Random Studio

Hermès’ "Festival des Métiers" celebrates fine craftsmanship and offers you the chance to meet the artisans of the house. We contributed three interactive exhibits to the ongoing roadshow, poetically revealing manufacturing details that until now only the craftsmen themselves could see.

At its core, the world of Hermès is a world of beautiful materials, mastered by unique artisans. The character of the festival is all about showing this in an unpretentious way, ‘with its feet on the ground and its head in the sky’, as they say. We designed the digital additions to live naturally within the overall exhibition; veering away from technology-minded “highlight interventions" often found in exhibition design, which can sometimes feel alienating. This is a proposal for a smooth and natural integration of digital moments, which work to drive an overall story by utilising poetic formats and didactic impressions.

The leather-working station shows moments from every step in the creation of a Hermès bag, from leather hide to product, with demonstrations of the craftsman’s tools and techniques. A difficult task was to give people a sense of how the artisan looks at leather, what he or she sees on the skin...
Like a magical lens, the digital pictureframe allows a view of the leather as seen through the eyes of the craftsman. Revealed are the life marks, wrinkles and parts of the leather that are not up to the quality standards of Hermès. Based on this reading and knowledge, the artisan decides how to lay out the pattern, what parts to cut and in which way.
Metal-working for jewellery and watches has an even finer degree of detail. The craftsmen use special magnifying goggles to put the precious pieces together. We adapted this archetypal piece of equipment for our display: digital binoculars which peer into a museum-grade vitrine, housing the Hermès piece.
Through the goggles, people see the manual fabrication and assembly steps from an artisan’s point of view, at 1-1 scale to make it feel as if you were doing it yourself.
At the digital loom, people can experience the high precision weaving of different materials. At the touch of your fingertips, the video slows down dramatically, and a dance of materials being woven together with grace and perfection unfolds.

Behind the scenes


Client: Hermès – Festival des Métiers
Concept, Hardware/Software Development & Animation: Random Studio
Furniture Design: Robhoff Product Design
Furniture Construction/Engineering: Artis Engineering
Documentation Video and Photography: Random Studio