“For me, place-making in retail development is very important. It must be more than simply a collection of shops. It should create a destination.”
FRANK SORIANO SENIOR RETAIL DESIGNER franks@ignitearchitects.com

With the rise of technology, and a new generation of consumers, the shopping and retail experience is reinventing itself.

Before joining Ignite, I spent almost 10 years in Singapore working mainly at a large international architectural firm, which focused on retail projects.

I specialised in concept design and master planning and worked on retail projects across Asia, including Manila, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.

The architecture industry in Asia is extremely fast-paced. Clients are always pushing for bigger and better – it’s an inventive, creative and often flamboyant approach. Having that international experience, and integral knowledge of international retail trends, is a huge advantage.

Retail design is a niche that I really enjoy, as I can express my creativity. I can consider the wider story – what makes a successful retail destination and how can we, as designers, ensure that the community engages, embraces and connects with it.

For me, place-making in retail development is very important. It must be more than simply a collection of shops. It should create a destination.

I think it’s important to reflect the surrounding environment and culture – that a design acknowledges, responds to and is inspired by it. That means I always research the site before starting the design and consider its history and the cultural influences of the community around it.

The biggest challenge is how to evolve retail centres to be more than a place of consumption. We need to understand the ever-changing needs of the consumer and build the experience around them. That’s what makes this industry so exciting.