On Cloud 9 with Cloud and Co.

Cloud and Co. is a traditional gelato store located in Msheireb, Doha, Qatar, with an unconventional interior space that literally pulls the customer on to an imaginative world.

Cotton candy clouds and pink benches, clean perfect lines and blocks of colours, a ritzy swing with plush cushions, pastel skies and bright colour pops, all of these in pristine clean settings makes for a gelato store that pulls in customers with its dream-like interiors.  Cloud and Co. is a gelato store located in Msheireb designed by Futura, a creative studio based in Mexico City with the goal of transforming traditional design forms. Futura comes with an aim of trying to change the way design is developed and consumed globally.

The story of the interiors began when the owner of the store, Fatma Al Rasheed, approached Futura for the branding of the store. Fatma was spellbound by the concept and approached Futura much later, after three years, to translate the concept into a three-dimensional space, which is now the Cloud and Co. Store.

The interior design followed the inspiration of Escher´s surreal scenes that refers to a dreamlike universe to reaffirm the new gelato culture in a fantastic atmosphere of pastel skies and cotton candy clouds.

The customer’s area is divided into two parts: one completely pink in which an imaginative and playful world is created incorporating elements that encourage the interaction. On the other side, a totally blue environment creates a mysterious and dreamy scene. Both parts are connected by a counter that manages to unite both areas into a daydream world.

Cloud and Co. Gelato is in close competition with your dreams if you cannot whisk up such imaginative places. And its creator, Futura is a set of creative people with some explicit rules that sets them apart. Obstinate when it comes to good design, Futura has vowed never to work for politicians, religious institutions, or gambling institutions and they say that they “intend to push limits, propose more and exceed expectations”. But their last rule is especially endearing: always choose nice people, great projects, and experimentation above money.

SCALE talks to the designers of Futura to understand how they approached the interiors of Cloud and Co.



SCALE: What directed you to come up with this strong colour-pop design?

FUTURA: When the brand was created three years ago, we wanted it to feel vibrant, youthful, and surreal. The brand’s name, Cloud and Co., was the core of the creative concept and “being on Cloud 9”  (an idiom which means being in a state of absolute bliss. This was the feeling we wanted to achieve when tasting the gelato (and the overall experience for the brand). For Futura, this colour scheme literally takes us to a dream-like universe.

SCALE: How did you define the brand and continue branding design with the interior elements aiding the whole picture?

FUTURA: For Cloud & Co-branding, our goal was to create a totally new experience, where everything is permitted, where your dreams come to life, where nonsense is the rule.  Taking Escher’s dimensions that interconnect with themselves as inspiration, we wanted to recreate these absurd images that stay in the mind after a special dream. Our interpretation of that was imprinted in the end result of the brand and the actual space.

SCALE: What was your inspiration? How did the location of the project guide you?

FUTURA: The inspiration for this project is rooted in the name of the brand. Thinking about clouds is like thinking about being in the sky, or in a dream world. When we think about dreams or surreal scenarios it is impossible to think of the works of M.C. Escher and Pedro Friedeberg, since they were our main inspirations for this brand.

Tell us more about earlier such projects and how does your design interact with the users?

In days where social media and user interaction (digitally and physically) with the brand is important, Futura always keeps this in mind when designing. One of our earlier projects; Motin, a brunch-all-day café located in the heart of la Roma in Mexico City, is an example of this. From their take away bags to the actual space, we wanted people to interact with the brand and its icon/mascot, a gluttonous pink hamster that is too cute not to photograph.

Our work is the result of constant experimentation, we believe in creativity above all else and how it can be translated not only in images but also in objects and spaces. The essence of Futura is in making perfection meet chaos.

All Images Courtesy Futura and Cloud and Co.