WHAT’S INVOLVED IN OUTFITTING A SPACE? AND HOW DO YOU CURATE A SPACE TO HOST AN EXHIBITION?
Shops, museums, schools, offices, showrooms, headquarters, and meeting rooms: physical places whose purpose is clearly defined, but that can be adapted as needed.
Outfitting a space involves more than simply adorning it with visually appealing objects. It involves imbuing them with a designated purpose and a new identity as needed.
Multimedia set-ups, in general, involve several variables and configuration possibilities. The challenge often lies in camouflaging the technology used to make content pop, through multimedia design solutions that customise and merge hardware and furniture with the surrounding space so that they go unnoticed by visitors.
It is not always possible to ascertain how complex an outfitting project is going to be from first glance.
Outfits normally form part of a larger process that requires time and careful planning. For a project to be visually appealing and functional, several professionals have to work together and compare notes.
Site safety should be a key concern from the outset. It is paramount for every company and collaborator involved in a project to prioritise safety measures. Doing so ensures that all aspects are regulation-compliant for both those working on a project and future visitors.
Although every site is different, it is possible to establish best practices and identify critical organisational elements involving the entire team of architects, project managers, outfitters, designers, and specialised technicians. In addition to designing routes and hardware devices, the latter tend to also oversee the communication system. Various technologies such as totems, lightboxes, immersive projections, videos, sensors, and touch screens are used to create immersive environments. These environments feature specially designed spaces, interactive and virtual installations, innovative insights, and emotional visitor paths that cater to the needs of the audience.
Analysing the process of outfitting a space allows us to identify several general stages:
- The inspection stage, which involves measurement-taking and the identification of any potential issues. Without this stage, obtaining an accurate understanding of the space would not be possible. The design of a multimedia exhibition and its various components must always take into account the relationship between the physical space and its intended audience, including visitors and users.
- The listing of activities, which forms part of an analytical stage in which the necessary work activities and materials needed for the installation are identified. Its purpose is to provide clarity and ensure that all required operations and materials are accounted for. This stage is a key opportunity to detect, minimise, and promptly manage any problems that might arise.
- The preparation of materials and tools, which is a useful step for delving into the work to be done on site. It is often a good idea to perform preliminary tasks such as welding and painting in locations other than the designated installation space. Additionally, performing testing and assembly elsewhere can help ensure that all necessary checks are completed prior to the actual outfitting phase. Logistics also play a key role, and keeping track of shipments, the procurement of materials, storage areas, and how to transport and dispose of items and organise the outfitting team are just some of the aspects that should not be overlooked.
- Last but not least, there’s the team planning stage, which takes into account individual skills. Setting up a multimedia installation involves a diverse group of professionals including craftspeople, outfitters, architects, electricians, computer engineers, and developers.
The success of an installation is dependent on the collaborative efforts of a diverse team, who work together to define rules and guidelines for the intelligent use of space.
Architecture, often referred to as the “art of space”, is responsible for creating harmonious environments for both living and working. The exploration and use of these environments is a stimulating sensory and cognitive experience for visitors. In reality, these locations are more than just functional spaces to carry out expected actions. They embody diverse approaches to experiencing the world, where both symbolic and physical access and hospitality play a key role.