“What I like about installations is that, in a way, they are very sympathetic,” states Daan Lucas, managing director at Random Studio. “Most of the time, installations require user interaction – active or reflective. This means that they usually invited dialogue.” Based in Amsterdam, Random Studio is an experience design studio working with brands such as Raf Simons, Chanel, Nike and Louis Vuitton to blur the boundaries between art, design and technology, the physical and the non-physical.
With a team of 25-30 people as well as freelancers, Random Studio includes visual artists, strategists, designers and engineers. Its work often materialises as installations that prompt interaction from a user. “With our work, we aim to spark feelings of curiosity and wonder,” Daan tells It’s Nice That. Instead of building works that are only exciting to look at, Random aims to invite people to create, reflect and play. “This is when people stop being visitors and become participants,” he explains.
Random’s projects tend to offer some form of reward or surprise upon interaction. For example, when tasked with creating something for the opening of New Balance’s new flagship store in Shanghai, Daan and his team utilised the space and the products it houses to simple but intriguing effect. Taking the form of an immersive light and sound experience visitors could use a pair of 574S shoes as controllers. The brightness of the light reacted to the manipulation of the left shoe, while the full LED light spectrum was controlled via the right.
However, it’s not always direct physical interaction that allows Random to achieve its results. In a project for Dutch airline, KLM, the studio constructed a complex and enchanting marble machine – each marble representing a passenger. Passing the marbles through a series of intricate funnels and passageways, the installation was a manifestation of KLM’s initiatives launched to improve the ease of travel through an airport.
Whether it’s for a museum, a public space or an in-store environment, Random’s projects all have one thing in common: they provoke a reaction. “It has to move you in a certain way,” Daan describes, “invite you to reflect, put a smile on your face or fill you with disgust.”
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.