Aesop And Pollen Unveils Its ‘Taxonomy of Design’

Australian skincare brand Aesop has unveiled Taxonomy of Design, created by Sydney digital agency Pollen, which deconstructs the design of Aesop boutiques all over the world.

Barbara Messer
Posted by Barbara Messer

From its signature Adelaide store with a ceiling made from 7,560 glass bottles, to the Millenia Walk store in Singapore, which features an installation made from 30 kilometres of coconut husk, Taxonomy of Design documents the design of Aesop’s signature stores all over the globe.

Featuring filmed interviews with esteemed collaborators, Taxonomy of Design is a rich trove of photography, stories, videos and quotes, which are searchable by store, designer, features and materials.

For Pollen, it was a daunting challenge. How do you take a brand like Aesop and build a platform on which to document its unique retail environments, now and into the future?

“We wanted to reflect Aesop’s uncompromising pursuit for perfection and its understated minimalist aesthetic, while still providing a high level of usability,” said Brett Mitchell, director of Pollen.

Thirty-eight Aesop stores currently feature on Taxonomy of Design, and the taxonomy will grow as Aesop continues to catalog the remaining stores.

“Taxonomy of Design is a true collaboration between Aesop and Pollen. Together, we’ve created a platform that appears minimalist at first glance, yet is cleverly architected to encourage exploration,” said Emma Forrest, digital program manager at Aesop.

Each element has what Pollen calls a ‘buoyancy’ formula, allowing the most recent content to float to the top of the taxonomy, keeping the content fresh and allowing the team at Aesop greater control over the order of elements.

Strategically, it gives users the chance to discover what makes Aesop one of the world’s most distinct and unique companies.