Keep looking.


When I first heard of this concept, MOSS | The store, I literally thought — wet creative. Marshes. Bogs. Gardening. Things like that. That was a long time ago. Well, ten years ago. And just before I’d learned about Murray Moss. Since his opening in 94, I’ve kept watching him.

There’s an eccentric vision to Moss; it’s do-not-touch retail. It’s not retail, in any conventional sense; it’s a museum; it’s design contemplation. There are stern warnings on entry — pretty much “don’t do everything.” Come in, but don’t do anything. I ignored that, of course. I touched everything and took pictures too.








Nikki Chung, a design theorist writes about this notion as:”What separates Moss consumers from the masses is that they are paying for more than just ownership of designer housewares. They are paying for the right to experience them.

Please Do Not Touch. Thats the slogan Murray Moss has adopted for his chic SoHo design store, Moss. In style points, Murray wins. Moss has been at the cutting edge of household hip since its inception in 1994. Over the years Murray and his enterprise have gained international renown for their discerning selection and presentation of highly designed everyday objects and furnishings. Amidst a stark white backdrop of lacquered platforms and polished glass cases, designer household products are elevated to the level of art in Murrays museum-like setting.”

That’s all very well and good, but curious, the range of selection, and the modeling of a kind of right to simply have the pleasure to experience this house gear and art. There is a vast assembly of taste differentials, to my thinking — from comic book-covered


Italian furniture, spiderty glasswares and illumined and hanging crystals, to wickedly wrapped and warped wooden furniture that looks like a kind of wood magnet, picking up by attraction flying pieces of bric a brac.


All, sensual. But all, untouchable.


There are other traditional non retail “elevations”. More store, but online. But in the store. We consider expansions by brick and mortar staggering, but what of a digital elevator. Nice one, that:

“MOSS, a four-year-old interior design store at 146 Greene Street in SoHo, has added four new floors, but customers will not be climbing stairs to reach them. Instead, they will be clicking a mouse. That’s because Moss’s new floors exist within a computer program and can be reached only through what could be Manhattan’s first virtual elevator.


So he created a computer graphics program that allows customers to choose an image of an elevator to lift them digitally to virtual floors with animated displays of furniture. It even plays elevator music.


The virtual elevator of this cyberstore is reached via a Macintosh G3 computer with a large-screen monitor, which is near an oil-and-vinegar set created by the Italian industrial designer Ettore Sottsass, a shrimp bowl by Nambe, a manufacturer based in New Mexico, and a silver inflated lounge chair by Ilkka Suppanen.”(Rachel Lehmann-Haupt | NYTimes)

There are interesting intersections:

Untouchable retail
On site expansions virtually
Light on the floor


Next step for me will be to meet Murray Moss. And see how he intertwines the spirit of the environment with personal sentiments. Who is he; and who’s his store, anyway?

Wishing well, all ways >


bicoastal, a. and n.

orig. U.S.

Brit. /bkstl/, U.S. /bakost()l/ [< BI-2 + COASTAL a.]

A. adj.

1. Concentrated at, taking place on, or involving two coasts, esp. the east and west coasts of the United States.