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How to bring biophilic design into trade shows

in biophilic how to

Trade shows are occasions to find inspiration and get an in-person experience of products and materials. Besides, they are moments for the design community to get together and exchange ideas.

This episode of Biophilic How To looks into the design of trade shows from a biophilic perspective, combining atmospheres, design choices, and the experience of space in a nourishing outcome…

rich environments

Trade shows usually take place in indoor pavilions; wide empty boxes gifted with little natural light and filled with booths arranged in straight lines for convenience.

A more intriguing, less overwhelming, and overall more enjoyable experience would come from richer and more varied layouts. Environments where windows welcome natural light and fresh air deep inside the pavilions, tactile features, organic shapes and sensory elements enrich the experience, water features zone the space and mitigate noise, and the exhibition extends outdoors in a fluid indoor-outdoor layout.

Booth with water jets and lush vegetation.
Credit: Antonio Lupi
Big vase with plants and water.
Credit: Opiary
Textured wall with integrated vegetation.
Credit: Opiary

explorative experiences

Visiting a design trade show is an exploration that design can encourage through space. Booths arranged along thematic and organic-shaped routes, intriguing elements of mystery to stimulate curiosity, prospect views to make the space easier to navigate, apparent risk features to surprise the mind and break the flow of a long visit… these are all elements that shape a compelling explorative experience.

Trade shows are also social experiences. From a design perspective, this calls for a balanced alternation of open areas that encourage interaction and shielded spaces to welcome introspective activities such as private conversations, focus work, and quiet time.

Indoor booth recreating an outdoor space.
Credit: Kettal – Ph: Matteo Astolfi
Design exhibition with furniture peeking through plants.
Credit: Studiopepe – Ph: anooi studio

blending with nature

Visiting trade shows is often a traveling experience, hence an occasion to discover the place as much as the products.

Moving exhibitions outdoors and blending them with the natural surroundings immerses visitors in authentic landscapes, exposes them to the richness of nature, and connects them to nature’s cycles. A place-specific experience that nurtures curiosity and appreciation of natural and cultural specificities.

Pendant lamps hanging from a tree.
Credit: Tom Raffield
Outdoor trade show booth with furniture merging with the landscape.
Credit: Tom Raffield

As a whole, trade shows are experiences, moments to broaden one’s horizons through design inspiration, enriching encounters, and local discoveries – all aspects that a nourishing design can encourage and support.

Biophilic design resources by anooi:
A Biophilic YearApplying Biophilic DesignVisual Library of Biophilic Design