Architecture / Creative Direction / 3D Brand Experience / Visual Merchandising

ALTA-NYC is the online design presence of NATAL[ie/Y] C, a Registered Architect in New York State. Natalie S. W. Cheng holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, and a Master of Architecture from Yale University. With over 15 years experience guiding high profile branded installations from concept to execution, Natalie is adept at mobilizing global teams, and skilled at managing complex operations within a large network of stakeholders, technologists and partner agencies.

3D Brand Design x Digital Transformation:  3 Collaborative Formats

Responding to the evolution of physical, digital + mobile commerce, Natalie collaborates with multi-disciplinary teams to create high-impact and digitally immersive 3D brand solutions for all exhibition, campaign + retail needs. Global design services are provided within 3 formats:  

1. Direct Commissions
2. Consulting for In-House Brand Groups
3. Consulting for Global Design + Advertising Agencies

In partnership with Brand Marketers, Creatives, Technologists and C-Suite Leadership, projects include brand relaunch and repositioning initiatives, freestanding stores, retail concessions, bespoke fixtures, pop-ups, exhibits, launches and events. For ambitious large scale projects, a longstanding network of collaborators, technicians and fabricators can be leveraged to form a co-ordinated team for high quality project execution and rapid turnaround.


Contact:    Linkedin / WNW  / Residential Design / Blog

Natalie has led the in-house store design & project management for Estée Lauder, Jo Malone, La Mer, Giorgio Armani, YSL Beauté, and Alexander Wang, overseeing rapid global expansion. As an Independent Consultant, she has contributed to high profile US brand initiatives for L'Oréal, Chanel, J.Crew, and Madewell. In addition to direct commissions + in-house partnerships, she has consulted for award-winning Agencies. Past projects (2017-2021) includes work for HUGE INC. (SK-II), SCHOOLHOUSE (La Mer x Mario Sorrenti), AKQA (Nike),  ZOO (Unilever), MILK, and MATTE.

Equipped with an organizational behind the scenes knowledge of how global fashion + beauty brands operate, Natalie can successfully address the challenges and milestones that need to be met in order to sustain innovation + growth in a rapidly evolving and competitive marketplace.

Collaborative Process, Design Methodology + Philosophy

At the beginning of each new project, Natalie works with the Client / Stakeholders to define business goals and how to communicate the Brand's core values in both tangible and emotional ways. As a result, each Brand's DNA will be clearly expressed across all channels for optimal engagement. A hands-on Designer + Project Manager, she is known to "roll up her sleeves" to provide innovative + technical 3D solutions. Concepts are ideated and developed with speed and precision, while allowing adequate time to test, evaluate and improve prototypes based on Client feedback. Interactive 3D environments are designed with flexible infrastructure to accommodate curated events, live-streaming, live-chat, clienteling, AR/ VR, mobile shopping, customized apps, social media and pop-culture exchange. Design, budget & timing are rigorously considered at every project phase.

Design Process Overview

While there is no one size fits all scenario, here is a diagram that guides the collaborative design process in the new digital + physical, or “clicks + mortar” brand environment.

The Role of Physical Brand Spaces + 3D Experiences in a Digital World

The Pandemic is accelerating consumer shifts towards digital brand experience, e-commerce, and mobile commerce at an unprecedented rate. While bricks and mortar retail will not become obsolete, there are opportunities in the coming decade to re-imagine the role of temporary and permanent  brand spaces, while recalibrating a brand’s existing real estate footprint. Enabled by technology, retail innovation occurs when online and offline worlds overlap seamlessly to reach the broadest possible demographic. Within the world of ‘clicks and mortar retail’, physical brand spaces are where in-person shopping and purchases occur, while also serving as backup regional return and fulfillment centers. In a digital world, 3D Brand spaces have these additional functions:

1. A digitally enabled physical space to express the singular brand voice in time and space, free of competitive clutter
2. A multi-dimensional, sensorial environment that allows visitors to discover and interact with products & services

3. A forum  to foster a sense of community amongst influencers & loyalists, and a site to attract new brand enthusiasts
4. A venue to host live events & exhibits, reinforcing existing relationships while improving brand conversion rates

5. A canvas for brand storytelling; an immersive backdrop for generating digital impressions via social media + press

6. A personalized in-store journey using AI, algorithims & tracking; new brand insights are gained via data analytics