THE DESIGN ANNUAL

Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram were invited by MESSE FRANKFURT to develop the exhibition architecture for the inaugural edition of THE DESIGN ANNUAL. This new event format, dedicated solely to high-end international design, debuted in May 2006 with 80 exhibitors chosen by an elite jury. This select cross-section of protagonists from the international design world was presented in the Festhalle at MESSE FRANKFURT, the “Grande Dame” of exhibition buildings, along with a series of special exhibitions and events.

THE DESIGN ANNUAL

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Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram were invited by MESSE FRANKFURT to develop the exhibition architecture for the inaugural edition of THE DESIGN ANNUAL. This new event format, dedicated solely to high-end international design, debuted in May 2006 with 80 exhibitors chosen by an elite jury. This select cross-section of protagonists from the international design world was presented in the Festhalle at MESSE FRANKFURT, the “Grande Dame” of exhibition buildings, along with a series of special exhibitions and events.

Questioning existing trade fair models, Kram and Weisshaar implemented a series of interventions to redefine the face of the trade fair for the 21st century: the designers proposed to reintroduce the “urban” as a lead theme, calling for the creation of continuous change and maximum diversity. THE DESIGN ANNUAL 2006 makes use of urban space as a metaphor, as the product of density and concentration, as the physical meeting point in a globalized online world, as the collecting point of cultures and subcultures. The metropolis is conceived as traffic node, as an ongoing construction site, and the garden of change and renewal.

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Questioning existing trade fair models, Kram and Weisshaar implemented a series of interventions to redefine the face of the trade fair for the 21st century: the designers proposed to reintroduce the “urban” as a lead theme, calling for the creation of continuous change and maximum diversity. THE DESIGN ANNUAL 2006 makes use of urban space as a metaphor, as the product of density and concentration, as the physical meeting point in a globalized online world, as the collecting point of cultures and subcultures. The metropolis is conceived as traffic node, as an ongoing construction site, and the garden of change and renewal.

The resulting exhibition architecture designed by Weisshaar and Kram was reminiscent of a large city dissected and reconfigured replete with alleys, boulevards and plazas. The irregularly shaped plan escalated differentiation between exhibitors and acted as a physical translation of a script, transforming urban conditions into a spatial experience. Two imposing staircases, designed specifically for the event allowed for the use of all levels of the historic Festhalle. The exhibitors’ stands were defined by diverse wall forms defining threedimensional zoning envelopes. Compact stand areas encouraged companies to focus on their core message while the walls supplied minimized the need for construction by the exhibitors shifting the focus towards communication.

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The resulting exhibition architecture designed by Weisshaar and Kram was reminiscent of a large city dissected and reconfigured replete with alleys, boulevards and plazas. The irregularly shaped plan escalated differentiation between exhibitors and acted as a physical translation of a script, transforming urban conditions into a spatial experience. Two imposing staircases, designed specifically for the event allowed for the use of all levels of the historic Festhalle. The exhibitors’ stands were defined by diverse wall forms defining threedimensional zoning envelopes. Compact stand areas encouraged companies to focus on their core message while the walls supplied minimized the need for construction by the exhibitors shifting the focus towards communication.

The media design for the event introduced a series of physical and digital channels. THE DESIGN ANNUAL 2006 environment became a theater for physical broadcast: vertical stands acted as large static canvases for promotion and aura, small varied LCD “Stop Sign Displays” distributed media throughout the event, and large cinema projections revealed an ever-changing flow of products, brands, designers, and custom-made content.

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The media design for the event introduced a series of physical and digital channels. THE DESIGN ANNUAL 2006 environment became a theater for physical broadcast: vertical stands acted as large static canvases for promotion and aura, small varied LCD “Stop Sign Displays” distributed media throughout the event, and large cinema projections revealed an ever-changing flow of products, brands, designers, and custom-made content.

The accompanying program featuring projects by respected designers, architects and artists such as Bazon Brock, Konstantin Grcic, Toyo Ito, Ingo Maurer, Khashayar Naimanan and Ole Scheeren, add to the complex vision of reconfigured urbanity proposed by Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram.

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The accompanying program featuring projects by respected designers, architects and artists such as Bazon Brock, Konstantin Grcic, Toyo Ito, Ingo Maurer, Khashayar Naimanan and Ole Scheeren, add to the complex vision of reconfigured urbanity proposed by Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram.