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ROSSETTI Designers Present to Holiday Window Walk

Frankincense, myrrh, and melted vinyl.

It’s the holiday season, and Detroiters are getting in the spirit by kickstarting a new tradition: a storefront retail decorating contest. Lawrence Technological University’s Detroit Center for Design and Technology is pairing local designers to shops in West Village, Corktown, Downtown, and Midtown for the first-ever Holiday Window Walk.

By now it’s no surprise to anyone that Detroit is quickly filling with retail options for every class of shopper looking to pick up some of the city’s signature grit, whether you’re grabbing some legacy rock wear at John Varvatos, or looking for some indestructible chew toys at City Bark.

But if you already have some blue suede shoes, head over to Third Man Records, where the window display was designed by ROSSETTI’s Torri Smith and Alana Buynak.

Smith and Buynak’s design is unique: flowing cords, pipes, conduits, and records so warped they would make Salvador Dali a blues fan. “We were drawing inspiration from the manufacturing process,” Smith said. “We wanted to bring the pressing plant to the forefront.” The vinyl factory in Third Man Records features a mural by Cass Corridor artist Robert Sestok, which also inspired the installation.

Notably, the display was created sustainably. “They had leftover material and records, so we got to repurpose them,” said Buynak.

After some brainstorming, a few meetings with the Third Man team, and iterations in rendering form, the designers were ready to create. The total construction time was approximately a week, but the design changed considerably under the weight of budget cutoffs, and the nature of bringing an idea off the drawing board into the real world.

“We had to rethink some of the design, and revised quickly,” Smith said. “But the biggest challenge was occupying a vertical space.” The designers remedied multiple solutions on the spot, like how the hulking mass was supported, and listened to feedback from the Third Man team, who helped them set it up.

The installation will be up throughout the 2017 holiday season. You can vote for Torri and Alana by visiting Third Man and throwing a photo up on Instagram with tagging #DCDTHoliday and @DetroitDesignTech. Good luck, everyone!

Credit: Photo by Annalise Frank/Crain's Detroit Business.