Perrier-Jouët Small Discoveries: design duo Mischer'Traxler discuss their interactive installation featuring plants that sprout when nobody is nearby in this Dezeen movie for champagne brand Perrier-Jouët.
Ephemerā by Mischer'Traxler consists of an oak table and two mirrors, decorated with water jet-cut metal shapes of leaves, flowers and insects that appear and disappear depending on visitors' proximity to the installation.
"They are all interactive and kinetic and react to your presence," explains Katharina Mischer in the movie, which was filmed at the unveiling of the installation at Design Miami 2014 earlier this month.
"When a visitor gets too close, all the elements hide away and become very functional again. Once you step back they become very alive and more decorative."
Thomas Traxler adds: "If you are in a forest and a deer is running by, if it detects you or if it knows you are there, it runs away and hides. We wanted to recreate that moment."
The leaves and insects on the table lie flat when people are nearby, but rise up as soon as they move away, powered by small embedded motors.
The mirrors feature a digital representation of fauna on the surface, as well as metal flowers that sprout out of the top and sides.
"All the three pieces are reacting to the audience via ultrasonic sensors that are hidden in the frame of the table and as well in the mirrors," says Traxler.
"It's not just that we play on the graphics that grow on the mirror, the 2D becomes 3D," Mischer adds.
The installation was commissioned by champagne brand Perrier-Jouët, whose famous Belle Epoque bottle was designed by Art Nouveau artist Émile Gallé.
Style director for Perrier-Jouët Axelle De Buffevent says the reason the brand approached Mischer'Traxler was because the designers' works are "very representative of Art Nouveau."
The brief given to the two designers was to bring elements from Art Nouveau into a more contemporary setting.
"Crafting today doesn't mean only crafting with ancient techniques," De Buffevent says. "[Mischer'Traxler] bring technology to crafting and that's what we think is really interesting about their work. It's not looking back, it's really looking to the future."
Ephemerā is the first part of a year-long collaboration between Mischer'Traxler and Perrier-Jouët called Small Discoveries. Dezeen will be documenting the project over the next 12 months at www.dezeen.com/perrier-jouet-small-discoveries.