INDEX Dubai 2023 returns with renewed fervour – a larger venue, more exhibits, more participating countries and even more scintillating talks. All those who visited on day one in fancy footwear were seen adorning cushioned shoes to avoid aching limbs on day two. Exhibit after exhibit, INDEX Dubai 2023 bestowed the latest products and services upon wide-eyed visitors.
Frequently, onlookers at INDEX and Workspace 2023 would stand back to capture images and sate their curiosity by talking to exhibitors about the showcased products or services. As team Love That Design went through the venue, we began taking notes on what makes the design of an exhibit a hit. Here are five that stood out…
An infallible way to attract visitors at an event as bustling as INDEX Dubai 2023 is standing out. Positioned as a mini-showroom, the World of Art exhibit strikes the correct balance between mysterious and a ‘show, don’t tell’ concept. A fluid grey mass with ameboid-shaped windows piqued curiosity, granting a peak of the vivacious art pieces inside. Avant-garde art like spiky cacti, wall art made of beads, modern chairs and burnished wall finishes educated visitors about the company’s capabilities at first glance.
For those interested in diving in deeper, brochures, pamphlets and samples telling the full range of World of Art’s offerings populated shelves within the booth. The quality of hospitality at the booth was note-worthy too. Uniformed professionals within the booth informed visitors about ‘World of Art’ – a leading interior contracting company specialising in curating customised artistic spaces for commercial and residential projects. Another floor overhead posed as a discussion area sporting World of Art’s ultra-modern furniture. The mezzanine set-up, away from the teeming below, was perfect for business dialogues and intimate conversations.
Steel is an irreplaceable material in the world of building construction, but its use to bedeck interiors is not nearly as popular. Sturdy, malleable and ductile – steel was used by the team at Hidayath to demonstrate the lustrous material’s inherent ability to derive luxe spaces. A steel sheet textured to duplicate a waterfall served as a backdrop to wings made of PVD-finished feathers in golden, copper and silver tones. “PVD, i.e., Physical Vapour Deposition ensures the tonality of the shades doesn’t fade away,” said Mohammed Mehraz, Sales Executive at Hidayath.
To add to the allure, a reindeer sculpture and a tree framing the entryway contributed to the glossy affair. An impressive number of passersby stood and stared, and a large portion of them didn’t hesitate to pose in front of the wings for a picture. The overall ‘Instagrammable’ vibe was a lucrative bait to ‘hit the iron when it’s hot’ and forge conversations to get onlookers interested and talking about the products. Hidayath is a company that manufactures steel sheets and products in the UAE. Their portfolio also encompasses embossed sheets, intricate handrails, glass door fittings and much more.
Designed like a chic, contemporary cafe, Ideal Fit-out’s stand in no way or form hints that it is a sister company to Ideal Firestop – an established fire-rated and acoustic door manufacturer in Ajman. The set-up had all the aspects of a cosy but charming coffee spot – tiled walls, neon signage and even a coherent conceptual scheme. Team Ideal Fit-out was inspired by the Bodhi tree for their booth at INDEX 2023. The tree in question gets its name from Gautam Buddha – the king-turned-hermit who denounced worldly fortune to attain Moksha (enlightenment). The religious leader is said to have attained Moksha under the shades of a sprawling Peepal tree, which is why it is also popularised as the Bodhi tree.
The team at Ideal Fit-out used GRP (glass reclaimed plastic) to recreate the trunk. While the top of the tree merged with the white, concentric forms of the ceiling feature – perhaps denoting purity and spiritual energy with white – the base of the tree was encircled by a platform for seating, which is, yet again, imagined as the place Gautam Buddha sat for his meditation prior to being awakened. Ideal Fit-out’s exhibit provided a productive context to break the ice. Tired wayfarers stumbled upon the stand and wondered if they really had come across a coffee booth. The stand displayed the – design and fit-out – capabilities of the exhibitors, marking themselves as a ’boutique’ booth at INDEX 2023.
The design field coalesces practicality and philosophy, where it is easy to be carried away by the latter. When dealing with workplace designs, architects and designers usually work on cracking a brief along with the management leaders. A designer’s ultimate aim is to deliver a space that works best for the users’ functions and well-being. Through rigorous training, designers sensitise themselves to a user’s needs; they divulge into studies and research papers and attempt to transform theoretical knowledge into practical application. The efforts are commendable, but the truth remains that each project is unique, and every business has its characteristics. Does liaising with the management suffice in such a case?
No matter how brilliant and hawk-eyed the leaders are, do they have foolproof data to draw the correct requirements for optimised spatial planning? Different heads of departments could perceive hurdles in varied ways resulting in a ‘one dish party’ approach to formulating a brief. One could suggest adding larger desks for better clutter management; another could demand another meeting room, which might add to a counter-intuitive requirements sheet. Data-driven insights and reports on the usage of a space could be a massive turning point in delivering an ideal office to both employees and employers. If that happens, probability will turn to predictability; conclusions will not be drawn on perceptions but on solid evidence and a thorough analysis of pain points. This is precisely where 1Platform enters.
1Platform is a one-stop digitised platform that integrates systems such as resource management, employee management, building management and more to provide succinct insights and reports on the usage and optimisation of space. From conserving energy by employing motion sensors to gauge employee density and accordingly adjust temperatures and light to generating an annual or quarterly report on the usage of spaces and energy to help management better communicate the needs with the designers, 1Platform can have design solutions go from ‘should work’ to ‘will work.’
George Simon, CEO of 1Platform, was forth-coming in explaining and assisting visitors in realising how technology and AI could be leveraged to a future of better-designed spaces at 1Platform’s booth at INDEX 2023. Live mock-ups and interactions with professionals at the booth simplified understanding of the system’s complexities and aided in recognition of adapting to technological strides as a pressing priority.
Art and eccentric lighting shared space with executive office pieces and storage modules at Codutti’s exhibit. The Italian furniture brand, reflected the current fusion of hospitality aesthetics with office spaces. The most intriguing was the mobile collaborative set up. The table on wheels is sleek and light-weight, and hence can be easily rolled in and out of spaces. The need of the hour is solutions like this – agile, teamwork-focused and quick to adapt. Codutti’s stand showcased that solving complex hurdles need not translate into complicated designs.
Participating in an event goes beyond the mere act of displaying products; it involves presenting them in a manner that not only captures attention but also cultivates valuable industry connections. The curation of an exhibit serves as a platform for visitors to gauge the creative prowess of a service provider, and it is often perceived that the quality of an exhibit reflects the calibre of services offered by a potential collaborator. In many respects, at an event like INDEX Dubai 2023, the saying’ first impression is the last impression’ holds true, and so does the adage ‘As you sow, so shall you reap!’
Also, stay tuned for more INDEX Dubai 2023 news featuring our favourite products!