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Eyes on the Prize
Constructing a 20-foot-diameter Fiberglas-eye theater is one thing; making it look like a real body part is quite another. So Taylor Manufacturing Industries Inc. (The Taylor Group) hired an airbrush artist who specializes in painting eyeballs. The realistic look was achieved through multiple coats of color and transparent resin, while the artist used unwound yarn to replicate tiny blood vessels.
Photos: Interior Images Photography
Theater in the Round
SILVER AWARD
Category: Excellent Elements
Exhibitor: Genentech Inc.
Design/Fabrication: Taylor Manufacturing Industries Inc. (The Taylor Group), Brampton, ON, Canada, 905-451-5800, www.taylorinc.com
Show: American Academy of Ophthalmologists, 2012
Budget: $250,000 – $499,000
Size: 50-by-60 feet
f eyes are the windows to the soul, then this 20-foot-diameter Fiberglas structure is a veritable garage door. Designed and built by Taylor Manufacturing Industries Inc. (The Taylor Group) for Genentech Inc., the oversized eyeball did double duty as an architectural showpiece and a functional presentation theater.

Charged with creating a presentation space that would ensconce attendees in a controlled environment far removed from the bustling trade show floor at the American Academy of Ophthalmologists convention, designers first used CNC machinery to construct a spherical frame out of plywood. The frame was then covered with a Fiberglas skin. Next, Taylor hired an airbrush artist who specializes in painting eyeballs. Using multiple layers of transparent paints and clear coats, as well as red yarn unraveled and dipped in resin to form blood vessels, the artist created a clinical representation of the human eye. Multiple layers of clear resin finished off the eye and created a realistic wet appearance, all leading to a final product that one Exhibit Design Awards judge called "the perfect accoutrement for this audience."

But the $320,000 structure couldn't just look cool; it had to deliver the audiovisual goods so physicians could focus on Genentech's 12-minute, 3-D video presentation about its new medication for eye disease. So designers outfitted the 30-seat interior with sound-attenuation baffles, a fully integrated digital surround-sound system, and 3-D projection equipment. Attendees entered the space via a single set of doors, the placement of which impressed judges. "Creating realistic graphics on a round surface with two doors in the center of the iris is a true test of execution," one judge said. Indeed, this theater proves that seeing really is believing.




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