase legibility of the projects intent.

Follow the narrative using these Glyphs – Urban and Local, Stationary and Mobile, and the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, and Spy define the narrative and premise under which the project operates. (aka we had to respond to these issues – remember I have to have some sort of rules)




The Narrative:

The project is after the infusion of  the bespoke vs. non bespoke – a bespoke shopping experience. This can occur through the mixing of the removed online shopping experience and the boutique condition. It is through the mixing of the two that we come to create a personalized shopping experience, catering to one’s shopping preferences.


Pop-Up Model Occupancy:

Adheres to fashion cycle. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter determine when each pop-up can be occupied by any given designer.


The Urban:

Looks to infuse commerce into the arts district so as to develop forgotten spaces. It takes hold of present railroad system (network) to allow for the creation of mobile commerce. Its urban narrative serves as a vehicle through which crafting a community of curated designers can occur. Know who your product came from – this is the driver. It uses the arts district as a host and parasitically occupies surrounding structures. What starts as a model for the clothing industry has the ability to evolve beyond retail to means of food carts etc. The project functions at both the street and building level, allowing for both mobile and static to operate. It looks at current commerce along many railroad tracks as a model for viability and nomadic commerce’s ability to garner attention and enthusiasm. (taco stands setting up along railroad tracks, and commerce which occurs on railroad tracks) Activation of the old and complexity through multiplicity is what the project strives for. The power of the collective – all must be operable for system to function – a generative community.


The Local:

The crafting of a bespoke shopping experience – a commentary on the clothing industry. The driveway, balcony, Domestic interior and roof condition serve as an indicator of the clothing industries design process. The store front serves as the most relevant to the consumer or the soldier. The showroom is a step removed from the consumer and operates as a venue through product gets into stores. Fashion insiders or spy’s utilize the showroom as a teller of trends and operate as a point of sales space. The design space takes on the program of the tailor and is two levels removed from the consumer, it is less often explored nor shared with the consumer, it serves as an insular or interior condition. The Research and Development of branding and product serves as the furthest removed from the consumer as such it seeks to occupy the roof condition and relates to the narrative of the tinker.



+ repurposes context (look at the railroad tracks in a different manner – utilize the built conxtext which allows for docking to be utilized)

+ starts (allow for Pop-ups to occur)

+ replicates (replicate so as to create a community of designers – multiplicity allows for viability)

+ allows for change (take the retail Pop-Up model and make it work for food. etc.)



Defines roof, balcony, and interior condition. static in place its operations allow for changing of space.



Defines driveway condition. utilizes network as mechanism for mobility. static in configuration, it utilizes the preexisting network of railroad tracts as means for mobility. Caravan / farmers market condition is achieved.



Website branding allows for projection of company, they are digital facades, not too different from a physical facade of a store front. modern vs vintage can be clearly seen through branding. Brooklyn circus becomes a brick facade where as American Apparel is a manifestation of a modern glass storefront.

As seen with the generic monitor, it is possible to achieve brand image, in looking at the two websites presented above, they both hold the same organizing system and layout but achieve very different results. Just as a facade can project modernity or classicism – digital technology allows us to obtain notions of instant branding.

Design covers the needs of independent designers, offering them the ability to produce all spectrums associated with the clothing industry. above all, branding is key to the success of the project and its ability to become a spectacle within the local arts district and the Greater Los Angeles area.



Tinker: work space for material design / wood shop / metal work (research and development)
Tailor: space for product design, cutting, sewing (design space)
Soldier: store front, lunge (retail space)
Spy: display space, space for collection reveal (show room)
Mole: 10’x10’x10′ modules allows for variability – expansion and contraction is viable.


The Soldier – Pop-Up Shop Axon (Mobile)


Pop-Up Shop physical Model (demonstrates digital screen facade – both branding and online shopping are achieved)


The Soldier – Pop-Up Shop Axon (Mobile)
The Spy: Design Showroom (Stationary)
The Tailor: Design Space (Stationary)
The Tinker: Research and Development Pod (Stationary)
Thesis Board and Jacket – A generative Process – How can the module come together to make the whole?


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