This week we have been working with Yashar Sadeghi, who has been helping you take your trade stands to the next level, in preparation for the Ancient Market trade fair on Saturday 5 March.
The brief you were given is based on use of ordinary cardboard boxes. With only a day to go – please keep in mind this is an exercise in simplicity.
WHY CARDBOARD BOXES?
There are three main reasons behind this decision:
Availability. Modularity. Customisability.
Boxes allow for an economic way of building up from the ground level to the desired height, whatever that may be for your particular needs. Whether you have a requirement for horizontal planes upon which to place your product or vertical planes that can be populated with graphics or used to hang your product, you can find a suitable arrangement that can accommodate these needs. They are lightweight and collapsible which makes their transport a far less problematic proposition that other materials. Given their dimensional consistency they can be stacked and/or arranged side by side to create numerous configurations. Most importantly of all their materiality and their relatively low cost allow you to experiment with customisation. Boxes can be modified with readily available tools: knives, scissors, spray paint, paint roller, paint brush, vinyl film, sticky tape, glue, cloth, needle and thread, etc………….. use your imagination. (No, really: USE YOUR IMAGINATION!) And this is the main point really: this is an opportunity to do what normally costs other companies thousands of pounds for an unbelievably small fraction of the cost.
DOWNLOAD CONFIGURATION FILES:
It is important for you to understand that these configurations are not arbitrary. Try to identify the design intent behind each of these arrangements before making a decision. In other words, you must consider whether your needs would be better served by having more:
Vertical planes at eye level
Horizontal planes at counter height
Horizontal planes at waist height
Horizontal planes at knee height
Consider the pros and cons of these features in relation to what you need to exhibit and the implications for the kind of interaction you want to have with the public. Think hard about the possible design opportunities each and every part of arrangement might afford you. I refer you to our discussions on the design toolkit.
When trying to decide I have always found that a good technique to use is to try to avoid beginning your sentences with “I like this one because…” but rather with “I think this arrangement is particularly suited to us because….”. You must force yourself to focus on the justification behind your decision.
PLACEMENT AND ORIENTATION OF THE STANDS
You will be setting up your stands in collapsible gazebos in Kingston market square. All teams have the same space allocation of half a gazebo. You will need to arrive on time to help Kingstonfirst rangers erect the gazebos.
The stands are allocated on a first-come first-served basis. As well as the choice of stands the first teams on site also gets to choose (within reason) how they wish to orient their stand within the space. Be warned, being late can be very costly!
For the majority of you this will represent a major design challenge. Embrace it, and have fun.
You should think about the various elements that will make up your stand beside the boxes. Think in terms of what needs to be added and what needs to be taken away. You will be given plans of the various configurations which you can print out. You can use the printouts to flesh out your ideas by sketching directly onto the plans and annotating your sketches. Think carefully about the positioning of the various elements whether they are products, graphics, props, etc… Think about how you wish to apply any graphic elements to boxes.
Don’t forget: less is more!
You might find that picking a colour pallet will help you keep things under control. Pick no more than 3 colour/textures. You will probably have to accept that you will not be able to coat the exterior of the boxes completely. It’s OK! Use the cardboard as part of your scheme.
Please don’t forget that there will be compulsory elements such as Kingston University and Young Enterprise logos.
You will be given the opportunity to take the boxes away so that you may work on them prior to installation on site. Look after them. Don’t bend the cardboard as this will crease the card permanently. Number your boxes in your sketch and mark the actual boxes accordingly so that you will not get confused about their positioning.
Once you have finished with decorating your boxes you should pack them for transport to the site. I suggest coating them in some plastic sheeting (e.g. bin liners) to protect them against dirt/rain. Remember that getting boxes wet will destroy them!
Given that the lightweight nature of the boxes that make up the stands, some form of ballast is necessary to stabalise these structures. Each team will need to bring with them at least 15 Litres of plastic bottles (preferably empty). The ideas being that empty bottles are lightweight, collapsible and therefore easy to carry to the site where they can be filled with water to weigh down the structures. This week at least we can ensure that you are all well hydrated!
SCHEDULE FOR THE DAY
8:00 Students and lecturers arrive; set up (I will be there 7:45 latest)
10:00 Teams start selling
11:00 Judges start judging
13:30 – 13:45 Judges announce winners: Best Product (£60), Best Stand (£60), Best Sales Team (£60), Best Company (£80)
17:00 Clear up
On the day, I will collect £10 from each team. This money will go towards cash prizes, awarded in 4 categories:
1 Best Product – £60 prize
2 Best Sales Team – £60 prize
3 Best Trade Stand – £60 prize
4 Best Overall Company – £80 prize
All winners also receive Young Enterprise certificates.