Exhibition space for Cities the Magazine, Brussels , 2009.

In march 2009, we were asked by our friends at “Cities the Magazine” if we could design a small exhibition space for them. They were trying to get accepted into an event held by the European Year of Creativity and needed a proposal for an exhibition space that showed that they meant business.

It was a small space and they didn’t have a lot of money, so we decided that something lo-fi and recyclable would be a good choice, something like cargo pallets.

Cargo pallets are interesting because they exist in a constant flow. Either being trafficked around, to or from the recipients of various merchandise, or stacked in some warehouse. In order for the logistics industry to have quick access to pallets there is always a surplus of them and as they deteriorate they get downgraded through a system of different classes based on their quality, being constantly reused. So if you ask the supplier of pallets nicely, he or she might let you borrow some for free as long as you hand them back unspoiled.
Otherwise they can be bought and sold back at a difference of ca 3 euros / pallet and that still makes them pretty cheap.

These pallets would be used as the basic building block for our space. They can be stacked in lots of different ways, organic or in a more orthogonal fashion and used to create, for example, walls, terraces or seats. We wanted large wall areas for projections and printed images, but also some kind of “lounge” feature as well as the flexibility of a simple table and perhaps some folding chairs.

To the pallets a “skin” of boards is then added. The boards create surfaces for images to be exhibited on and are also a bit easier to walk on than the bare pallets. Painting the surface of the boards makes it stand out from the wood texture of the pallets and painting it white is good for projections.

We also left the outside naked with the pallets exposed since we thought it looked cool and had a nice inverted logic to it: Clothes/clean on the inside naked/dirty on the outside.