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Category: Small Booth   Exhibitor: Plan-j GmbH    Design: Plan-j GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany, 49-69-900-217-59-0, www.plan-j.eu    Fabrication: Artlife GmbH, Hofheim, Germany, 49-6122-504-107, www.artlife.eu   Show: EuroShop, 2014   Budget: Less Than $40,000   Size: 10-by-10 feet
PHOTOS: Plan-J GmbH
Drawing Inspiration
By Linda Armstrong

How do you create a memorable experience in a 10-by-10-foot space? If you're Plan-j GmbH, an architecture and live-marketing agency, you craft an interesting structure, but then upstage it with a concept-sketching activity that mirrors your creative process — and offers an unforgettable experience to boot.

"Our graphics, architecture, and event departments work together as one unit, and they work with clients to develop extraordinary concepts that are totally on target with clients' needs," said designer Hannes Minner.

This collaborative effort, then, came to life in the firm's exhibit at EuroShop 2014, which comprised unfinished plywood on the floor and back wall, red and black seating cubes, a bit of gray paint, and well-lit white graphics to communicate Plan-j's offerings. The exhibit experience, however, centered around two striking pencil-based features.

More than 1,000 black pencils attached to red strings dangled from two support beams attached to the top of the 8-foot-tall side walls. The pencils on the right created a square suspended over an unfinished wood block to which designers had affixed the Plan-j logo and URL along with a Quick Response (QR) code leading attendees to its website. However, the central activity took place on the left side of the space, where designers positioned the pencils adjacent to a roll of parchment attached to the wall. Here staff encouraged attendees to grab a pencil and work with Plan-j's designers to sketch out ideas for their next marketing campaign.

Judges applauded the simplistic, effective experience that seemed to overshadow the diminutive size of the space. "This was a stellar demonstration of the firm's creativity and ability to do amazing things with a tiny space and budget," one judge said. And it just goes to show, good things — and great designs — can come in small packages.E


Pencil Pushers
Plan-j GmbH's tiny yet effective exhibit featured little more than unfinished wood and simple accoutrements such as seating cubes and dangling pencils. However, designers purposefully chose these mundane materials to suggest that great ideas actually spring from simple things. Meanwhile, text on the back and side walls employed a font similar to that of the "Minecraft" logo. Designers felt that "Minecraft" allows people to build and create on a virtual platform, and the exhibit allowed attendees to do the same in a realistic environment.


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