Managing Constraint Generators in Retail Design Processes: A Study of Fashion Store Design Projects

Mia Borch Münster, Anders Haug

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Retail design concepts are complex designs meeting functional and aesthetic demands. During a design process a retail designer has to consider various constraint generators such as stakeholder interests, physical limitations and restrictions. Obviously the architectural site, legislators and landlords need to be considered as well as the interest of the client and brand owner. Furthermore the users need to be taken into account in order to develop an interesting and functional shopping and working environments. Finally, suppliers and competitors may influence the design with regard to for example price and market.
Stakeholder-imposed constraints can emerge continuously during the design process and point the design in different directions. Dealing with such constraints as they arise implies a need to modify the designs each time new and unsatisfied constraints are encountered. By dealing pro-actively with constraints, the resources for alteration can be limited, but in order to do this a solid understanding of the types of constraints is required. Although literature has dealt with the topic it does not provide detailed answers to these questions. Based on a literature study and six case studies of fashion store design projects, the present paper addresses this gap. The and six case studies of fashion store design projects, the present paper sheds light on the types of constraints generated by the relevant constraint generators. The paper shows that in the cases studied, the influence of the constraints generated by these constraint generators decreased during the design process except for supplier-generated constraints, which increased in the final stages of the design process. The paper argues that a thorough design preparation phase would be beneficial, and that constraints should be elicited close to their point of relevance, albeit with a reasonable time buffer.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventTenth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices: Design Transforming Society - Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 25 Feb 201627 Feb 2016
Conference number: 10


ConferenceTenth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices
LocationPontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)
CityRio de Janeiro
Internet address


  • Design
  • Retail design
  • Fashion store
  • Store design
  • Design constraints
  • Constraint generators
  • Design management
  • Design professions
  • Designer

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