A NON-AGENCY (New York) straddled the line between experiential and experimental retail in its recent project created for Maisons of Richemont North America (Bellevue, Switzerland) – dubbed the Arcadium Experience – in New York’s Hudson Yards, a first place winner in this year’s competition.
Using a mix of virtual and augmented reality, visitors could engage with various brands throughout the tech-driven experience, such as Cartier, Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels, among others. The space was purely digital without physical product, the idea was to utilize AR and VR to tell a story and “allow people to experience the product without physically having a product there,” says Michelle M. Collins, Founder, President, A Non-Agency, who was in charge of producing, designing and aiding in operations for the space’s daytime and nighttime events.
Set at 5400-square-feet, the 10-day temporary showroom was housed in a mostly raw concrete shell with the main experience centered on the AR room. Maison vignettes, situated around the AR room, were no more than 9 by 9 feet in size, “and yet, I had to have enough of an open floorplan so as people came in, they could explore, rest and not feel rushed,” Collins says. The openness also allowed room for the space’s series of private events.
In the end, you don’t need a large floorplan packed with product in order to engage customers, Collins says. “I see this as a way to reach more people,” she says. “I certainly love that a maison like Cartier wasn’t afraid to say ‘we invite you to experience our world,’ [with their activation] and it wasn’t just a 360-degree video or something that felt cold. The idea of inclusivity and engaging the customer versus a customer just walking into a formal store – there’s something very wonderful about that.”
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