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Category: Island - Less Than $150 per Square Foot
Exhibitor: Teknion Design: Vanderbyl Design,
San Francisco, 415-543-8447, www.vanderbyldesign.com Fabrication: The Taylor Group, Brampton, ON, Canada, 905-451-5800, www.taylorinc.com Show: IIDEX/NeoCon Canada, 2009 Budget: $98,000
Size: 30-by-40 feet Cost/Square Foot: $82
esign is in the details. Nowhere is that more true than in the exhibit-design industry, where designers are tasked with condensing an entire company's identity into one small footprint. Often, style is inadvertently sacrificed for substance. Not so with Teknion's exhibit at the IIDEX/NeoCon Canada show in 2009.
Teknion worked with Vanderbyl Design to craft an aesthetic oasis far removed from the exhibits surrounding it. Sheathed in white, 16-foot-tall spandex-and-aluminum walls on four sides, the 30-by-40-foot exhibit enveloped attendees in a protective embrace. To define the space, Vanderbyl suspended the walls 18 inches off the ground, creating the illusion of a far bigger space than the 1,200-square-foot booth footprint. Adding to the intrigue, the walls featured a ghosted Teknion logo and text promoting the company's WorkplaceOne planning concept, which practically whispered to attendees to enter the space.
Two 7-foot-wide passageways on opposite ends of the exhibit funneled attendees inside, where they were surrounded by a graphic of a tree grove, creating an environment where product displays came by way of function. Eight green backrests sat atop eight white banquettes, playfully punctuating the otherwise serene space.
The benefits of the sparse surroundings were not lost on judges, one of whom said, "In so many booths, the human isn't being respected. Here, you feel like a human being and are able to enjoy the subtlety of your surroundings."
Indeed, this exhibit is noteworthy for what it isn't just as much as for what it is - an exhibit void of overt branding and garish product displays that successfully transformed negative space into a positive experience. Now that's seeing the forest for the trees. E
Paradoxically imposing and inviting at the same time, the 16-foot-tall walls were raised 18 inches off the floor to create an enclosed space that didn't completely shut attendees out - or in. Built from recyclable materials, the aluminum-framed spandex walls were a nod to Teknion's commitment to the environment, and were blanketed with full-length graphics of an aspen tree grove. The elegant aesthetic was a welcome departure from the chaos of the trade show floor.