Established in 2011, Oravida aims to bring healthy fresh produce from New Zealand and improve the quality of Chinese consumer’s lives with a premium selection of offerings, water being a core category.
The brand name “Oravida” is the combination of “Ora,” translating as being well and healthy in Maori, and “Vida,” meaning life in Spanish—encapsulating the organization’s passion for bringing healthy living to customers.
Oravida wanted a high-value physical expression of its core brand pillar “Just Be,” representing mindfulness, happiness and wellness. This would be experienced by its community at the Oravida Brand Center in the form of a memorable visitor journey.
The Oravida team partnered with frog to elevate the interiors of the Brand Center, an architecturally striking landmark building that’s open to the public in the city of Shanghai, bringing Oravida’s brand concept to life with quality, innovation and serenity. The teams also used a space design perspective to enhance a convergent experience of the two-story brand destination, which includes a retail boutique, yoga studio, team room, meditation room and a life-size replica of New Zealand’s iconic Wanaka tree.
In an intensive three-week period, Oravida and frog collaborated closely and used innovative technology by Unreal Engine to deliver an immersive “Water Garden." The experience was inspired by the 50-year journey of Oravida Artesian Water—starting from the remote mountains in New Zealand, to collecting vital minerals in a 1,000 feet deep artesian aquifer.
For the space to be a success it needed to have a sense of the theatrical, but some aspects felt “back-of-house"—routes were unintuitive, some areas lacked use clarity and finishing design touches were needed. The combination of these aspects had the potential to take visitors out of the immersive experience.
To help with wayfinding, frog focused on the key details of lighting, iconography and essential system units. To ensure visitors remained immersed, the team fixed and aligned the presentation of doors, lights, ventilation and smoke detectors.
Thanks to the 360-degree design considerations, visitors to the space can access the intended “Just Be” brand experience and relax into the soothing quality of the space, from start to finish.
Upon entering the Oravida Brand Center, visitors are greeted with a solitary Wanaka tree with a minimalist backdrop. While striking, it initially lacked messaging. frog included additional storytelling to capitalize on the theatrics of the space and to fully realize the brand story.
frog's adjustments to elements throughout the space, extending even to vents and smoke detectors, ensured that the Brand Center looked clean and intentional. The team were sensitive to the meaning that lighting conveyed, curating the focus of spotlights to compliment storytelling. Doors—the subject of legal requirements—were previously ignored from a design perspective. As a result, they were out-of-sync with the aesthetic, so were painted to match the color of the walls, or given simple mountain-inspired graphic art.
These aesthetic edits were designed with the dual intention of clearer wayfinding. The brand transformation team chose Chinese and English character fonts that work together—since Oravida wanted bilingual signage—as well as holistically with the theme. This was used for signage throughout and worked in harmony with the iconography developed for the bathrooms and safety equipment in the space. Subtle changes to finishing touches, such as swapping over-saturated lighting for downlit illuminations at key areas, meant that the intended focus became intuitively clear. In some areas, lighting helped deter attention away from aspects, such as changing rooms, and increase the visibility of halls and pathways.
frog has brought Oravida’s water journey to life, delivering not just an interactive experience from a signature installation of the “Water Garden,” but an immersive emotional touch echoing the core message of the Oravida brand “Just Be,” with elements of surprise. The experience truly elevates the brand and is able to build an emotional connection to our visitors.
The frog team blended in an immersive touch for visitors with the “Water Garden,” an interactive art installation. As mineral water is the core category of Oravida brand, the frog team expanded the theatrical element of the space, utilizing the cutting-edge 3D tools of Unreal Engine. The installation brings an actual water journey to life, simulating clouds, fog, rainfall and ice running through air and layers of mountain rocks to a deep artesian aquifer. The technology, which is popular in the gaming space, allows for smoother, more realistic, real-time renderings of water in its different states.
The “Water Garden” installation was designed to inspire the emotional associations that come with being purely present, providing an educational, aesthetic and interactive Oravida brand experience.
The frog team also provided suggestions optimizing human-centered visual and interior layouts of the space to ensure that thematic themes of the two floors—“inhale” on the ground floor and “let go” on the second floor—echo and deliver cohesive messaging.
In summer 2022, the Oravida Brand Centre will host a launch event for its elevated water products. In an immersive theatrical salon, co-produced and directed by the director of Sleep No More, the Water Garden will take center stage, featuring choreographed dancers.
The Oravida website features a full digital tour of the Brand Center, extending the experiential reach of the brand story to those unable to visit in person.