If a product is abundantly useful and just a tad unusual, it probably bears the simple red-tab logo of Kikkerland Design Inc. So it's apropos that the company's exhibit at the 2016 International Contemporary Furniture Fair embodied that quirky flair, yet never strayed far from the simplicity and functionality for which Kikkerland is known. To reinforce its partnership with The Container Store Inc., Kikkerland and its exhibit-design firm, New York-based FormNation LLC, built the 10-by-20-foot structure almost entirely from The Container Store's clear plastic storage bins. Two counters, each 100 inches long, 27 inches deep, and 42 inches high, flanked the aisles of the island exhibit, while a third counter was nestled into one corner of the booth, and an adjacent 110-inch-tall L-shaped tower anchored the space.
Stacking the Booth
Instead of rigging its storage-container exhibitry together with tape or wire, Kikkerland Design Inc. simply stacked the crates upon each other to create various counters and towers within the booth. Lighting in the bottom of each element emanated through the transparent containers, making each structure seem to glow from within.
Kikkerland didn't leave the hollow insides of the transparent containers as empty space, however. Designers suspended pieces of expanded polystyrene foam coated with latex inside some of the boxes. Resembling navy and sky-blue gears, the elements appeared to cartwheel within each of the three counters. And the image of a red lightbulb with rays reaching upward graced the central column. Exhibit Design Awards judges praised those unique aesthetic elements. "The success of this design comes from the visual interest and intrigue created by the details within the storage containers," one judge said.
Those details did more than just add a little whimsy to the pint-sized space; they also helped brand the booth and communicate Kikkerland's key message in one fell swoop. "We wanted to convey in a single glance what the booth was all about – in this case the collaboration with The Container Store," said Jan Habraken, founder and lead designer at FormNation. And that's an idea that's as smart as it is simplistic.E