Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Case Studies

Case Studies

Case Studies

Case Studies

What’s the core driver for retail?
Centre Pompidou, Paris / Consultancy / 2016

1977. A curious new building emerged into the Parisian skyline. 2016. The “new kid on the block” now a global player in cultural innovation, is reaching their 40s. A curated experience with the Centre Pompidou team will develop a core brand for retail and explore how it can “go beyond” where it is now in terms of revenue, reach and reputation.

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How can retail hold its own against the backdrop of Hong Kong?
M+, Hong Kong / Consultancy / 2016

The Hong Kong Shopper is savvy, sophisticated and design aware. By 2022, there will be 145+ retail spaces on the West Kowloon Cultural District. We’re developing a retail strategy of difference for M+ that will hold its own against this backdrop and deliver short term impact with long term benefits.

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How can we integrate the retail environment into the Master planning?
Burrell Collection, Glasgow / Consultancy / 2016

The Burrell Collection is undergoing a renaissance, Master planning for the development of the building, exhibition, interpretation and visitor experience. Where does retail fit in the broader picture? The Seeking State is contributing the voice of retail to this process.

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How can we grow online audiences and revenue in this “omnishopper world”?
Tower Bridge, London / Consultancy / 2016

Tower Bridge is an icon visited by 800k+ visitors a year. A small gift shop increases sales year on year through an offer of “London Souvenirs”. With the launch of an online shop, how can on site success be translated into online revenue and increased audience engagement?

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What is brand value online?
Let’s Get Real 5, UK & America / Training / 2016

Let’s get real is a “research~in~action programme” run by culture 24 in UK and America. We are working as a trainer and mentor in the 2016-2017 programme for participants from Shakespeare’s Globe to council museum services in Leeds and Bristol, from the National Army Museum to Ironbridge Gorge Trust.

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How can the refurbished National gallery be relevant to audiences today?
National Gallery ~ Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens / Consultancy / 2016

In partnership with PostScriptum, a cultural digital consultancy in Greece, we are working with the National Gallery in Athens to explore how they can be relevant to audiences today through storytelling and digital engagement.

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What’s the relationship between heritage and brand?
Initiative of Heritage Conservation, Athens / Training / 2015~2016

We run the brand leadership programme for the Initiative of Heritage Conservation, a partnership to promote best practice in heritage management between the University of Athens and University of Kent. MA students in heritage management who come from a range of backgrounds ~ including archaeologists to conservationists and classicists ~ explore the role and power of brand for the relevance and sustainability of heritage sites in Greece and beyond.

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How can we bring our retail strategy to life?
Manchester Art Gallery, UK / Consultancy / 2015~2016

The Manchester Art Gallery’s ambition is to be a brilliant gallery for the people of Manchester, with a retail concept to be the ultimate convenience store for Manchester. We worked with the Gallery on a 12-month training and implementation plan of action. This partnership culminated in a Manchester Art Gallery Retail Bible. The Seeking State was the drum beat throughout the year.

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What’s the core driver for retail?
Ministry of Culture, France / Training / 2015~2016

We work with the Ministry of Culture in France on training with their brand group: a collaboration of 30 cultural organisations in Paris ~ from the global Louvre and Versailles to smaller niche cultural experiences like Musée Air + Espace. We work with them to explore challenges and opportunities in all aspects of product, audience, brand and retail development.

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How can everything we do be extraordinary?
Galway International Arts Festival, Ireland / Consultancy / 2015

The Galway International Arts Festival – a multi-disciplinary arts event in Ireland - had a new vision to be the Festival of extraordinary experiences. A small core team is augmented throughout the summer by part-time staff and volunteers. The challenge was for these ideas to take root and create an engaged culture that’s focused and energized by the strategy. We worked with them on an 18-month programme to explore this question, using documentary film, curated experiences and the odd elastic band…

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How can we reach a different audience demographic?
Buy Art Fair / Research / 2015

Manchester’s Buy Art Fair has an ambition to be the Art Fair of the North. But like so many arts organisations, a key question was how to reach out from the urban centre into the opportunities of a rural demographic? A thought paper analysed the question through the lens of post-demographic consumerism and the push and pull of collecting. Drawing our own ‘3 characters in search of a painting’, it thought about how the Buy Art Fair might engage with their aspirations.

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What needs to happen next to realise our ambition?
Jason Martin Studio, Portugal / Research / 2015



The ambition for Campasino, the home of artist Jason Martin in Portugal, is to be a self-sustaining social enterprise for the local community. With wine ready to be bottled in the summer of 2015, artisan food ideas of honey and oregano, and building ambitions for the site ~ the key question was what needed to happen next?
A week of on-site and library research created Jason’s “brief-in-a-box” to draw a map for future developments, supported by samples and books for insight/ inspiration.

A Travel~Bag of Training Experience

A Travel~Bag of Training Experience

Leading & Guiding

Leading & Guiding

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