Step into the world of ECCO shoes The new visitor centre of the Danish shoe company ECCO has opened in Bredebro (DK). To give an introduction to the over fifty-year-old family company Kossmann.dejong has designed a special, interactive presentation in which ECCO’s history is brought to life and visitors are immersed in the art of shoemaking of this multinational corporation.
Kossmann.dejong was commissioned to design a presentation for employees, business relations and a general interested audience. A presentation in which heritage, innovation in the design- and production process, the importance of craftsmanship and the family feeling of the company with 20,000 employees, working in 88 different countries, would be explained and turned into an experience.
The result is an integral immersive space, completely made out of leather, with a range of interactive tables in the centre. Through the implementation of several layers of information, media devices and stories, a rich narrative environment did come into existence. All senses are touched; visitors can smell, feel, listen and interact in several ways. Sensitivity, tactility and proximity were important starting-points for the design. ECCO’s craftsmanship is literally reflected in the detailing of the leather that’s all around.
Visitors enter the visitor centre in a bright foyer, decorated with a spatial installation of shoes on walls and ceiling. Through climbing the stairs, visitors reach the exhibition at the first floor. Surrounding walls recount the story of the development of ECCO chronologically, and also touch upon the company’s values. A timeline with peepholes, infographics, hidden hands-on elements and vitrines activates the visitor to explore ECCO’s history. The timeline ends with a glance ahead, in which the audience can interactively engage with dilemmas ECCO predicts for the foreseeable future.
The production process is explained in the centre of the exhibition space. Seven interactive tables show how an ECCO shoe is made, step-by-step, from initial sketches to the latest quality check before the shoe ends up in the shop. Interaction is used to allow the visitor to experience for themselves how ECCO operates, and what skills are needed to actually produce a shoe. An audience member can, for instance, sew a shoe together virtually, while simultaneously being given an overview aurally by ECCO employees as to how they approach the process.
The leather used in the exhibition was produced by ECCO and applied by employees. All their techniques and skills are revealed in the timeline, which has become a monument to their craftsmanship. The craftsmanship on display, combined with modern media such as film, animations, interactives and audio players offer visitors a surprising insight in ECCO, its story, way of working and expertise.