Last month we made the journey to the US to work at the International Surfaces Event (TISE) in Las Vegas. This exhibition is the largest North American floor covering, stone, and tile industry event and is the premier, global marketplace for buyers, specifiers, and influencers to purchase products, gain design and trend information, and develop their business strategies.
At Scarlet Opus, we create innovative exhibition spaces for Interior Events; these spaces act as an inspirational and exciting feature for show visitors; we include educational, design trend content as well as hands-on, experiential design elements. This blog post will give you an insight into how we design, curate and manage an exhibition space from start to finish, with a focus on our most recent project at TISE.
Exhibition making is a creative and lengthy process, it involves careful research, complex planning and attentive organization. This is important as our exhibition spaces tend to be a collaborative project, we work closely with many different designers to display key features in line with our theme; including showcasing beautiful furniture, flooring, wallpaper and products. We also collaborate with companies who perhaps provide more of an ‘experience design’ for example in the past, we have collaborated with Lawton Yarns who created a wonderful waterfall Textile Installation. The previous year we collaborated with Debi Keable who provided a lighting installation in Dubai. Some of our spaces have the inclusion of ‘guest speakers’ for example at Decor & Design in Melbourne last year we introduced a small ‘She Says‘ seminar series; we hosted strong, inspirational Female speakers in a relaxed environment as part of the space – read more here.
Thinking like a design curator…
Selecting a theme– The first stage of the design process is to select a theme for the area. This theme will direct the colour palette, furniture and prop list, it will be the anchor story that unifies the whole space. For us, we normally select the most important trend of the season. In this case, we chose a trend called Bio-Tech; a trend that aims to seamlessly blend the boundaries between science, technology and Nature in order to create a more intuitive, more personalised and more sustainable future.
This theme enabled us to be very playful with colour, pattern and material use whilst still enforcing a message of eco-conscious design and environmentally friendly practice.
Know your audience– The second stage of our process is to ask significant questions that will help guide the design elements of the hub. Who is my audience? What do I want to communicate to them? and How can I achieve this whilst making it a memorable space?
Our Trend Hubs world-wide are designed to inform and inspire, offering visitors an insight into the latest innovations in material, surface and colour. We display leading design stories that are set to shape the future and can assist in product direction specific to the interiors industry. The trend displays that we share inspire professionals in many different ways. Our visitors range from designers and architects; who search for colour and style; to retailers and manufacturers who can learn about the relationship between design trends and consumer; understanding further how to merchandise effectively, market and share the story with relevance to their business.
Colour Palette – Once we had the trend theme for the show we could work on selecting the colour palette for the walls. We wanted the colours to really be the focus for this space. A confident, joyful and uplifting selection of hues with refreshing appeal including ripe peach, mint and flourishing greens. The brightness of the walls caught the eye of many passers-by, they were attracted and intrigued to what the booth was all about. It also provoked and inspired conversations between people on the space; whether it was a love for the palette or dislike; visitors actively discussed their thoughts around bold uses of colour within interior design.
Visualise– We then begin to play around in CAD to enable us to visualise the space which inspires different design concepts and ideas… knowing the space well means we can be clear on sizes for artworks, signage and furniture. Visualising the space also means we can play around with placement and colour.
Design Features– In our next stage we select the design features that will bring the space to life. The most important thing for us here is collaboration. We continue to work with established designers and big brands as well as talented students or promising makers, showcasing the latest, forward-thinking design pieces.
Our Feature Wall was sponsored by Tektura Wall-coverings; the Dimensions collection by Edward Van Vliet was a perfect mix of natural shadowed forest with a contrasting geometric effect giving it a contemporary and futuristic edge.
We also included Furniture to create a space of comfort; people were able to sit and chat, read and relax with plants / foliage used to encapsulate the natural elements of the theme. We are always looking to bring new experiences and interactive elements to a show for visitors.
This year at TISE we shared a space with House Tipster who provide a virtual reality experience for interior room sets; incorporating technological advancements and digital experiences with a hands-on, tactile table of material samples where visitors can physically explore texture and surface. It was a perfect blend of modern practice and tangible education; ultimately in-keeping with our theme.
Content– Our most lengthy process when designing any exhibition space is sourcing and selecting appropriate material samples, swatches and artworks to display on our tactile table in line with future trends. The samples are sourced from different designers and manufacturers from all around the world, we find innovative research materials; some may even be prototypes; to showcase the best and most interesting experiments, pioneering designs and forward-thinking products.
Our aim is to encourage positive discussions, inspire visitors to push creative boundaries and explore alternative, modern and new ways of thinking and working. We provided information of 4 different trend stories in the form of trend boards and colour palettes that are printed and placed around the space.
The selection of material samples then physically brings the trend to life…
The Build– Once the planning stage is over we can then concentrate on the build…
It is important to remember that even the best of plans don’t always go to plan, there might be unpredictable and unexpected complications that will mean thinking of alternative ways of working, on the spot decision making and finding new solutions to unforeseeable problems.
Present– Our final stage of this process is to showcase and open it up to visitors. We spend our time guiding people around the space and giving conversational talks on the details of each trend, engaging the audience through explaining samples and encouraging visitors to explore and investigate the interactive table and trend information provided.
This video gives you an insight into how we designed and curated the TISE Trend Hub exhibition space from start to finish. Take a look...
An inspiring, captivating exhibition stand can transform a company’s fortunes overnight; no matter how long they’ve been doing it. We can help you to achieve this we have an impressive track record in achieving it.