Filled with stunning architecture and inspiring art, each year we send our Fly Forbo competition winner on a trip of a lifetime to New York. As the deadline for this year’s competition looms, we caught up with 2018/19 winner, Michelle Hardy, Senior Creative at Honest, to hear about her time in the Big Apple.
How did you feel when you won the Fly Forbo competition and the trip to New York?
It was a great honour to win the Fly Forbo 2018/19 competition. We worked on the Halifax flagship project for over two years, overcoming lots of challenges along the way so to be chosen as the winner, amongst so many applicants with outstanding Forbo projects, was a wonderful feeling. This was my second visit to New York, my first was over 20 years ago so it was fantastic to see how the city has changed in that time.
What did you enjoy most about your trip to New York?
All of it, it was amazing! New York is one of the most vibrant and fascinating cities that I have ever visited, there is so much to see and do. With yellow cabs rushing around everywhere, towering skyscrapers and the bright lights of Time Square, the city - quite literally - never sleeps. We made a conscious effort to walk everywhere so that we could see and experience all of the different sides to New York; each neighbourhood has its own atmosphere and you can really feel the change as you walk through. From the iconic to the new build, there were so many sights to see including monuments, museums and parks - it really was a fantastic trip.
What did you find really exciting/inspirational in architecture & design over there?
It was great to see that architecture is no longer just something to facilitate day-to-day life in New York - but now also exists in the form of sculptural works of art. A spectacular example of this is the Vessel, a 150-foot-tall interactive sculpture comprising a network of stairs and landings, located in the middle of Hudson Yards. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the sculpture is shaped like a honeycomb and I think it’s so unique and innovative.
Visiting the World Trade Center site and seeing how they have rebuilt the area was also emotional and breathtaking. Designed by Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, New York’s Westfield shopping centre is centered around the Oculus building of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. The glass and steel structure is more than just a retail destination, it is a community where shopping, dining, culture, art and imaginative architecture intersect. I love how the building resembles “a bird flying from the hands of a child” too, as it brings a sense of hope to a site of tragedy. The light-filled centerpiece is truly remarkable and really redefines the Lower Manhattan experience.
What do you think are the upcoming big trends for retail?
I think retail will be all about multi-sensory social experiences. Digital will provide convenience so retail spaces will be the place to go for physical, face-to-face interactions that either excite or relax, offering true brand experiences.
What’s next on the design horizon for you?
At Honest, we specialise in creating consumer experiences and brands that define purpose, drive innovation and business growth. We create the future of brand experiences and we are always working to create the next generation of retail experiences. My trip to New York has certainly inspired me.
To be in with a chance to win a trip to New York, make sure that you enter your Forbo project into our Fly Forbo 2019/20 competition. Deadline for entries is 31st January 2020. For more information, please click here