nconventional products typically call for unconventional exhibit solutions. And since Smart, a division of Daimler AG, is anything but a conventional carmaker, it's only natural that its exhibit would be anything but conventional. Working with design firm Braunwagner GmbH, Daimler translated the aesthetic of the small and stylish car into an exhibit that was just as free-spirited.
Color was critical to communicating the lifestyle-centric aura of the Smart brand. Hues such as red and neon green were splattered across the exhibit, but used sparingly in the vehicle-display areas. Here, neutral tones allowed the cars' bright colors to take center stage. Typography was also a crucial part of the design. Messages such as "Not just any smart. My smart." and "Start being different." were splashed onto otherwise blank walls and floors.
Daimler's $2.3 million budget meant that tiny details weren't neglected. Touches such as slender fluorescent tubes suspended above one model's display area helped to illustrate the car's personality.
To show off the brand's many facets, designers segmented the 249-by-125-foot space into four distinct areas: the Forjeremy Lounge, the Design Lab, the Individuality area, and the Mobility area. Overhead, structures rigged at various heights and molded at different angles spanned the length of the exhibit and supplied a cohesive design voice. Their shapes were mimicked in other places, including a mirror cutout inlay in the floor of the Forjeremy Lounge, a support element for a hubcap display in the Design Lab, and a conference table in the private meeting space.
The geometric strategy garnered praise from judges. "The lines and angles in the overhead arch were repeated nicely throughout the space," one judge said. "The effect created an overall cohesiveness most car exhibits lack."