2009 AIGA BoNE Show wins awards, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound
Exciting big news here: a project I worked on last year, the 2009 AIGA BoNE Show, has taken home another award! (Shameless self-aggrandizing to follow.)
As the exhibit designer, I worked with BoNE Show co-directors Jeff Stammen and Brandon Bird, to step up and shake up the biennial, Boston-based awards show/exhibit. It was a nearly year-long process to put it together and our goal throughout was to create something engaging and memorable. In the end, the feedback was glowing—everyone who went had the most fun at the show’s opening last June—and we won a couple of design awards to boot.
Award 1: in September, we received an AIGA (Re)design Award for Sustainable Design. (That was sweet.)
Award 2: last week at the 2010 SEGD Conference, we were honored with an SEGD Design Award, in the “Lot With a Little” category. (I freaked out, just a little.)
But, you ask, “what exactly is this BoNE Show?”
The BoNE (Best Of New England [Design]) Show is a biennial design competition, exhibition, and fundraiser to benefit AIGA’s Boston chapter. The 2009 theme was “Community,” and the design team’s goal was to create an exhibition that would celebrate the competition winners and the New England design community as a whole.
While the primary purpose of the exhibition was to showcase the 49 winning design pieces, the design team also wanted it to engage, educate, and help visitors feel more connected to the design community. Thirteen local designers, design firms, and artists were commissioned to build large dimensional letter sculptures that together spelled out “AIGA B(oNE) SHOW.” This became a centerpiece of the exhibition, and the letters were auctioned off at the opening reception.
To push the “Community” theme, the design team created an infographic wall about the AIGA in New England, including chapter sizes, locations, and other basic information. A second infographic wall, called B(oNE) Show Deconstructed, provided a glimpse into the creation of the exhibition, as well as statistics about the designers who entered work in the competition and the designers who won recognition. Another area of the exhibition afforded visitors the opportunity to share their ideas of what it takes to “B” a great designer—by contributing to a wall of B (fill-in-the-blank) speech-bubble directives, some earnest and others humorous.
The team used environment-friendly and local materials. Graphics were printed with UV-curing ink on recycled chlorine-free kraft paper, on a digital press, at a printer located five miles from the gallery, or they were created by hand. Salvaged and found objects such as furniture, twine, and discarded cardboard were incorporated into the exhibit, and the designs integrated mechanical fasteners and non-toxic glues. To illuminate the “greenness” of the project, the team created the Green Lounge, which was painted entirely in green, even the furniture. The Green Lounge also featured a slide show of past award winners to pull together BoNE Shows past and present.
The biggest undertaking for the exhibition was the re-purposing of approximately 50 wooden shipping pallets collected around the Boston area. These were deconstructed into planks, then planed and reconfigured into custom display fixtures—shelves, platforms, and frames—designed to highlight unique elements of each winning entry. This display system tied the exhibition together and provided its signature look.
I’m going to take advantage of my blog/soapbox to also thank the many, many people who volunteered their time and helped put together the show: our event photographer Christian Phillips, our carpenter Mark Laning, Matt White of Dirk+Weiss (A/V), Melissa DePasquale (print design), Rochelle Ask, Colleen Baker, Rachel Boothby, Kimberly Cloutier, Luke Garro, Ben Gebo, Lee Gentry, Justin Hattingh, Andrea Kulish, Joe Liberty, Mike Mai, Cedric Mason, Julie Ogletree, Juliana Press, George Restrepo, Jason Rubin, Shaona Sen, Andrea Shorey, Drew Spieth, Sarah Tenney Stammen, Jason Stevens, Ken Takagi, Mende Williams, and Andrea Worthington.
Thank you also to the AIGA Boston board—especially Suzanne McKenzie and Tracy Swyst—and the most excellent people at CCA, never-endingly supportive as Jeff and I in effect worked a second full-time job (they wrote this lovely news release about us) and our friends and families who had to deal with us in the duration. (This is just like the speech I didn’t make on the awards stage.)
And here it is, our SEGD award:
* Photos 1, 3, 4, and 10 by Christian Phillips