PHOTOS: Padgett and Company Inc.
As author Orson Scott Card put it, "Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space," and a well-done motif can silently channel a message before a single word is spoken. According to Exhibit Design Awards judges, the Custom Electronic Designers and Installers Association (CEDIA) used an artfully subtle metaphor to set the stage, literally, for the organization at its own show, the 2015 Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association Expo.
The 25-year-old association, which serves residential-technology companies, tasked design firm Pentagram SF Inc. to devise a 40-by-50-foot space that emphasized its values of vision, passion, and community. What resulted was a metaphorical design that placed CEDIA in the center of the industry it serves by framing the booth itself as if it were a stage.
Along with state-of-the-art programmed lighting, the Custom Electronic Design and Installers Association's exhibit featured a hospitality lounge, reception counters, computer terminals for accessing information, and a theater space for in-booth presentations
Staggered from the front of the display to the back, four archways hinted at scenic flats that might bracket the stage of a theater, each one 20 feet high and spanning the entire width and depth of the booth. The arches were spaced so that if viewed from either side, the exhibit walls appeared to have been sliced into thin sections and splayed apart, making the space welcoming and accessible from whichever direction an attendee approached.
To create a sense of energy and demonstrate passion for technology, a row of lighting at the top of each portal was programmed to cast colors that abstractly mimicked whatever was being played on the four 10-by-18-foot video walls below. Judges praised the technique as smart and fresh, while also admiring the booth's overall simplicity and thoughtful design.