To exhibit the best of Canadian design at October’s World Design Expo in Taipei, Montreal graphic design studio Paprika created an S-shaped wall made up of of 700 road pylons.
Bright, bold and unabashedly orange, the pylon wall proved to be an irresistible attraction at the exposition, which drew over one million visitors during its 30-day run. According to Ana Masut, one of the Canadian contingent’s organizers, the 700-pylon display was on Taipei television news almost daily.
Besides figuring out a super-smart way to create an eye-catching installation on the cheap, Paprika took the presentation one step further by sandwiching between the S-shaped wall a series of fluorescent lights to illuminated the pylons from within. However, the real purpose of the booth – to showcase the best of Canadian design – wasn’t visible right away. When you peered into each pylon tip one of 40 design projects could be seen as either a slideshow or video with sound.
The booth was commissioned by Mission Design of Montreal, a small team that formed in 2010 in order to better promote Canadian design on the global stage. One of its main objectives is to launch a world summit of architecture, design and urbanism, to be held in Montreal in 2017.
Attending Taipei’s expo was one of the first steps toward generating enthusiasm for the planned summit, and to attract an international audience that doesn’t have much awareness of Canadian design.
The 40 projects selected included three 2010 Red Dot award–winning designs: Everlast Ocean’s NPX Lucifer Drysuit for kiteboarders; the reusable Tkaro water bottle by Toronto’s Kai Fejer; and the Fitzsimmons hiking boots by Native Shoes.
It also included Vincent Morisett’s brilliant interactive web-based music video Neon Bible for Arcade Fire, along with Michel Daillaire’s BIXI bike share system, and Bota-Bota by Sid Lee Architecture, a spa built on a boat (featured in Azure‘s March 2011 issue).