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Rui (Corrine) Guo

MA work

Retail Terrorism/ Symbiotic relationships

This project is concerned with start-up retailers and their opportunities in central London high streets dominated by corporate chains. Transplanting creative small businesses, the emerging businesses become sandwiched with mature big brands for mutual benefit.

Big brands benefit from being surrounded by cool, trendy start-up brands, and the small businesses become threaded through the big brands' footprints, making them more authentic, raw and dynamic. Independent core brands need a large volume of people and a knowledge of understanding, learning and scaling that the larger businesses offer.

The site is in the section of Oxford Street between Selfridges and Oxford Circus; a busy junction with Regent Street. Using insects as a metaphorical protagonist for symbiosis, the 'bones' of the scheme are the big department stores on Oxford Street, which act as incubators, supporting new additional spaces and breeding new start-up retailers from the ‘egg’ stage up until the fully-grown ‘new adult’ stage when they can fly away. Typically, the action of moving out from Oxford Street becomes a regular cycle, creating a new model that can refresh and rejuvenate the market.

Symbiotic relationships between the roles of the big brands and emerging businesses are adaptable, exploitative and always reliant on each other for support. This is a natural business hybridisation and design proposal that could come to fruition in a future retail scenario.


  • MA Degree


    School of Architecture


    MA Interior Design, 2015

  • 'Give me a piece of paper and I cannot draw the first line. But give me a problem and I will give you a beautiful design process.' 
    – Erik Morales, Architect

    I like to design spaces by finding problems and focussing more on function rather than decoration. I believe each spaces has its own features and uniqueness. I'm interested in the process of design as the representation of an analytic approach.

  • Degrees

  • BA Interior & Exterior Extension Design, SiChuan Fine Arts Institute, 2013
  • Experience

  • Internship, Ab Rogers Design, London, 2014; Designer, Hemumeicheng Space Art Design Co., China, 2012
  • Awards

  • Prize of Excellence, Sichuan Fine Arts Award, 2012–13