Random Studio, the experience design studio based in Amsterdam, is well known for its distinctive and inventive collaborations with brands. In the past, it has created giant marble machines for KLM, an infinity room for Nike and an interactive lookbook modelled on the street view interface for Fred Perry and Raf Simons. The two brands have since continued to collaborate, bringing Random Studio on board again and again to produce their lookbooks. This time, the project takes the form of an interactive house party, in which partygoers are sporting pieces from the new collection.
“We had been lucky enough to work with Raf for years already when Fred Perry invited us to think about their collaboration anniversary campaign,” Philip Schütte, Random’s creative director tells us. “They were very kind in the way of giving us a lot of creative freedom and were very enthusiastic about even the weirdest ideas we could come up with. This led to us distributing/gifting the actual physical archive of the collaboration as ‘stepping stones’ to investigate moments in global youth culture. It was also the beginning of what we feel is a great collaboration with Fred Perry that is based on us being allowed to experiment and them being very supportive.”
One of the best things about working with Fred Perry, he continues, is that “there are seldom concrete briefs,” and this was indeed the case with this latest collaboration. “Basically the collection is the brief,” Philip says. “This last collection features some of the great images from the Youth Club Archive and naturally those were our point of departure.” Having explored several directions, the studio kept coming back to the narrative potentials of 360-degree imagery, an avenue it had begun to explore within in the street view lookbook.
The concept this time around takes scenes depicted within the Youth Club Archive, turning them into a house party that unfolds in front of the user’s eyes as if they are a guest at the event. “The 80s youth archive photographs are centre stage of the design of the spaces and the house we actually use,” Philip further explains. “The collection with its strong colours, and the fact that everyone is wearing them, clashes with the English 80s working-class environment.” The interior design of the house is even entirely reconstructed from images within the archive. “I guess you could call it an attempt at image-based interior design and archaeological reconstruction… of sorts,” he adds.
From, a technical perspective the project is as impressive as it is conceptually; the entire experience was built using photogrammetry and 3D modelling. The former was used to document the models and some see key objects and the latter was used to reconstruct the rest from the ground up.
What’s most intriguing about this project is the unique experience it offers every user. Visitors to the site are free to move around the house as they see fit, opening up the potential for a different experience every time they return. As the night draws in, beer bottles multiply and party goers dance and exhibit reckless behaviour – “although Fred Perry did ask us to tone it down a bit,” Philip tells us. Random Studio has also hidden certain Easter eggs within the experience: “the pictures on the wall let you experience the party in black and white, the crates of beer blur the viewer’s vision, and @eddiepinky the cat (from the previous lookbook) makes a welcome return as he found his way into the house to join the party.”
On what he sees as the most exciting thing that experiences such as these can offer a user, particularly in the retail world, Philip says: “Besides being a visitor, people can now also become participants in the stories that brands have to offer. The retail space becomes more and more a stage for brands to show and tell. We believe these forms of interactive storytelling and merging the offline and online presence of brands can offer endless possibilities.”
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