To stand out among all the gloss and glitz found at the 2017 Sapphire Now/ASUG Annual Conference (Americas' SAP Users' Group), Google LLC left its exhibit a little rough around the edges. Intended to debut the company's Cloud Platform, a cloud-hosting suite for businesses, the design incorporated materials found at any local hardware store. That strategy was developed by George P. Johnson, a Project Worldwide agency, which was responsible for the space. "We wanted it to feel more authentic and unique compared to all of the slick exhibits on display," said Ryan Mee, senior creative director for GPJ.
Despite being a technological powerhouse, Google LLC effectively used low-tech, interactive stations arranged around its exhibit's perimeter to siphon attendees from the aisles into the booth. Visitors stopped and tried to unlock a large wooden puzzle or to spin oversized wooden gears before moving deeper into the space where they learned about Google's high-tech cloudhosting
The combination of raw materials with more polished elements balanced a certain "Google-y" playfulness alongside the seriousness of its corporate platform. Taking a page from science museums that blend hands-on activities with the precision of a lab setting, the design team engaged attendees with interactive elements spaced around the exhibit's perimeter.
At one pegboard kiosk decorated with a rainbow of colored pencils, guests tested Google's artificial intelligence by doodling on a touchscreen to see if the company's neural network could identify the drawing. Nearby, another kiosk challenged visitors to unlock a puzzle representing Google's cloud-hosting security. "Interactivity is the key here," said one Exhibit Design Awards judge, "but it's also about the juxtaposition of low tech and high tech."
To unify its disparate elements – the analog and the digital, the playful and the serious – Google integrated brand-colored PVC pipes that fed a massive central conduit rising from the floor where embedded screens depicted vast amounts of data flowing through the exhibit. In the end, the nontraditional design's rough-around-theedges aesthetic contributed to an incongruously polished presence for Google's newest platform.E