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SOFA Chicago

Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

SOFA Chicago, a world-renowned art fair dedicated to Sculpture, Objects, Functional Art and Design returns annually to Navy Pier. In 2015, SOFA engaged Wrap to re-envision the show design. Tasked with enhancing the fair experience for visitors and exhibitors, we designed the layout of the show to improve wayfinding, establish distinct destinations, and create a heightened sense of arrival.

We approached the layout of the show floor much like an urban planning exercise with the booths creating the neighborhood grid punctuated with public gathering spaces. The most effective urban contexts create distinct places within the larger space, corridors with visual interest, and clear paths with fluid circulation.

SOFA features art that explores form and materiality, using common materials in unexpected ways to transcend expectations. A sculptural entrance installation was an ideal opportunity for Wrap to capture the spirit of the art being exhibited. To that end, we designed and constructed two tapered sculptural screen walls from waste cardboard tubes collected from local print shops. Upon entry, views into the show gradually open as visitors pass through the thinning walls. Applying this level of design rigor to a waste product illustrates the power of design and the potential of repurposed materials.



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