For the sixth edition of Grand Stand, one of the most relevant book series about contemporary design for trade fairs and events, Guido Mamczur, one of the Managing Directors of D’art Design Gruppe, was interviewed. With Ana Martins, author for Amsterdam Frame Publishers, he talked introductory to the second chapter “POINT OUT. Building narratives through spatial design” about Dart’s long-time experience in the world of trade fairs and the construction of effective brand narratives through spatial design.
The first Grand Stand was published in 2003. How has stand design changed over the past 14 years?
Trade fairs define the cutting edge of what is possible in terms of brand experience. Today we are moving closer to a seamless alliance between digital and analogue. If you compare recent stands to projects 14 years ago, we can see that media-technology has evolved from bombastic sensationalism to much more reasonable and useful contributions to brand experience. To put it briefly, ‘digitisation’ has a huge influence on society and therefore on what we do as designers. People, brands and their messages are changing constantly and we are gladly taking an active part in this development.
How can these fleeting spaces make a lasting impact on a brand’s image?
Temporary spaces are free from the shackles of permanent buildings, they can be much more experimental, focused and provide a preview of future developments. In this respect, they are an ideal solution through which to put new strategies or concepts to the test. It’s like learning under realistic conditions. With the input you can improve the concept and turn it into something more permanent.
Engagement and interaction are necessary components of stands, but the focus on creating an experience through which visitors can actively engage with a product, concept, or company have become more and more prevalent. Do you think this trend creates a competitive precedent that will turn it into a requirement across the industry?
How can space and design-focused stands compete? We do not see experience and architecture or design-driven as contradictions or competitors. Interaction aims to create dialogue and empathy, whereas a spatial-focus often leads to a more contemplative exhibit. Both should be seen as different, but equally valuable, ways of addressing people.
Large spatial volume, striking materials or impressive media installations are actually quite often found at the top of communication hierarchies, accentuated by interactive subsections. We think that the challenge rather lies in the smart combination of these two dimensions. It is imperative to create a seamless, fluent and meaningful communication between the two.