BEIJING – Striking a balance between a brand’s history and its dedication to innovation is at the core of Johannes Torpe Studio’s installations created for the Nike office in China. The Copenhagen-based studio placed a collection of brand installations within the space, reflecting on the company’s legendary foundational stories whilst championing its progress. The challenge was to employ art that not only reflected stories, but also had a positive impact on the employees and their daily working environment.
Rachel Jayne Mackay, head of branding at Johannes Tore Studio, comments: ‘The brand installations were designed as engaging touch points for occupants of the space. It was important to use pieces that would continuously intrigue and surprise those who interact with the workspace on a daily basis. We therefore created transformative pieces that aim to deliver new experiences each time they are viewed.’
References to Nike’s co-founder Bill Bowerman are instantly introduced at the entrance of the building. A ‘magic lamella’ wall with a three-dimensional wave creates an optical illusion as the colour changes from orange to blue depending on the viewer’s positon. Amongst the futuristic installations is a print of Bowerman’s famous quote: ‘If you have a body, you are an athlete.’ The insignia embodies the team spirit of the brand and echoes its motivational tone of voice. The organic wave shape was created by individually cutting out wood panels and painting each side in a variation of three different colours.
Throughout the office, homage is paid to some of the brand’s most iconic styles – such as the best-selling product Air Force 1. Distinctive features of the shoe have inspired design elements within the space, including the texture of the sneaker’s upper and the traditional white colour. The tribute nods to the product’s heritage by milling the logo and year of the shoe’s production into a white-painted panelled box.
The design not only nods to the styles and history of the brand but also celebrates its location and local surroundings. In this respect, one concept – named the Bird’s Nest – fuses the architectural elements of Beijing’s National Stadium and the intricate patterns made by Nike’s Flyknit technology. The installation itself was created from Flyknit fabric used for the innovative sneakers, with the addition of a bold colour palette that was used to mirror the brand’s bright signature style.