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Exhibit Design is a Journey to Your Destination

by Gwen Parsons 8. November 2012 23:26

Social & Scientific Systems, Inc. (SSS), a longtime client of Nomadic Display Capitol, was asked to develop a 5,000-square-foot space for the Latino Caribbean Diaspora Collaborative (LCDC) in the Global Village of the 2012 International AIDS Conference, which was held in July in Washington, DC. We interviewed Beverly Valdez, Creative Director at SSS, about this remarkable space and the inspiration behind the design.

Gwen: Beverly, what were the goals and requirements for this massive exhibit?

Beverly: The LCDC members wanted to showcase the diverse HIV/AIDS community programs from five geographic regions—the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the United States. They wanted to establish a communal environment for attendees that would offer networking opportunities and cultivate regional cooperation. Panel discussions, speaker presentations, and special performances would take place in the space. The exhibit also would need to support videos and interactive displays.

Gwen: How were you able to blend the diverse stakeholders and activities into a unified setting?

Beverly: The LCDC proposed the theme Bridges Between Neighbors, because it suggested connection, interaction, harmony, unity, and solidarity. Then, early in the planning process, SSS surveyed members of the LCDC to solicit their vision. The design team conceived a visually stimulating space to encourage participation and interaction among diverse groups.

The design concept called for the overall space to be viewed as a community with a central plaza, reminiscent of a town center, surrounded by exhibits that functioned as “neighborhoods” for the regions, which were connected by bridges. The plaza would serve as the epicenter of the installation for sharing educational, social, cultural, and scientific events. The uncluttered atmosphere would be welcoming to visitors, offering informal seating areas such as park benches and colorful groupings of tables and chairs to foster networking.

Then, we worked with Nomadic’s design team to finalize the layout and individual exhibits for the regions to display information about their HIV/AIDS programs.

Gwen: The graphics for the exhibit are so exciting—the imagery, the vivid color palette. Tell us about the design process used by you and your team.

Beverly: The design team created a core graphic concept that would tie the neighborhoods together, yet allow individuality for each of the five geographic regions.

The arc of a bridge, symbolizing connectivity, was blended with images drawn from each region’s natural environment, architecture, people, symbols, icons, costumes, festivals, food, and textiles.

Next, we drew up a vibrant color palette representative of the rich cultures and flavors of the LCDC. Each region was assigned a dominant color scheme.

  • Hot pink embodied the bright spirit of Mexico.
  • Yellow-orange reflected the warmth and traditions characteristic of Central America.
  • Green echoed the environment of South America.
  • Turquoise blues evoked the islands of the Caribbean.
  • Red symbolized the passions and energy of U.S. Hispanic communities.

Gwen: The International AIDS Conference drew 24,000 attendees from more than 180 countries, and more than 8,000 participants visited the LCDC’s exhibit. Congratulations!