The GSM Project history

With a history going back 60 years, GSM Project is a pioneer in the field of exhibition design and production. We believe that each project is a collaborative exploration leading to a unique outcome, and the results speak for themselves. Our portfolio is a rich and varied collection of international exhibition environments that crosses mediums and spans disciplines.

1958

Montreal's first multidisciplinary design firm

GSM is founded in Montreal

Jacques Guillon fonde Jacques Guillon Designers, Inc., le premier bureau de design plurisciplinaire du Canada. La firme, qui participe à de nombreux projets d'envergure, attire tour à tour Morley Smith, designer industriel canadien, et Laurent Marquart, un designer graphique suisse. Tous deux ajoutent le design d'expositions au répertoire de la compagnie polyvalente.

1958

A Canadian design classic

Jacques Guillon's "Parachute Cord Chair"

Not satisfied simply leading a design film, Jacques Guillon creates a chair with a seat and back strung with parachute cord. Years later, this chair becomes an "icon of Canadian design."

1962

All aboard!

GSM Project designs the Montreal metro car

Mayor Jean Drapeau calls on Guillon Designers Inc. to develop a unique concept for metro cars. The result is the "MR-62": a car with a timeless and understated design, a look that would last for decades and that still, for many Montrealers, represents one of the most recognizable features of their city.

1967

Man and his World

GSM Project creates pavilions for the Montreal World's Fair

The organizers of the 1967 World's Fair in Montreal call on GSM Project to design several themed pavilions. It's a pivotal moment—in future years, the company finds itself developing experiences for Expos around the globe.

1976

Taxi! Taxi!

GSM Project designs a taxi car

GSM Project (or GSM Design at the time) turns its hand to transportation and designs a taxi with a generous interior that is also wheelchair accessible. The vehicle, designed to be economical to manufacture and very safe, is easily identifiable in the city.

1981

We'll take an Old Fashioned please, bartender!

The firm steps into the interior design of hotels

GSM Project conceives interior design for Le Méridien hotels in New York, Houston, San Francisco, and New Delhi. It's an unconventional approach for the time, merging interior decorating, industrial design, and user experience design.

1982

Back to the future

One of the first multimedia experiences ever created

In an entirely innovative undertaking for the time, GSM creates a multimedia experience to cap off the exhibition at the Louis S. St-Laurent National Historic Site. Over 35 years later, the experience is still running!

1986

The world is our oyster!

Vancouver World's Fair

Once again, GSM Project contributes to the World's Fair with the Canadian Pavilion for Expo '86 in Vancouver. Over 22 million visitors step foot inside!

1988

Mémoire, an exhibition that breaks new ground

When museum-goers become active participants

For this exhibit at the Museum of Civilization in Quebec City, GSM Project redefines the visitor's role. It marks a pivotal moment in museological history and gives the team new momentum and a shift of focus towards exhibits.

1992

Birth of an archaeological giant

GSM Project is a main actor in the establishment of Pointe-à-Callière. Montreal's archaeology and history museum

GSM Project delivers a turnkey multimedia show for this first and only major archaeological museum in Canada-a significant accomplishment in the firm's trajectory.

1998

An adventure under the sea

Conceiving Oceania Virtual Reality Pavilion, Expo 1998's biggest hit

Recognized as a specialist in immersive experiences, GSM Project is called upon to create the Oceania Virtual Reality Pavilion at the World's Fair in Lisbon, under the theme "The Oceans: a Heritage for the Future." The experience draws in over half a million visitors in four months, becoming Expo 1998's biggest hit.

2003

New office in Singapore

GSM plants a flag in Asia by opening a new office in Singapore.

Ancestral Singapore

A history of Singaporean cultures, from the mouths of Singaporeans themselves

Asked to design 10 galleries showcasing the varied ancestral origins of Singapore, GSM Project develops an experience at the Asian Civilisations Museum, highlighting the historical cultures of Singapore as told by local residents.

2006

The social history of a people

Getting to know Singapore through its pop culture

The National Museum of Singapore calls on GSM to develop four "Living Galleries" exploring the local population through four defining themes: "Photography", "Fashion", "Film & Wayang" and "Food".

2010

Canada, Eh?

Canada introduces itself to the world

The Canadian Pavilion at the Shanghai World's Fair is developed in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil to welcome a large number of guests and to leave a lasting impression in a short window of time. The strategy pays off, and the public is astounded!

2011

Ajax Experience

A tribute to the giants of Dutch soccer

The legendary soccer club AFC Ajax chooses GSM Project to develop an interactive experience bringing the club's history to life for fans. The playful and novel result is an unprecedented success.

2012

Star Wars™ Identities

What forces shape you?

Partnering with Lucasfilm, GSM Project develops an exhibition centred around humanity's search for identity, explored in relation to the paths followed by the different characters in Star Wars™. The travelling exhibit, now touring Europe, is a smash hit in each city it visits.

2014

Overlooking Dubai

At the top of the tallest building in the world

GSM Project designs and builds the observatory on the 124th floor of the tallest tower in the world, the Burj Khalifa. The extraordinary experience tells the story of Dubai's transformation from a nomadic desert community to the city of the future.

2015

From microscopic life to dinosaurs

Showcasing the largest collection of Southeast Asian specimens in the world

In Singapore, GSM Project designs the layout of the permanent exhibit of the Lee Kong Chan Natural History Museum. The team also provides designs for the museum's public spaces.

2016

The Summit of Montreal

Montreal, as seen by its lovers

GSM Project teams up with local partners to take a chance on breathing new life into a Montreal landmark: the observation deck of Place Ville Marie, one of the highest buildings in the city centre. The result is a major exhibition on the building's 45th and 46th floors, providing a window into the life of Montreal and Montrealers, not to mention a spectacular view of the city itself and the surrounding areas.

2017

Canadian History Hall

The History of Canada since time immemorial

In collaboration with the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, GSM Project develops a new landmark exhibit in the Canadian History Hall. The exhibit tells the story of Canada from the ice age to the present day.

Meet the team