Design trends come and go. Some stay and become timeless classics – others
become nostalgic talking points where we all try to point the finger at the
culprit who came up with idea (the mullet, anyone?)
Architectural design trends tend to be based on the state of the world at
the time they are created – living in Sheffield [England], I see lots of
post-war concrete tower blocks that were created for quick, cheap housing
after the war, for example. Today, post economic meltdown, we have a new
appreciation for fix, replace and reuse. Old barns are becoming homes and
shops, old factories are being transformed and repurposed into apartments,
reclaimed railway sleepers make great shelves, and so on. These specific
examples are what we refer to as “Industrial Design” or “Industrial Chic”.
How can you use industrial design in events?
Current design trends are getting much faster at permeating events.
Equally, exhibition and event visitors want to see cool and trendy designs
on the stands they visit. So, as an exhibitor, how can you add some
industrial design to your stand or booth?
For a start, let’s look at the basic elements of industrial design. Exposed
structural elements make up the bulk of the look – the most striking
features are exposed girders, brickwork and wooden frames. You also have
natural wood floors and reclaimed wood (like old doors, workstations and
shelves), plus old railway/coach style copper hanging lamps and accent
features like ornamental gears.
Below are a couple of examples of how you can integrate the style. It
doesn’t matter if you have a space only or a fully-designed booth, this
style is very easy to scale up or down to get the look you want.
But what if you’re organising an event?
There’s nothing stopping you choosing an alternative event venue. Just take
a look at Digbeth Dining Club;
every weekend a group of independent food trailers offer a trendy eating
experience right in the middle of Birmingham’s Victorian industrial
district. They don’t actually hire out the inside of a venue, instead using
the surrounding buildings to create the industrial setting.
And there’s equal opportunity in traditional event venues too. The
Roundhouse and Olympia London have a Victorian industrial feel, and feature
areas can be styled to achieve the look as well. Check out this example we
built at Ecobuild:
As you can see, what’s old is new again. How will you incorporate the
Industrial Design trend into your next event? If you need some fresh ideas,
download the new
GES Trend Tracker