DESIGN: Ars Gratia Pecuniae

Every year at this time, the nation's retailers hope that their cash registers will start ringing up glad tidings of heavy sales. But how to make those expectations come true? One way is to turn big department stores into shoppers' lures—places where customers will go to find one item, then linger to buy others. That takes design, and one man with the kind of designing eye that merchants appreciate is a 36-year-old architect-artist named Kenneth Walker. He is something of an iconoclast, merrily discarding what he calls "formula work—all those fancy chandeliers and moldings" in favor of fresher approaches.

His design...

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