Luma Arles: the artistic hub opens up inclusion and accessibility

Located in the south of France, Luma Arles opened in June 2021.

This futuristic complex of glass and steel aims to create connections between art, culture and environment.

Tactile Studio was commissioned to make accessible by fingertip this immense 11-hectare experimental cultural center. There, in perfect harmony, the glittering Tower designed by the famous Californian architect Frank Gehry interacts with seven former factories from the industrial heritage of the 19th century.

Become one with the Frank Gehry’s splendid construction and immerse yourself in the space in a different way

Having made the impressive architecture of the Fondation Louis Vuitton accessible to all, the inclusive design agency is taking up a new challenge with the Fondation Luma Arles.

Comprising 11,000 reflective metal panels, the tower stands at the heart of this new green creative campus. It echoes, according to Frank Gehry, Van Gogh’s Starry night (1888) and the rocky landscape of the Alpilles.

Borne out of an initiative of the art collector and patron Maja Hoffmann, this immense space dedicated to contemporary art is also designed to be an artistic incubator for the 21st century.

The impressive Luma Tower by American architect Frank Gehry - © Tactile Studio
The impressive Luma Tower by American architect Frank Gehry - © Tactile Studio
This sensory station is mobile and can be moved around the Luma Tower - © Tactile Studio
This sensory station is mobile and can be moved around the Luma Tower - © Tactile Studio

To orient and enable all visitors – especially those who are blind or visually impaired – to discover the entire site, Tactile Studio designed and produced two innovative inclusive and sensory devices.

The first sensory station is mobile, intended to be moved around the Luma Tower. It will be used at openings and special events. The second station is permanent and located at the entry to the park.

The stations detail all the architectural elements of this complex dedicated to contemporary creativity. The buildings are modelled in 3D and Tactile Studio has chosen to play with the spaces and textures to bring the park to life.

And for even greater inclusion, the devices are presented in Braille and raised lettering.

All that remains is … to touch!

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The stations detail all the architectural elements of the Foundation - © Tactile Studio
The stations detail all the architectural elements of the Foundation - © Tactile Studio

Working together, reflecting, collaborating, designing and producing: artists, curators, designers and makers

From the very outset, the curatorial team committed itself to making the park and its exhibitions accessible to as many people as possible.

Contacted by Nadia Sahmi – accessibility consultant – the Tactile Studio team worked hand in hand with the founder of the project, Maja Hoffmann, the British contemporary artist Liam Gillick and the general curator Vassilis Oikonomopoulos, to conceptualize the most inclusive devices possible, integrating perfectly with the extraordinary universe of this new generation hub.

In collaboration with Liam Gillick, the agency’s designers used the artist’s color palette and typeface to create a unique orientation system.

All the devices imagined - here the signage designed by 'All Over Signalétique' - integrate the same color palette - © Tactile Studio
All the devices imagined - here the signage designed by 'All Over Signalétique' - integrate the same color palette - © Tactile Studio
The first part of the stations presents the different spaces thanks to labels organised by color - © Tactile Studio
The first part of the stations presents the different spaces thanks to labels organised by color - © Tactile Studio

The stations are divided into two distinct but complementary parts.

The first part is made up of different labels organized by color and presenting different spaces. The labels integrate colored Braille as well as pictograms (representing spaces), again designed by Liam Gillick.

The second part presents the entire site, notably with artefacts of the buildings, with the pictogram and the color marked on the label.

Thanks to this unique process, all visitors today can discover, orient and immerse themselves in a playful, sensory and interactive way in the heart of the Fondation.

And more? The labels are interchangeable because Luma Arles is always evolving.

The second part of the stations allows all visitors to discover the architecture of the spaces at their fingertips - © Tactile Studio
The second part of the stations allows all visitors to discover the architecture of the spaces at their fingertips - © Tactile Studio

Collaborating with a contemporary artist was a first for the agency!

Thank you to Maja Hoffmann, Nadia Sahmi, Liam Gillick, Vassilis Oikonomopoulos and to the whole team at Fondation Luma for your confidence in us.

Client: Luma Arles

Luma Arles Logo

General Curator: Vassilis Oikonomopoulos

Signage: All Over Signalétique, Guillaume Albot

Accessibility Consultant: Nadia Sahmi

Landscape designer: Bas Smets

Production: We Are Makers