There is something intrinsically magical about pop-up books and their ability to bring two-dimensional images to life. And in fact, adding dimension to a flat medium is what inspired the design for Brunner GmbH's exhibit at Orgatec. Specifically, the company wanted to pay homage to its new People and Furniture product catalog, which featured line drawings of its chairs and tables mixed in among photos of the objects in commercial settings.
But Brunner didn't want to simply add some colorful line drawings on the walls and call it good; it wanted to create an environment. So the furniture company worked with design firm Ippolito Fleitz Group GmbH to conjure something provocative. "We wanted to bring a dramatic tension to the exhibit and also present a consistent brand identity," said Gunter Fleitz, co-owner of Ippolito Fleitz. What better way to incorporate tension than to hang 11.2 miles of taut, black polypropylene cord throughout the space?
Mimicking the straight lines and angles of the drawings in the catalog, the cord curtains delineated product areas. Set against neutral backdrops comprising beige laminate flooring, dark walls, and minimal architecture, the cords added drama to the space without being one-note, a touch that Exhibit Design Awards judges applauded. "I like that the 18 kilometers of cord wasn't used to create the same damn shape over and over," one judge said.
In addition to being attractive, the shapes were also purposeful. "A cone creates an intimate setting," Fleitz said. "A candelabra-styled ceiling element awakens connotations of the domestic dining table, and the diagonal sails around the cafeteria give the space a lounge-like ambience."
Indeed, the sweeping lines and angles afforded by the black cord proved that bringing a product catalog to life was possible — as long as there were strings attached.
Striking a Cord
Designers used more than 11 miles of polypropylene cord to create various shapes within the 7,056-square-foot exhibit. Each installation, ranging from a straight curtain to a conical structure, highlighted various product areas within the booth. Subtle white and beige flooring took a back seat to the black cords and Brunner GmbH products on display.