esign inspiration sometimes comes from unlikely sources. Take, for instance, Brunner GmbH's exhibit for the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, which was inspired by simple, old-fashioned information boards.
Teaming up with design firm Ippolito Fleitz Group to promote its new Hoc stool and Plot modular seating system for use in airports, hotels, and other public spaces, Brunner wanted to present the chairs in highly stylized representations of its target markets. Judges crowned the resulting booth with the EDGE Award for Exhibit Design and Graphics Excellence, the competition's highest honor. "After one look, it lodged itself in our memories," said one Exhibit Design Awards judge.
Inside the 39-by-25-foot space, attendees lolled under a sky of 26 contoured fabric "clouds." While visitors absorbed the surreal scenery, they relaxed on seating the shades of Granny Smith apples, orange sherbet, and cafe au lait. Surrounding them were coal-black medium-density fiberboard (MDF) walls and flooring saturated with 54,000 plastic letters, reminiscent of vintage analog information boards, once common in hotel lobbies and airport lounges. Painstakingly positioned by hand, the white letters formed silhouettes that alternated between the everyday and the extraordinary.
The individual letters also formed phrases from song lyrics and pedestrian phrases in German, English, and Italian. The river of words spilled over to the floor, where letters spelled out product names. Cleverly, several chairs were arranged so that from certain angles the wall's two-dimensional characters appeared to actually be sitting on them. It was the consummate touch to an exhibit design that left Brunner sitting pretty.E