design awards

Category: International Designer
Exhibitor: HSBC Private Bank
Design: Altelier Oi SA, La
Neuveville, Switzerland, 41-32-751-56-66,
Fabrication: Expomobilia AG, Zurich, Switzerland, 41-52-354-74-74,
Show: Design Miami/Basel, 2008
Budget: $350,000
Size: 49-by-49 feet
Cost/Square Foot: $76

espite the widespread adoption of e-mail and text messaging, paper remains an important communication tool. But for the designers at Altelier Oi SA, it became a nontraditional exhibit material as well.

HSBC Private Bank hired the Swiss firm to create an exhibit for the Design Miami/Basel show that demonstrated the bank’s focus on communicating with its clients. Altelier delivered on the challenge by turning the company’s booth space into a VIP lounge made almost entirely out of paper.

Red and white paper became both a building material and a mode of communication. Huge sheets of opaque white paper were transformed into soaring outer walls that stretched around the 49-by-49-foot space, except for a single entrance. Inside the booth, fabricators wrapped and folded red and white paper strips to craft unique sculptural elements throughout.

One such sculpture — an 8-by-10-foot inverted cone made from white paper strips and thin metal rings — became the exhibit’s focal point. The origami-like element acted as a funnel to a table below it. Every six minutes, printers above the cone spewed out 8-by-4-inch cards with the bank’s logo printed on one side.

Staffers invited attendees to convey their own messages about HSBC via words or doodles on the back of the cards, and then clip them to the red ribbons along interior walls or to one of eight red-and-white, paper-wrapped towers scattered throughout the booth. “Once inside, the focus was on people and communication,” one Exhibit Design Awards judge said. “Thus, this design was really appropriate for the company’s communication-based strategy.”

By creating an open, airy space that emphasized communication, Altelier and HSBC delivered an exhibit that was definitely something to write home about. e

Janet Van Vleet, staff writer;

click to enlarge, drag to move click to enlarge, drag to move click to enlarge, drag to move Paper Cut
Modern couches and square fabric-covered ottomans offered a comfortable place for booth visitors to sit, relax, and talk to exhibit staffers inside the enclosed paper structure. On the wall facing the seating area, 3-foot-tall black letters placed within a 50-foot-long red band proclaimed HSBC Private Bank’s underlying message: “We Value Connections.”


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