Best Green Exhibit

At MOD '11, an annual event celebrating the best in lightweight, modular, and sustainable exhibit design, Transformit won "Best Green Exhibit" for the 60' x 100' exhibit that we designed and built for The North Face.  The award ceremony was attended by over 300 industry professionals, who participated in the selection, along with judges, Derek Gentile of EEI Global, Russ Fowler of Derse, and Gino Pellegrini of Inter-Global Exhibits. 

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In July 2010, The North Face art director, Caleb Brown, approached Transformit to help design their new exhibit for Outdoor Retailer, a twice-yearly industry show in Salt Lake City, UT.  For years, The North Face had exhibited privately, in meeting rooms away from the main show floor. New management wanted to rejoin the activity on the show floor, and to invite the entire show audience to experience The North Face.

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1) Creative Brief

Caleb expressed that their intent was to assert The North Face's leadership position in both technical innovation and sustainability, deliver an exciting brand experience to visitors, and display six groups of products in areas clearly delineated by activity: Outdoor, Performance, Action Sports, Youth, Equipment, and Footwear. Perfection in execution was expected in the product display.

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2) Design Process

To begin the design process, Caleb came to Transformit to develop the design with our team: Tom Newhall and Tom Chabot, Senior Desigers, supported by owner Cindy Thompson and vice president of marketing, Matt Rawdon.  Caleb's presence allowed us to sit down together to quickly test, reject, and modify many ideas.

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3) Core Design Ideas

From our initial wide-ranging conversations emerged three core ideas:  1) the exhibit was to express the company's deep roots in outdoor equipment, specifically The North Face's iconic dome tents;  2) the design was to be proportioned after the ancient Greek "golden section" or "golden ratio" and; 3) it was to demonstrateThe North Face's commitment to environmental stewardship.
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Rendering: Tom Newhall

4) Key Physical Elements

The exhibit was centered around the circular Summit Bar, shaped to resemble the logo of the Summit Series of high-end products.  Intended as the central meeting point for visitors, the bar sat in the opening of the Half Dome theater, where live presentations were made, and amazing videos of sponsored athletes were shown in a controlled environment.
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Photo: Padgett & Company

Spiraling away from the theater and bar were product display areas, each area being defined by a 14' tall "cairn" (the term for trail markers made from pile of rocks), an appropriately dressed mannequin, and associated product displays.  In each product area, a video monitor and a digital projector showed motion graphics and video related to that area.

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In one corner of the exhibit space were four private meeting rooms named after famous mountain ranges.  Overhead, following the spiral arrangement of the floor plan, were suspended circular clouds, onto which lighting was projected from below.  Three sides along the perimeter of the exhibit space were flanked by very large tent-like shapes in The North Face's signature yellow-orange color.

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