See the Real Treasures / Display

  • Project notes:

    Property management firm Canderel approached the National Gallery of Canada with an opportunity to enhance and create a creative experience in the main lobby of one of their premier properties in downtown Ottawa – Constitution Square. Although ambient advertising of this nature is typically in place for a period of five weeks, the requirement for this Experiential Installation was to have a project on view for a period of 12 weeks.

    As the lead designer and art director on the project, my mandate was to conceive an immersive props display that would transform the lobby environment at the Constitution Square into a standalone experiential installation. The installation recreates the inside of the gallery setting with wooden flooring and gallery benches, and morphs into a large wooden frame surrounding an outside plein air scene with an open easel and painting in-progress that is based on a work by artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. The rationale for the display was based in part on the fact that the impressionist painters were the first outdoor painters in art history. A significant amount of work went into ensuring that the scenery was faithful to the original Corot work. Other elements were incorporated to enhance the space itself. A faux finish wooden around the planter was created to integrate the planter in the scene, more fences was added, and the main NGC logo lighting unit with its partner framed the set. The selected campaign tagline was “See the Real Treasures…” based on the exhibition title, Impressionist Treasures.

    Aside from generating memorable visitor experiences, the installation also had the goal of reaching a broader audience and becoming a focal point of a multifaceted exhibition campaign.It was a unique and innovative way of making our exhibition advertising stand out in a crowded marketplace. In all of the production and diffusion, the look and feel was consistent and resulted in pervasive branding across multiple channels, so that “Impressionist Treasures” became a familiar sight through the summer of 2018.

    Project | Honors & Awards:

    2019 A' Design Award | Silver Award in Advertising, Marketing and Communication Design

  • A tight deadline and a limited budget required innovation and creativity to find the best way to make the lobby an inclusive, inviting destination. Fabrication also had to happen quickly: we had 4 weeks to produce everything before the 2-day installation period. A close working relationship with the fabricator was incredibly important in order to realize this project. It also required outsourcing and managing a diversity of unconventional outside suppliers for production – from large-format printing to fabrication. In the end, the lobby of the Constitution Square became more than an entrance that people passed through on their way to work: it was transformed into a one-of-a-kind experiential installation. The display focal point was surrounded by two large drop-down ceiling banners, representing the exhibition. We also added a small section to sit down in a French-style café setting. The installation was also enhanced with 3 interactive iPad kiosks where visitors could play an online quiz called Art Match: Impressionist Treasures Edition. Evoking the look and feel of the overall experiential installation, the quiz “matches” users with an artwork in the exhibition, based on their answers to a few fun personality questions.

  • I had the responsibility of overseeing and implementing the layout and construction of the physical space and numerous purpose-built props. I had to create a visual identity with aesthetic appeal that also communicated the client’s message, concept and image to visitors, while meeting the limitations imposed by time and budget. All that was pretty challenging and it wouldn’t have happened without the team in place.

    The search for the decor manufacturer was a good part of the early process, finding the team that can see what you see. Working with Anastassiya Shamina and the team at Double Effet was a great experience to help produce my vision. A special project of this kind did involve custom location scouting and assessment, design, fabrication, branding, storage, transportation, certificates of insurance and an experienced install teams.