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how to bring biophilic design into trade shows

in biophilic how to

Walking around a design trade show is a moment to find inspiration and get an in-person experience of products and materials. Not less important, trade shows are also occasions for the design community to get together, moments to meet and exchange.

A biophilic approach to trade show design can make these occasions more intriguing, less overwhelming, and overall more enjoyable. Let’s explore…

trade show layout

Trade shows are usually located in indoor pavilions. Often gifted with little natural light, these pavilions are essentially huge empty boxes that get filled with countless booths, normally positioned in straight lines for convenience.

What if…trade shows were organized as indoor-outdoor spaces with a part of the exhibition happening outdoors, windows allowed natural light and fresh air deep inside the pavilions, and booths were positioned according to thematic and organic-shaped pathways? Organic forms and outdoor areas would make walking around more enjoyable and compelling, natural light would make the experience a lot more pleasant, and thematic routes would make the visit more cohesive (and efficient).

Outdoor trade show booth with furniture merging with the landscape.
Credit: Tom Raffield
Trade show booth incorporating organic shapes.
Credit: Opiary

the experience

Walking around a design trade show and inside individual booths is a discovery, a quest for inspiration. Going in the same direction, elements of mystery in the design could accentuate the exploration side of the visit while prospect views would make the space easier to navigate, giving clues about where to go next. Apparent risk features could also find their place in a trade show, adding elements of surprise that stimulate the mind and break the flow of a long visit.

Trade shows are also meant to be social experiences; an aspect that could translate into the space with open and welcoming areas to encourage interaction and exchange.
Last but certainly not least, shielded refuge areas could serve a number of uses in a trade show. They could be a payoff after a mysterious exploration, host quiet conversations, provide silent workstations, or offer the chance of a recharging break.

From a material perspective, a biophilic trade show would feature plenty of natural materials, tactile elements and organic shapes, making the space rich, welcoming and stimulating.

Indoor booth with lush and organic plantings.
Credit: Studio Pepe
Faucets showcased over moss.
Credit: Porcelanosa – Ph: Greenarea
Trade show booth recreating an outdoor space.
Credit: Kettal – Ph: Matteo Astolfi
Seating area with a lush planted backdrop.
Credit: Ginger & Jagger
Big vase with plants and water.
Credit: Opiary
Booth with water jets and lush plantings.
Credit: Antonio Lupi

blending with nature

Moving one step forward, trade shows could become part of real and authentic landscapes, turning the visit into a multi-sensory experience punctuated by the richness of nature and connected to nature’s cycles.

Taking advantage of existing natural environments, creating them with planted areas and landscaping, introducing water features to zone areas and mitigate the noise…these are all examples of how a trade show could blur the lines between man-designed and natural spaces, crafting a biophilic experience.

Pendant lamps hanging from a tree.
Credit: Tom Raffield

Overall, a biophilic design can bring the experience aspect to the foreground, highlighting the role of trade shows as inspiring and social experiences, moments to broaden one’s horizons through design inspiration and enriching encounters – all without disconnecting from the natural world.

Find more biophilic trade show design inspiration in anooi visual library

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