How visual anthropology helped build a shopping center
Challenge:future proofing
Category:full service
hero image for Landsec case study
The challenge

One of Europe’s largest urban retail developments, Trinity Leeds, was planned for the center of Leeds – but was the city ready? At the time, our client, Landsec, had a few 'personas' that didn’t remind us of anyone we knew from Leeds. Without this deep understanding of the local community, how could the development really deliver on its ambition to be a winning destination?

Our approach

To support the positioning in a way that reflected the local community, we felt some personas and focus groups wouldn’t work.

Our method allowed us to bridge the development's ambitions with the needs of the community in an open and transparent way.

researchInfluencer identification

We hired local photographers to photograph the people of Leeds to drive people into a closed group – Styling Leeds.

researchCommunity building

We invited a community of 2,500 tastemakers to a closed Facebook group and regularly published the professional photographs of locals to grow the network.

researchLocal meet-ups

Using the community, we organized regular meet-ups at local bars and hotspots to dig deeper into the needs of the community and relayed the finding to Landsec.

researchCo-creation sessions

Our insights supported the integration of a concept food area (hosting both permanent tenants and rotating 'pop-up' vendors), an Everyman Cinema, and its own Apple Store. It won the award for the best designed shopping center in the world at the International Council for Shopping Centres (ICSC) VIVA and was voted one of the UK's 'Coolest Brands'.