Alberto Caiola’s Design Shanghai 2021 stand for Herman Miller explored flexible living in a post-pandemic age.

Key features 

Featuring the brand’s Van Collection, the installation deviated from conventional showcase formats. Instead of spotlighting the designs from above, Caiola opted to use illuminated floor tiling to make the products stand out. The trade-fair stand’s layout consisted of four distinct areas – a mock living area, gaming space, home office and dining room – separated from one another by gridded partitions. The partial visibility afforded by these partitions were a nod to the hybrid roles the home had to play during the pandemic, and the flooring was aimed at imparting a cinematic spatial quality to mirror how quarantine skewed our perception of time. 

Herman Miller can continue to reuse the stand: both the freestanding partition walls and the ambient floors are designed to be reconfigured for different dimensions and thus utilized for future brand set-ups. 

Frame’s take 

It’s not every day you find a trade-fair stand that goes beyond brand aesthetics. Alberto Caiola’s Herman Miller stand, however, is both timely and thought-provoking, reflecting on an experience we can all relate to. By evoking scenes of home life mid-pandemic, it positions the brand’s products as answers to the challenges people continue to deal with in the domestic space. The simple yet intelligent design exemplifies how to leave a lasting impression at an event saturated with commercial content.