Towards a New Concept of Ephemeral Space
The title of this book defines the criteria we’ve adopted in the search for and final choice of the projects on display and at the same time indicates the key elements we’ve based our thesis on. All are projects of an ephemeral nature that define spaces for presenting products or communicating a corporate image in. However, they interpret the idea of “space” in a more open way vis-à-vis the discipline of interior design by trying to define new planning concerns. It is odd to note that at first we’d considered a book basically devoted to projects for stands at trade fairs; right now, however, this area, albeit very widespread, isn’t the only, or even the most effective, one for today’s communication needs. Business strategies have changed a great deal over the past twenty years and in some cases the concept of the display stand as a spatial frame work is found wanting.
As we’ve seen in Joan Vinyets’ text, companies have shifted from producing products to constructing a brand-name image for selling more products, more efficiently. Growing competition and social changes have led companies to focus their strategies on the corporate identity or brand-name image. In many instances a certain lifestyle becomes associated with a brand and a great deal of effort and many media are employed to communicate these concepts to potential consumers. The ever-growing importance of a common strategy has meant that in addition to ephemeral spaces, other creative disciplines are drawn upon: advertising, corporate identity, projects for sales outlets and, on a larger scale, architectural projects for corporate buildings.
The ways and means of presenting a product have changed. It is no longer enough to show the product, explain its characteristics, performance qualities and virtues, especially when the consumer can choose between various products with the same characteristics on the same market. From the moment the need a rises among consumers to find the brand-name product which best “represents” their needs, corporate identity takes on a vitally important role. Of course, it is necessary today to create a certain harmony between brand name and consumer, and to define settings capable of communicating aspects of the image that go beyond its technical and functional qualities.
Where as in the past the chief necessity was to teach and inform, now other concepts have gradually come in to play like persuading, captivating and surprising the consumer: in short, communicating a brand name’s virtues. This new situation means that projects must look for novel ways of establishing an affinity with the user. Other forms of encounter and other planning formats, like events, installations, display montages, performances or, in some cases, shows of a theatrical kind are born which transcend the mere sponsoring of an event by a company and manage to contribute to the communication of a message.
Authors : Stefano Colli & Raffaella Perrone
Prologue: Joan Vinyets
Publisher: Gustavo Gili, Barcelona 2003
Download the book: Space-Identity-Company Ephemeral architecture and corporate events