Baresque is an Australian supplier of commercial interiors solutions, with a range of fabrics, architectural finishes, furniture, and accessories. They teamed up with Octo to design a booth for trade shows that would stand out amongst others, and NeoCon 2018 was the perfect opportunity to kickstart the project.

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STANDing out

Until then, most of our collaborations with Baresque were for work environments. But for NeoCon, we were asked to push our design as far as we could go : the result was a booth unique both to the company and to the show, where most companies generally fill their stands with their catalogue. As Baresque sells a considerable range of products, we took a more architectural approach to give more presence to the booth. Using the materials and manufacturing techniques of the company, we came up with very unique way of showcasing their range of capabilities without relying on any actual physical product.

We worked with printed panels, laminated panels, cut textured panels and fully pressed molded panels : part of the challenge was to make all these elements look cohesive side by side, but also different enough so that people could recognize them as designs they can order on particular products. The exterior of the booth was backlit, consisting of two complex walls that featured a very intricate internal led lighting.

One in a million

The NeoCon show is held every June in The Mart, a historical Chicago building with nearly 1 million square feet of exhibition space. As a key event for the commercial design industry, it was important that our booth helped Baresque stand out from the crowd while also working within the constraints of the historical building. Low-ceilings, triangular spaces, awkward pillars, and inaccurate floor-plans? Bring it on!

So our main challenge was to keep it to standard space sizes rented in trade shows. But we wanted to a design that could easily be installed and reused in future shows with different configurations. Baresque's request was to work with one of their manufacturers with CNC cutting capabilities in Texas. So a big part of the project was making sure to convey our vision of the booth given the tight timeframe they had for production. Our plan was to design a system where parts keyed together : we were finally able to figure out how to attach the whole structure together with Velcro, which saved a lot of time on install and was greatly received by Baresque.