Beautiful, Sufficient, Sustainable!

An investigation on lightweight and low-impact transitory exhibition spaces best designs
Text by Federica Lusiardi - Inexhibit

sustainable booths cover

Beautiful, Sufficient, Sustainable An investigation on the best designs for lightweight and low-impact transitory exhibition spaces. By Federica Lusiardi, Inexhibit

This small archive is focused on a theme which is widely popular but at the same time often considered a minor one in architecture, namely the design of ephemeral exhibition spaces. The definition of ephemeral exhibition spaces is often associated to trade-fair booths, therefore to projects that, on a reduced floor area, are intended to present a commercial product or a brand; nevertheless, transitory spaces are also created for a variety of short-term events where objects, documents or artworks are displayed. The common denominator of all those cases is time; all the exhibition spaces we are investigating, regardless from being commercial, artistic or educational, last for a very short time, typically from few days to a couple of weeks.

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Time is a fundamental variable when speaking of a project sustainability; whenever architects or  designers conceive an object or a building, they are aware that their deed will have an impact on the environment; nevertheless although everybody agrees that a biscuit wrapping or a detergent packaging should utilize as little material as possible, the same approach is not widely adopted for the design of temporary exhibition spaces.

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For example, trade fair stands rarely lasts more than a week yet implies a complex building procedure, which requires specialized workmen, transportation means and a vast set of elements which need to be transported, assembled, disassembled, carried back and eventually conferred to a waste treatment facility. Sometimes it is possible to recycle the materials used, but with an appreciable amount of energy often required for the treatment process. Obviously, a designer must also cope with many different priorities; the client will presumably require a visually appealing project, capable to capture the attention of the public and disseminate the brand’s image, as well as a stand suitable for an effective exposition of his commercial products, if any; these are all essential constraints but it is now also necessary to accord them with a new sensibility. This is a fascinating challenge: how we can envisage spaces that can be realized with little matter, few materials, perhaps only one, designed so to adopt re-usable elements, like vegetation, or primarily made of recycled materials or re-used parts, or again constituted of a reduced number of small elements that can be compacted and transported in a small volume? These are only some of the most immediate hints that could come to a designer’s mind.

This archive is aimed to be a constantly expanding collection of ephemeral exhibition projects that share, as common traits, a limited lifetime, a consistent dose of creativity and strong attention to sustainability. What matters to us is to find out always fresh pieces to add to our puzzle, we are then looking for transitory designs that are clearly Beautiful, Sufficient and Sustainable.

Beautiful, Sufficient, Sustainable Archive for lightweight and low-impact transitory exhibition spaces

low impact exhibition-hello link

Go to: Case study 01 – Hello pavilion / Gert Wingårdh + Kustaa Saksi

  low impact exhibition-elica link

Go to: Case study 02– Elica pavilion / StARTT architects

  low impact exhibition-molo link

Go to: Case study 03 – softwall+softblock modular system / Molo design ltd

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Go to: Case study 4 – Installations at the Brandery / External Reference Architects

low impact exhibition-bambooth

Go to: Case study 5 – Bambooth 2012 / Vo Trong Nghia Architects

urban catwalk-external reference-low impact exhibitions

Go to case study 6Catwalk for Modafad / External Reference Architects



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