Maison Perrier-Jouët invites us to connect with nature at Design Miami
Maison Perrier-Jouët and designers Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler present Embodied nature, a new interactive installation by the Austrian designers at Design Miami 2021.
Perrier-Jouët and mischer’traxler have collaborated since 2014, when the pair created an interactive installation exploring the instinctive movements of plants. Since then, the designers have further explored the theme of biodiversity and the natural world in partnership with Perrier-Jouët, connecting their ongoing research in the field with the maison’s Art Nouveau values.
To accompany the new project, mischer’traxler has created limited-edition gift boxes for the Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2013 and Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé 2013 vintage cuvées, featuring a series of watercolour drawings inspired by the biodiversity of the maison’s terroir.
Embodied nature by Perrier-Jouët and mischer’traxler
The new interactive installation by mischer’traxler is framed by a cabinet of curiosities featuring more than 100 artistic representations of species of flora and fauna from all over the world. When visitors approach the piece, they see a silhouette of themselves on the wall as if they are looking at a mirror, but it’s an image of nature in all its diversity. The silhouette is composed of various species, which evokes a cognitive self-awareness that each of us is a part of nature.
‘The collaboration with mischer’traxler allows the house to project itself into a vision for a sustainable future,’ says Perrier-Jouët style director, Axelle de Buffévent. ‘It introduces an emotional and meaningful dimension that goes well beyond champagne.’
The creatures in the installation come from a variety of species (selected from an analysis of nine ecosystems globally), including grapes, corals, worms, bamboo, small insects, bacteria, pollinators and small mammals (from bats to a monkey), and they were created by the designers and their team using wire mesh, then developed through tracking software and real-time animation to be added into the interactive element.
The animals are depicted at similar sizes, and this combined with the human presence in the project is an attempt by the designers to ‘break up the hierarchy between human and all the other living species’, explain the designers. ‘Humans are visitors in the installations, and will be replaced by a silhouette consisting of all the different species, so that you still see yourself but just as an outline, and hopefully understand that we are what we are because of the importance of all the other living species around us.’
Accompanying the visual experience is an abstract soundscape, featuring a mix of natural sounds from all over the planet: ‘Experiencing nature is not just seeing, it’s a mix of sounds and feelings,’ explain the designers. The research behind this body of work is also available for visitors to discover more about each species on display, allowing people to access an additional layer of information about the experience.
Embodied nature is a project that carries on the shared legacy of mischer’traxler and Perrier-Jouët and their continued efforts to raise awareness on the importance of biodiversity and connection to the natural world. To enhance this, the installation is offered as an emotional experience. ‘This emotional dimension is essential in our view,’ say the designers. ‘It is what captures the attention of the viewer, making them more receptive to the educational and philosophical message of the work.
‘We are designers, not scientists. It is important therefore to remember that Embodied nature is an artwork, the result of a creative interpretation,’ they conclude. ‘It gives us, for instance, the freedom to represent species alongside one another that would never be a part of the same ecosystem in the real world.’ §