History and Machine Learning Fuel Inspiration at Le Visionnaire

L'Oréal

Almost a century after opening its first headquarters in Paris, L'Oréal has transformed its historic birthplace into a collaboration space for its global workforce.

Overview

In 1938, L'Oréal opened its headquarters on 14 rue Royale in Paris. Almost a century later, the world’s leading beauty manufacturer reimagined the space as a venue for employees from across the world to come together, find inspiration within the company’s heritage, and collaboratively envision its future. We were tasked with developing a visitor experience that enhanced L'Oréal’s internal creative capabilities, giving each employee unprecedented access to the company’s history, contemporary trends, and customer insights.

L'Oréal Groupe project leaders encouraged us to embrace the contrast between heritage and modernity in the new space. We also took cues from architect Alain Moatti’s integration of an elegant egg-shaped glass structure into the original building’s classical architecture, blending historic and futuristic to create a place dedicated to innovation and ‘savoir faire’ transmission. We wanted to help L'Oréal’s creative teams embrace that same spirit while forging a deeper connection between each individual and their sources of inspiration.

Partners

Moatti & Rivière

Services

Experience Design, Media Design & Production, Software Design & Production

"One of the risks at L'Oréal is that we have so much information that you can easily get lost. So we created a smart selection of relevant content that can help newcomers to go deeper into its culture and history. Nothing is just decorative. We wanted to give meaning to everything; everything has a function.”

- Cristina Parma, Project Director, L'Oréal

The Details

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Our Approach

Three interactive experiences spanning multiple floors, bring employees together in physical spaces and serve as tools to catalyze the creative process. The journey begins in La Route, a heritage space that contains L'Oréal’s archives. In Les Marques, groups are invited to explore and collect inspiration before being treated to a branded multimedia show that is customized specifically for each group. Finally, inside the central room of the glass structure, they arrive at Le Visionnaire, or the Visionary Wall. This is a technology-driven visioning space that jumpstarts creativity by making quick, intuitive connections between ideas and imagery.

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La Route

Within the heritage space, La Route, visitors explore 25 individual niches, a mosaic of illuminated drawers and cabinets that showcase objects reflecting the rich history and evolution of L'Oréal. Fascinating stories and objects include the blond hair dye packages used in the first women's hairdressing schools, housed inside 14 Rue Royale itself, as well as the evolution of sunscreen and other innovative technologies developed by L'Oréal. The Human Adventures Table invites visitors to dive into the mission and people-centric culture of L'Oréal Groupe. Video testimonials from employees in creative and executive divisions from Barcelona to Bogotá offer a multifaceted and distinctly human lens into the values that define L'Oréal Groupe’s culture.

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Visitors explore tactile shelves and cabinets, revealing a selection of rich stories told through objects and multimedia. Each story can be saved to a visitor’s personal collection for later reference and inspiration.

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Les Marques

The brands’ space, Les Marques, offers a multi-sensory look at L'Oréal Groupe's portfolio of brands. The walls of the room feature an array of iconic products spanning six categories - haircare, hair color, fragrance, makeup, skincare, and body care - that surround visitors.

L'Oréal brand ambassadors can also create custom shows, immersing visitors in a brand or a category in an exclusive subterranean vault. Video, audio, and images that capture a brand’s essence activate along the wall and on the ceiling in an immersive space that supports facilitators’ presentations.

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The Visionary Wall

At the Visionary Wall, visitors create personalized moodboards from a cascade of live images. Machine learning is used to curate millions of live images and sort them based on color composition and semantic contents like shapes, patterns, and architectural features. Each addition to a collection conjures up new, relevant images that inspire users to make meaningful connections in real-time.

All visitors activity within Le Visionnaire can be saved to a visitor’s unique ID, leveraging the existing system that gives L'Oréal Groupe employees access to the building. Visitors don’t have to register for a new app or create a new user profile to collect content in the space, making the collection process seamless and intuitive. They can collect stories across the heritage space or save a moodboard from the insight wall, all of which can be emailed to them, or accessed across mobile and desktop devices.