Geneva – At the 2018 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), Hermès manifests the abstract concept of timekeeping through warm materials and an interactive wooden sculpture. Designed by RDAI, Maison Hermès magnifies the intricate working of a watch with an installation by artist Levi van Veluw, placing its delicate timepieces in an environment that heightens awareness and evokes a sense of calm – as if time is slowing down.
The installation by the multidisciplinary artist takes centre stage, inviting visitors to explore its nine animations that can manipulate mechanisms on the structure. The technological aspects of a clock are combined with the sensuality of warm, natural materials surrounding the human form to create an emotional experience.
Expanding on the concept of a watch – an object kept close to the body – the space is warm and inviting, with a deep earthy palette and wood-clad surfaces. The heaviness of the apparently solid volumes imparts a feeling of tranquillity and slowness that encourages visitors to appreciate the intricate details of the timepieces, each housed in an individual glass cube to emphasize its significance and distinctive quality.
A watch itself offers the perfect metaphor for the design concept due to its intriguing position at the intersection of the material world and the fleeting moment. In line with Hermès’ goal of exploring another time, the distortion of scale mimics this temporal plasticity and encourages spontaneity. Interior architecture agency RDAI captures the idea behind ‘time, a Hermès object’ with magnified forms that deliberately reduce the pace of visitors for a slow journey of discovery through the series of classic timepieces.
The installation is on display until 19 January.