The exhibition was conceived as a route from the beginning of Veldstraat to the heart of the exhibition: the monumental D’hane Steenhuyse in the middle of the street. A 19th-century quotation about shopping on Veldstraat was displayed on banners stretched across the width of the street and accompanied today’s shopping public. Through transparent flyers affixed to the display windows of the shops, the visitor was literally able to look at the present through the past.
A selection of original pieces from the university’s collection – advertisements and shop catalogues from ca. 1905 – were displayed in a scale-model of the street in the hall of D’hane Steenhuyse. The model reconstructs the appearance of Veldstraat around 1905 on the basis of building permit requests submitted between 1785 and 1905. This was deliberately contrasted with the appearance of the façades lining the street today. In this way, the model registers key changes that have taken place on Veldstraat: the transformation of the merchandise on offer, and the ground floor itself – the display window.