Mark Tedesco is Creative Director at GES...
While exhibit architecture always plays a supporting role to technology at CES, this year's most exciting spaces went beyond the tech-structure fusion. They created an experience where technology molds the environment through attendee interaction.
Here are the three examples I found most effective when it came to fusing technology and structure:
The shining example of interactive architecture was Intel. As soon as you see the canopy that encases the perimeter, you are transported into a gigantic Petri dish where new life forms are coming to life. Organically shaped kiosks invite you to step up and place your hand on a scanning plate. Almost immediately upon doing so a protoplasmic-looking entity springs to life, rear projected upon the canopy. The life forms you've generated quickly spin on a seemingly random path to interact with other attendees’ life forms. The projected beings eventually faded out to be replaced by the spawn of newly arriving attendees. As a result of attendee engagement, the activity upon the massive canopy was continuously socializing. All of this is of course facilitated by reps explaining the massive amount of computing power being called upon to make such a thing possible. Intel's tagline was "Sponsors of Tomorrow" and the theme of the show was "Connect to Life Experience." This engagement does an excellent job of bringing that theme to “life.”
Motorola used attendee interaction to influence its environment in a lower tech, tactile way. The half circle hanging curtain that enveloped their space was being projected upon with looping content. Attendees entering and exiting the space had to pass through the hanging curtain, creating a disturbance in the network of clear plastic tubing that made up the surface. This resulted in constant rippling waves through the video and lent an organic rhythm to the presentation. More importantly, it created motion and energy to the environment, which physically conveyed two facets of Motorola’s brand.
3. General Show Floor Observations:
On a more technical note, another trend, or rather reversal of trends, is the use of low-resolution LED tiles and curtains for video display. While fairly common in prior years, this technology was hard to find this year. The major players at CES were all about high resolution and clarity of an image. I think the exhibitors are realizing the importance of utilizing display technology that exemplifies their products and services. This conveyed a message appropriate for exhibitors across all industries. Instead there was a lot more HD projection as well as simply utilizing one’s own products (in the case of LCD display manufacturers) in tiled applications.
After spending a day on the show floor I realized that there’s always room to learn and grow my skills. I’m ready for 2012 and to create memorable and new experiences for many clients to come!
Attending EXHIBITOR 2012? Join me and my design team by grabbing your walking shoes for a trek on the Las Vegas Strip. We’ll learn about design parallels that you can use at your next show. Sign up here!