Posted at 10 Feb 2016

Interview with Random Studio

We talked to Carsten Goertz of 20-strong collective Random Studio about future-minded retail and immersive fashion experiences.

Who are Random Studio?

We are a bunch of about 20 people with mixed backgrounds. Creative technologists, art directors, developers, producers and the most recent additions are in content strategy and videography. Furthermore there is always a few artists-in-residence and some freelance specialists. A short while ago I noticed that there is not a single person that would have essentially the same skills, training or position as anybody else in the studio—they are all strange unicorns. And it is people from eight or nine different countries. A creative sprawl, glued together by a melange of pixie dust and cultivated madness.

Random Studio in its current boutique form happened about five or six years ago. It started as a production company for experimental websites, later also interactive installations, and over the last year or two it grew more towards an independent design studio with a focus on avant garde communications. Today we don’t really take commissions by agencies anymore but enjoy partnering directly with progressive brands. It allows us to develop more radical communication proposals and to then also maintain our edge through production, as we still craft the things by ourselves.

Tell us about a recent project where you’ve blurred the boundaries between art, design and technology.

A few weeks ago we relaunched Raf Simons’ website. Somebody Tweeted that it is the first fashion website ever to take the concept of a collection seriously, instead of just showing a slideshow of looks and campaign photography. If people want to see the looks, they just Google them anyway. We wanted to rather turn the moods, atmospheres and statements of the very psychological fashion of Raf Simons into immersive experiences. Now we give each collection an interesting interpretation, adding a new universe every six months. Is it marketing? Fashion? Art? Digital experiment? It doesn’t matter, and that’s the beauty of it. We like to think that it is simply what it should be, true to itself. Taking ‘pride in individuality’, as Raf Simons might say.

We wanted to turn the moods, atmospheres and statements of the very psychological fashion of Raf Simons into immersive experiences.

What are you working on or experimenting with at the moment?

In a few weeks’ time we will reveal some fancy new installation pieces that we are currently doing with Hermès—I can only share that it has something to do with leather, metal and weaving…

Then the nice people from the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam invited us to create an experimental digital experience with them around the history of the Olympic 100 Meter sprints. It is quite fascinating, because over the last 100 years everything in this world changed completely, but the sprints seemingly just changed from a result of 10.5 seconds to 9.5 seconds… Well, there is quite a lot more to it, as you will see.

For our legacy clients Nike and Tommy Hilfiger we are coming up with some future-minded work in retail. Both cases follow completely different ideas and both make total sense in their own rights. The current movement in this field is really interesting to us.

Next to that we are exploring some curious R&D angles, such as architectural experience design with our friends at RAAAF and OMA, and product development with other partners.

What do you have on your desktop?

It’s an ever-changing collection of items, articles and images around ongoing projects and other current obsessions. Loads of magazines and some graphics or photos that I cut out and pin to my wall.

What are the last three sites in your browser history?

I don’t like an archived past, so my browser is set to not keep any history. But the last three memorable sites for me were the Drone Papers longread by The Intercept (admit I was a bit late catching up on it). I really enjoyed The Revenant site, which is probably a pretty obvious answer. And also I have to think of Leah, which is a little web experiment by Resn that I stumbled upon again yesterday. For some reason it is oddly captivating.