Design Studio SS 05



The visual presentation of a university within the framework of the career and study information fair is becoming more and more important every year. There is the idea that the existing actual state can be subjected to a substantial improvement. The current character of the fair stand is interchangeable and not specifically tailored to the University of Salzburg. How should and can one attract attention in a rather homogeneous stand mass? Does the consultant alone have to serve as an eye-catcher?
Basically it has to be stated that the available budget is limited. Nevertheless, relatively high rental costs have to be covered. The question therefore arises as to whether a solution owned by the university would not “pay off” in the longer term. Not excluded from the program of the “major” design exercise is the practical examination of existing trade fair conditions, such as keeping escape routes clear, screw bans, fire resistance, etc.


Required is, on the one hand, a full-scale plan representation of the project and a partial model on a scale of 1:20, which provides information about the spatial design aspects. The 4-hour design exercise relates to the development of a presentation unit. The 8-hour exercise also requires the development of a stand of up to 60 m2.


The process of finding ideas started with a research concerning the appearance and the general presentation of the University of Salzburg. The image, which is carried to the outside in the sense of a corporate identity, should finally experience a comprehensible translation into one or the other building structure to be developed. At the same time, it must remain the objective to develop a conceivably large variety with regard to the projects. Without a doubt, it is advantageous to view the translation process in terms of a more or less free interpretation process, since only in this way can the necessary openness with regard to possible design characteristics be guaranteed. In view of the designs that were ultimately developed, it becomes clear what kind of symbolism even a relatively small-scale design object, such as that of an exhibition information stand, is capable of developing. Despite the same question, the proposals always take on an individual idea and implement it thematically in a spectrum that can be classified as ranging from simple craftsmanship to technically sophisticated. In the course of the design development, common patterns of behavior in and around the trade fair are questioned, and the activity of exchanging information is contrasted with a series of modes of action that have hitherto hardly been considered. The posture as well as the spatial positioning between consultant and visitor, up to the choice of the equipment materials is extended by a multiplicity of new design parameters. Thus, meeting areas sometimes seem to move into position in front of the viewer in a kind of suspended equilibrium, then again the entire stand unit seems to develop out of the floor space. Equally surprising, information is plucked from abstracted plant formations, or read off space-forming walls. Whether it is a red ribbon or a dynamic spatial sculpture, again and again speaking, consulting and communicating around or along an object experiences a new level of meaning and becomes a creative act. Going beyond this, sometimes the construction of the object is stylized into an event. In any case, the projected designs arouse the viewer’s curiosity and evoke a form of openness that is necessarily required in order to successfully convey content and information.The developed design proposals thus go beyond the function of pure eye-catchers and take on the role of expansive “generators”. Those that are able to demand a certain behavior from the viewer or at least to put him in a specific mood in order to be able to participate actively in the undertaking “consultation”.