Hannover Messe #HM19
The world’s leading trade show for industrial technology: HANNOVER MESSE
1-5 April 2019, Hannover, Germany
The opening ceremony was with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven
Fun Facts about the Swedish Energy Pavilion
Plus! Prince Carl Philip of Sweden stopped by to see the solutions and innovations of our clients.
Swedish Energy Pavilion Design Concept
Interview with Wulff Entre Designer Pauliina Sairanen
What was the problem the customer was trying to solve with the design?
How to exhibit products of more than 20 companies in an interesting way, integrated into the actual context where those products would be used, while attracting maximum visibility and interest to the stand.
What was the customer’s vision for this project?
The customer had already given thought to what they wanted. They had an idea of a mini-city that would resemble Stockholm, to which all the co-exhibitors products could be implemented. They had envisioned varying rooflines, which could be spotted already from a distance. What they wanted to capture was a “Hey, what’s happening over there!” reaction from the exhibition visitors.
What design aspects did they absolutely have to have?
The customer wanted to have three separate building blocks for different functions, one of which had to be a 2-story structure. Another request was that they have had issues with sound and noise from other stands in previous years disturbing their stage area, where presentations were held. Therefore the stage area needed to be secluded enough.
Who came up with the idea for the city? How did you come up with the solution? What was your process?
The customer had the initial idea of an energy city, with tall, building like elements. Their thought of the changing rooftop lines and my visualisation of the old town of Stockholm were the guiding lines of the design. I immediately had the idea of a slightly naïve or childish design, which would be playful and colourful with a lot of fun things happening, and the customer was immediately on board with it. The challenge, however, was how to design a city-like scene into a tight space of just over 200m2, and how to fit more than 20 companies into that area, so that everyone’s products could be placed in their natural surroundings. The products varied from an idea concept to small components, and all the way to vehicles.
I discussed the design with our construction partner, who encouraged me to just let my imagination run wild, and not to worry too much about the details or challenges governing the building process. This was also a great help knowing that your partners are fully on board supporting us and our clients, which gave me the freedom to concentrate on the creative process. With so many stakeholders involved, the process turned out to be more organic than our usual way of working, but with the customer placing great trust in us and being confident on our ability to deliver a great design, it all worked out for the best.
What was the general reaction of our clients when the idea was pitched?
The customer had second thoughts before I got my first design completed, and they requested to have three different concepts of the design presented to them. This had to be completed under a tight timeframe, but we managed to deliver. In the end, the initial idea was exactly what they were looking for and their reaction to it was that they were thrilled.
What were some of the challenges that you faced?
From a design perspective, we faced two bigger challenges during the project. The first obstacle was that we found out in the middle of the process, that one of the building materials we had planned to use was a no-go. We had to make some changes to the materials and construction, and find a way in which it would not affect the final design. The design and the appearance of the stand remained exactly the same, but to achieve this, additional design work was needed in a relatively short period of time. Luckily the project was initiated early enough, to accommodate the extra time needed.
Integrating the clients’ products that were to be shown as part of the stand was challenging, as there were a number of undecided factors relating to those for a long time, and there were some significant changes during the process. It was quite a puzzle given the relatively small space considering the scale of the project, different requirements for each product in terms of the needs or ideal placement, and the number of items that were to be presented.
How many months did you work on the design?
Overall, the project expanded over seven months’ time for all the different design elements and details included in the project.
What is your favorite detail of the design?
Rather than any particular detail, my favourite part of the design is actually the level of detail, with all the little quirks such as the squirrels or the fox jumping around, cats laying on the windowsills, and the hint of rooftop terraces with barbeques, sunshades and string lights greeting those entering the meeting rooms. It’s all the little extras that are not necessary and may seem meaningless but can make you smile when you notice them, and actually, hugely contribute to the atmosphere and feeling you have at the stand making it memorable. This approach is not for every project, and as an exhibition designer I rarely get to immerse myself into a design so deeply, but it is also the final touch that made it feel complete. And so much fun to work on!
Final thoughts, anything you would have done differently?
It is not often that we see this type of stand designs, especially in B2B exhibitions, so this was quite a unique project and I am very happy to have been part of it. As for the outcome, and based on the customer feedback as well as the visitor’s comments that I have heard, there isn’t anything that should have been done differently.