As exhibition and experience designers, GSM Project collaborates closely with architects to envision spaces and environments for new museums and attractions. Our professions complement each other so that a sense of place evolves from a dialogue between its form, function and content, creating unique and innovative experiences for visitors.
On this World Architecture Day, we celebrate the discipline of architecture, which creates spaces that enrich ourselves and our lives, by exploring three inspiring exhibition projects that highlight creativity in architecture.
Excellence and innovation in architecture for Quebec school of tomorrow
This fall, GSM Project and Lab-École will work together to design a traveling exhibition to be displayed in six cities where six future Lab-École elementary schools will open their doors in Fall 2022. Lab-Écoles will be innovative, sustainable and multidisciplinary schools that promote the well-being and development of all students and staff in Quebec. The schools will be a “real living environment” according to the initiative's co-founder, architect Pierre Thibault.
GSM Project will design a visitor experience that integrates the winning models from the architectural design competition. The scale models are the tangible result of the national-wide design competition in which more than a hundred Quebec firms participated, leading to the selection of six final projects and demonstrating Quebec architecture’s immense creativity and contribution in the education sector.
Transforming warehouses into galleries: inside the creative process in action
GSM Project was fortunate to get behind-the-scenes with Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and explore their creative process. The Salama bint Hamdan al Nahyan Foundation commissioned BIG to convert industrial warehouses in Mina Zayed, the port district in Abu Dhabi, into contemporary art galleries. Named Warehouse421, the new galleries offer a dynamic space for artists and visitors to express their creativity and actively participate in Abu Dhabi’s creative ecosystem.
During our dialogues with BIG, we explored process as an important part of the story of Warehouse421. Inspired by these conversations, GSM designed the exhibition Reimagining Mina Zayed to showcase the architectural creative process behind this unique conversion project: how did BIG come up with the final design expressed in this scale model? What inspired them? What challenges did they face? Visitors investigate how BIG aligned the design choices with the Foundation’s vision to preserve the heritage value of the Mina Zayed warehouses while infusing them with a new creative purpose.
Inviting the community to transform 3D warehouse models through art
For the grand opening of Warehouse421, GSM Project designed 1:100 Warehouse Reimagined. This exhibition is an invitation from the Salama Bint Hamdan al Nahyan Foundation to emerging UAE-based artists to reimagine the era of Mina Zayed by artistically transforming a 3D model of the warehouse in the medium of their choice.
Many artists submitted models, but 16 models were selected by the Foundation for display in the exhibition. After exploring all the designs, visitors could make their way to a voting station. On two shelves, visitors could find voting paper and instructions, offering visitors’ the chance to vote for the design they thought best for Mina Zayed’s warehouses. Visitors chose a stamp corresponding to their favorite design, stamped the postcard, explained their choice, and placed the postcard in the appropriate slot.
This competition fell in line with Warehouse421 and the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation to engage artistic participation in the local community and encourage cultural growth throughout Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
Architects and Exhibition Designers share similar challenges
As designers and storytellers, GSM Project embraces the challenges that contemporary architecture also works to solve, such as education and knowledge transmission to future generations, wellbeing, accessibility and inclusiveness, civic engagement, and local growth and sustainable development through arts and culture. We believe both the architectural and design disciplines have a responsibility to join forces in a creative and innovative way to meet social and environmental challenges today and tomorrow.