La Mer shares their brand story through a series of immersive experiences at Shanghai’s Power Station of Art.

For La Mer’s Edge of the Sea exhibition at Shanghai’s Power Station of Art, the brand wanted to capture the imagination of younger Chinese consumers and share the story of their signature cream. To position La Mer as a luxury, aspirational brand, the experience needed to be visually stunning and innovative, yet elegant. It needed to bring details of La Mer’s process to life, such as physicist Max Huber’s foundational 6,000 Miracle Broth experiments as well as the highlighted collaboration by father and daughter photographers Mario and Gray Sorrenti.

Creative branding agency School House reached out to us to collaborate on an ideation process for the interactive concept in each room. The aim was for visitors to engage with the brand’s narrative and connect with the elements at the heart of La Mer’s products. The exhibition brought guests from the ocean shore through a responsive kelp forest to an interactive sea wave made of silk and an apothecary-style laboratory in action. Mario and Grey Sorrenti’s video recalling their memories of the sea illuminated a cylindrical projection screen that guests could walk through. The exhibit was a powerful experience that submerged consumers in the brand’s world.

Patten Studio’s interdisciplinary team created the visuals, hardware, and software that brought the immersive experiences to life. Fans, cameras, and custom motor controllers turned a sheet of silk into a sea wave that floated in the air, responding to the movements of passersby with motion of its own. Our custom motion tracking software together with Intel RealSense cameras and real-time graphics in Cinder and Unity added depth of exploration as guests entered the exhibit, walking along a projection-mapped shore of water and into a forest of kelp.

Bridging the online and offline experiences, guests check-ins through WeChat, the most popular social media app in China with one billion monthly active users, triggered the growth of new kelp strands in the exhibition. Over 20,000 guests experienced Edge of the Sea during the 10-day exhibition, uploading thousands of images of the multi-sensory installations to WeChat, resulting in more than 1 billion La Mer social media impressions during the event. According to La Mer’s parent company Estée Lauder, strong sales and earnings in China have increased primarily driven by marketing and promotional events like this one.


Patten Studio
Interactive Design, Visual Design, Content, Software, Electronics, Mechatronics, Fabrication, Installation
  • La Mer
  • School House
    Interior Design, Concept, Creative Direction
  • Luciforma
    Lighting Design
  • APAX
    Contractor, Production, Fabrication, Installation
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