Marine research and conservation is a core pillar for the skincare brand. It worked with Universal Design Studio to render those values physically at Monaco’s Oceanographic Institute.
Owned by L’Oréal, Biotherm provides skincare products that are made with ‘Life Plankton’ – the bioscience methodology utilizes microorganisms that can be endlessly regenerated. Its relationship with life aquatic led the brand to establish an executive partnership with Monaco’s Oceanographic Institute in 2021. The opening of Biotherm Blue Beauty Lab – a 30-sq-m space designed by Universal Design Studio within the institution – marks this collaboration. Eschewing retail for exhibition, the open-by-appointment lab is conceptualized to give visitors insight into Biotherm’s process, values and conservation work.
Outfitted with stainless-steel worktops, reflective surfaces and safety-glass shelving as in a real laboratory, the engaging bright-blue interior relays the concept narrative with the help of a demonstrative research lab and a workshop area. Situated in an alcove with ocean views, the lab offers a deep dive into the Life Plankton methodology on a microscopic level. The workshop floor offers a more immersive, emotional experience. Audiences can interact with floor-to-ceiling projections of live generative visuals by Superbien and AC3 Studio, creating their own digital artwork and participating in hands-on learning about the Biotherm brand.
By now, most commercial brands – authentically or not, and to wildly varying degrees – have made an attempt to communicate sustainability efforts with their consumers. Biotherm’s efforts have been comprehensive, with a range of goals tackling everything from its packaging to physical-retail footprint. The non-transactional nature of Biotherm Blue Beauty Lab symbolizes those commitments on a spatial level, supporting the idea that education is essential in shifting consumer behaviour. The intention behind the space may be to foster greater brand loyalty (i.e. sales). Nevertheless, its experiential direction shows promise in influencing more conscious consumption than a traditional retail space could.
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