An open and shut case

Using flight cases to transport a travelling show may be a tried and tested idea. But adapting them to double as display cases is a novel one. This time-saving and flexible solution forms the basis of Fusion, an exhibition of industrial design by Billings Jackson, working with Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners. It looks in detail at the manufacturing process using the practice’s industrial design and architectural projects to illustrate how things are made and how they go together.

The exhibition itself is contained within 18 purpose-designed flight cases, nine containing product, and nine containing building components. These open on either side, to reveal the exhibits (if you can call them that), which range from the stainless steel castings used in the manufacture of the bus shelters for Spanish manufacturer Cemusa, to the moulds and castings for German company FSB’s door handle, originally designed for the Berlin Stock Exchange. Building products covered include the cladding system and integral furniture designed for the Igus factory, the suspended uplighting at the RAC Regional Control Centre in Bristol, and the glazed walls from the British Pavilion at Seville 92 and Waterloo International Terminal.

The bespoke flight cases are fitted with elements of the Profile One information system designed for Mabeg, integral light fittings supplied by Zumtobel, and castors for mobility. Posters on the inside of each door display images of the work in progress with explanatory text, and small anodised aluminium panels, with printed text in the language of the country, signal the contents of the case.

Fusion brings together industrial design, exhibition design and graphic design, all of which has been carried out by Billings Jackson and Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners. The team has also produced a 144-page book which serves as an exhibition catalogue, designed by Isambard Thomas and published by Art Books International.

The exhibition opens today at the BroDesignCenter, Nänikon, Zrich, and runs until 30 April. Further venues planned for this year include Berlin and Vienna.

Client and designer: Billings Jackson and Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners

Latest articles