Since the 1960s there has been a constant trend of exploring the ways in which we can use cheap and lightweight materials. Innovative industrial designers are always trying to push boundaries with the intention of reducing the use of expensive and finite building materials. At Insider London, we think cardboard is a great eco-friendly response to our disposable lifestyle. And cardboard is great from a creative perspective: durable yet light and versatile.  Here are some amazing examples of cardboard-retail in London, from temporary concept shops to luxury flagship stores.



We loved this gigantic cardboard tree by London-based designer and cardboard enthusiast Giles Miller at the Design Museum. Standing at six metres tall in the entrance of the Design Museum, it was surrounded by 3-dimensional cardboard woodland creatures.

His interior design studio has put cardboard into a luxury perspective by producing highly detailed surfaces and textures for Ritz Carlton and Stella McCartney, including the one above for Selfridges Oxford Street.

Pop-up shops are, well, popping up all the time, and with so many around it’s essential not only that they’re cost-effective but visually engaging. Weather permitting, cardboard can therefore be an ideal building material for pop-up retail spaces.



In the summer of 2009, B3 designers constructed a temporary bar and restaurant experience made completely from cardboard boxes. During London Design Festival week, customers could grab a coffee during the day or sip cocktails at night within the meandering cardboard walls.



Another temporary space called The Foldaway Bookstore was built for The London Festival Of Architecture 2010. Inspired by the pleats in the bindings of books, these wall-to-wall cardboard shelves were easy to fold away and strong enough to hold a substantial amount of RIBA publications.



Super hip streetwear shop Goodhood gave their East London store an industrial makeover for an exclusive three day sale. Covered in cardboard from the floor to ceiling and filled with rare discounts on street labels, there were people queuing up for the opening of this spectacular event.

If you’re interested in learning more about innovative retail spaces, contact us about our next Retail Trends tour.