The scale of the PEX can only truly be experienced through a visit to the site. With characteristics and logic of a future city, the infrastructure is lined with a main street, plazas, and communal squares that are fitting for both work and entertainment. The commanding spaces are like cities within cities, where exhibitions are transformed into their own districts.
With an infrastructure that is designed to support car, plane and foot, we began by outlining the platforms by which users would engage with the space. This allowed us to determine and define each interaction through scale, flow and function, further establishing our graphic approach and signage material selection.
“Modularity everywhere” was the motto. The halls can be configured in an array of sizes, so we developed monolithic numbers that, like giant pawns, can be moved with a forklift from one place to another. Though highly visual and functional in approach, the signage preserves a natural and inclusive playfulness.
It was essential that the signage material was easy to manipulate and able to display a constant stream of content in ‘real-time’, and withstand the light of day. Matching our grand ambitions, the solution was an inspired LED double-sided interlocking screen system. This system informed our approach and provided a solution that was adaptable to various wayfinding; displaying both content or information.
The signage clicks into place both horizontally and vertically, and may be assembled in myriad ways to function as a single screen. These screens are updatable from a simple smartphone.
Interesting side note: the origin of the modular signage is highways!
One of our objectives was to help OMA preserve the monumental architecture. Aerial “floating signage” became a principle which allowed us to highlight the expansiveness of the buildings. The idea for the floating signage was inspired by the title sequence from the David Fincher film, Panic Room.
Maintaining graphic design neutrality and universality is key so as not to compete with the aesthetics of any exhibition.
With the signage, we created a dialogue between “permanent vs temporary” information. Invisible within the walls, giant LED surfaces allow the building to fully transform itself into live communication. Play a movie in broad daylight, brand a hall, rename the entire space. It allows the user for the spaces to be whatever he or she wants it to be.