WHY WE ARE INVISIBLE
How does the listener’s voice sound? What does the invisible look like? The answers to these questions combine to form the story of The Invisible Party, an Amsterdam-based agency for brand and interior design. Listening, understanding, translating and collaborating: for founder Vivian van Schagen, these are the most important pillars supporting our business. We know how to make ourselves invisible while proving essential at the same time. Despite this apparent invisibility, The Invisible Party has in fact developed its own signature and recognisable style over the years. Our interiors and products attract attention thanks to their cheerful elegance and refined aesthetic sensibility. The use of painstakingly selected materials yields an additional layer in the story of a given brand; the translation is never loud and showy, but instead often features a twist in terms of application. We make it possible for everyone to throw a party of their own, although we do prefer to pick out the balloons for you.
HOW WE WORK
Our years of experience have taught us that when it comes to communicating a brand through a space, there is much more involved than simply sticking a logo on every wall, shoe or chair. An important part of our day-to-work consists of sensing what a brand would like to communicate and understanding which ingredients make up its brand value. It consists of creating an emotional bond between the brand and its users. Of taking materials, colours, furnishings, graphics and styling and using these elements to envision a total concept, then developing that concept, down to the smallest detail, into a three-dimensional experience of the brand. Taken together, it consists of diving into someone else’s world and re-emerging with a shared vision for the project. We at The Invisible Party are good at diving – and we’re even better at re-emerging. The first step in every project is extensive research in which anything and everything – from archived material to textile experiments – can serve as inspiration. It is this distinctive method that we have adopted as our personal philosophy.
WHY EVERY LAST DETAIL MATTERS
Comprehensive. Cohesive. Holistic. That describes our approach to every project. The picture has to be complete; every detail must be imbued with meaning. To achieve this, the studio must typically take on a variety of roles. The Invisible Party serves as interior designer one moment and as art consultant the next. Sometimes we design our own products, and sometimes we commission projects from other designers and artists. In all cases, cooperation with external parties is required; everyone is working to further the same story.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS
The result reflects our research, down to the individual product. The specific story of the brand in question is communicated through the text embroidered on a bedspread, through custom-designed pillows, the colour of the drapes or through the overall graphic design. For instance: for the Student Hotel Maastricht, located in a former Sphinx factory, we had banners printed with graphic imagery based on old designs from the sanitary-fitting manufacturer’s archives. And in W Amsterdam, every hotel room has its own ‘house number’, inspired by the enamel number plates beside the front doors of old houses in Amsterdam. As a result of our method and its focus on bespoke solutions, every project is a complete one-off.
Vivian van Schagen (1978) has over fifteen years’ experience in the field of brand design. She received her training as an industrial designer at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. Following her graduation, Vivian began her career by Siemens Mobile DesignLab in Munich and Shanghai. She then spent six years with Nike, gaining familiarity with all forms of brand design: from creating retail campaigns to realising concept stores for Nike Women and Nike Sportswear, and designing everything from stalls for Bread&Butter to products for Nike Footwear. After that, Vivian held positions at …,staat and Supertrash before founding The Invisible Party – her own design studio for brand design and strategy, aimed primarily at hospitality and retail – in 2010.
WHO OUR CLIENTS ARE
The majority of our clients operate in the hospitality or retail business; they include The Student Hotel Maastricht (2017, interior and graphic design), The Fritz Düsseldorf (2016, brand strategy and interior design), Fritz’s Frau Franzi (brand strategy and interior design), Marina Bay Sands (83 art installations in the VIP section of the casino) and various W Hotels in Europe and Asia, including W Amsterdam (2015, art installations and styling), W Paris (2012, art installations and styling), W London (2010, art installations and styling), W Kuala Lumpur (2018, art installations and styling), W Beijing (2012, art installations and styling) and W Xi’An (art installations and styling), Oblique Men (2017, branding and interior design). SuperTrash (2011, interior design), Chasin (2011, interior design), HEMA (2016, instore activations), Nike (2012, interior design) end De Bijenkorf (2010-2016, window design)
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
The spatial transformations and products created by The Invisible Party are surprising: they are things that people take home with them after visiting a place. There’s a reason the products we imagined and designed for the W hotel in Amsterdam – bedspreads, pillows, push plates and souvenir pins – pop up on Instagram so often. It’s the same reason that visitors describe the atmosphere and interior of The Fritz Boutique Hotel in Düsseldorf (whose restaurant, Fritz’s Frau Franzi, received a Michelin star in 2017) as ‘excellent’, ‘gorgeous’ and ‘cosy’ in online reviews. We create not only settings in which travellers can feel at home, but also memories they can take with them on the way back.