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TFI - Trade Fairs International - The International Trade Fair Magazine

TFI Practice

EXHIBITION STAND CONSTRUCTION SUPPLIERS

Offering almost total design freedom

Photo: Mezzo Systems
What caught the visitor's eye most of all at the Cochlear stand was the undulating back wall.
Exhibition construction systems follow design trends – and sometimes set them. Their manufacturers are constantly playing with new design ideas.
Elegant, flexible and versatile: it is attributes like these that have enabled Mezzo Systems, a Denkendorf-based company, to conquer the trade fair world. The company’s aluminium systems are known for being among the slimmest structural frameworks on the market. “The slimmer the systems are, the more variable they are,” says Mezzo Managing Director Olaf Krobitzsch, outlining his approach. “Mezzo system components can all be combined freely with each other to create new, custom solutions.” The following examples show how different one Mezzo stand can be from another. For the exhibitors CSL Behring and Dexion, Mezzo created rounded stand walls and columns with large filling elements. Unusually, the structure itself was not completely concealed behind screening or fabric; instead, it was clearly visible. “The slim elements contributed to the elegant look,” remarks Krobitzsch.  

The skeleton of the structure was also visible at the stand Mezzo created for Cochlear. Here, however, the eyes of the visitors were drawn, above all, to a wave-like rear wall. “It has the appearance of very expensive stand architecture, but in fact it was implemented quickly and cost-effectively,” says Krobitzsch. The exhibitor rbr Messtechnik at Aquatherm 2012 in Vienna also exploited the benefits of the modular system. Mezzo components were used to create illuminated columns and cubes covered with fabrics. There seem to be no limits to the design options available. But is there a risk of being spoilt for choice? “No. If our customers request it, we accompany them throughout the planning phase – from the initial advice stage to 3D design rendering and prototype construction,” asserts Krobitzsch, adding: “Our services also include storage, transport and inventory management” (www.mezzo-systems.de).    
Photo: Milos Concepts
Competition for the designers of tomorrow (f.t.r.): Klaus Marek, Michael Daubner, Stephan Deiniger (student) and Frantisek Zykan (Milos Czech Republic).
Sign-Ware is specialises in systems that attract attention without being seen. Its D ado Skywall rails are extremely slim and elegant . They make it possible to create artful cubes or cylinders that do not reveal their underlying system structure. It is now possible to bend the 30 millimetre Dado Skywall 3 rail in three ways: the rubber-lipped channels can be arranged lying flat, upright or at 45 degrees. Prints or fabrics, for example, can be held between them . “The Skywall 3 rails can, of course, also be combined with the thicker 60- and 80-millimetre rails,” explains Sign-Ware Marketing Director Simon Engels. “The result is almost complete freedom in terms of design,” as Engels points out.  

One structure at the stand of industry association ITRS at R+T in Stuttgart, the world’s leading trade fair for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun protection systems, was notable for its striking freedom of form. The fabric-covered object at the stand, which extended to almost four metres in height, was reminiscent of a hot-air balloon. “Illuminated from the inside, it became the stand’s highlight,” explains Simon Engels. Another Sign-Ware innovation complements the large freestanding FitFrame Duo 50 display: a cantilever arm that can be fitted to the foot of the stand to maximise its stability. “Displays over two metres high can be created with FitFrame,” explains the Sign-Ware-Marketing Director, adding: “The new cantilever arm reduces the inevitable swaying to a minimum.” Sign-Ware intends to present new products like this at a stand at the Viscom trade fair for visual communication at the end of October 2012 (www.sign-ware.de).
Photo: Sign-Ware
ITRS at R+T: The almost four metre high fabric-covered object looked a bit like a hot-air balloon.
Designers of tomorrow create systems. This was the idea Milos Concepts GmbH hope to plan in the minds of design students when it urged them to take part in a design competition. Milos Concepts, a subsidiary of Czech manufacturing company Milos Structural Systems (www.milosgroup.com), is constantly developing new modular system solutions. The company aimed its design competition for modular system-based temporary structures at students at the design school Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd in the winter semester of 2011/2012. Milos Concepts Managing Director Michael Daubner managed the project together with Klaus Marek, a lecturer at the design school. “The idea was for young designers in their third semester to develop new concepts that offer functional space using modular, system-based approach.” explains Daubner: “The challenge was to break with existing structures and either rethink or replace them.”  

The entries presented by the students at Roudnice in the Czech Republic far exceeded the expectations of the professionals. “The ideas ranged from spacious structures to the smallest units, which can be combined to create larger structures,” says Daubner. One of the entries, entitled Milos Air, is a modular, inflatable pavilion that can be extended indefinitely and set up by only two people. Two students came up with a self-stabilising structure, Flexible Knot, consisting of triangular elements with nodes that offer 18 different options for connection. Another system, Meta, allows enclosed spaces, walls or furniture to be created from square panels, screw connections and edges alone. “These are just a few examples of the many spatial and technical approaches taken in the project,” enthuses Michael Daubner. “Temporary architecture is in a constant state of flux. And here we were presented with numerous new ways in which we can offer design freedom” (www.milosconcepts.de).

Jens Kügler

This article was published in TFI issue 3-4/2012