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EDGE AWARD
Category: International Designer
Exhibitor: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
Design: Schmidhuber + Partner GbR, Munich, Germany, 49-89-157997-0, www.schmidhuber.de
Fabrication: Metron GmbH,
Eging am See, Germany,
49-8544-9626-0, www.metron.net
Show: Internationale Funk-Ausstellung, 2009
Budget: $7.25 million
Size: 321-by-128 feet (51,668 total square feet, including second-story space)
Cost/Square Foot: $140

nce in a while, something comes along that redefines its category. Take the Smart car, the iPod, the Nintendo Wii. Utterly innovative and expertly designed, these products became pervasive iconic brands. The Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. exhibit will likely go down in history as one of these iconic game changers.

Designed by Schmidhuber + Partner GbR of Munich, Germany, the exhibit offered what judges called an "immersive, sensorial experience unlike anything we've ever seen." Born of Samsung's desire to demonstrate the brilliance, motion sharpness, and ultra-thin profile of its new generation of LED TVs, the exhibit was both a calming oasis and a mind-blowing optical illusion - and the recipient of our top honor, the 2010 EDGE Award (for Exhibit Design and Graphics Excellence).

The pulsing heart of the exhibit was a half circle of eight electronic "leaves" - vertical columns that each comprised 18 LED TVs of various sizes. "A mirror-covered wall and ceiling was paired with a glass floor through which lights and colors were projected," said Susanne Schmidhuber, executive director and architect at Schmidhuber + Partner. "Combined, the leaves and mirrors created a 360-degree spatial experience within this semicircular room."

Outside the exhibit's heart, clean lines and simple, organic forms were paired with Samsung's corporate blue and white color palette. Meanwhile, half of the exhibit featured upper-level rooms along two side walls housing hospitality and meeting areas.

Granted, this exhibit might not become as prolific as the Wii, but the reverberations from its game-changing design will likely produce aftershocks for years to come.  E

Linda Armstrong, senior writer; larmstrong@exhibitormagazine.com

Grand Illusion
The unmistakable heart of the exhibit was an immersive optical illusion comprising strategically placed mirrors and 144 LED TVs. Here, eight columns were doubled visually and vertically via mirrors on the ceiling and on one side wall. Outside of this mesmerizing space, clean lines and minimal graphics created a calm oasis - and a sharp contrast to the rest of the frenetic trade show floor.

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