The 4 Pillars Of Functional, Engaging Design


How are design ideas born? How does a designer do what they do? What does the process look like?

Of course, every designer and every project is different. Some creative thinkers need three cups of coffee just to get started; some listen to Mozart as they sketch. While we can’t reveal where our designers get their out-of-the-box ideas, we can tell you the four major considerations they keep at the forefront of their minds from the first client call to the day of deployment.

1. We get involved.

Every designer brings unique ideas, impressions and experiences to the table. But a designer’s job goes beyond making pretty pictures. Designers also need to translate a client’s vision into an achievable reality. Our designers are hands-on with our clients as much as possible – which means sitting in on calls, corresponding by email – doing whatever it takes to get to know the client, their needs, and their vision.

Sometimes, clients come to us with sketches or idea books; other times, they bring a list of things they’ve found on the Internet that they like and dislike. An experienced designer will pull details from these resources and pair them with the client’s vision, the requirements of the project, and his or her own unique flair and past experiences.

2. We focus on the end-result.

Design projects can quickly get out of hand if they lose focus. Just because something looks cool or is trending on Pinterest doesn’t mean that it’s the right solution for the project at hand. A professional designer will keep the end-result in mind from start to finish, and build a cohesive design based around achieving those goals.

Is the user meant to meander through the space? Or is the intention to inspire them to sit for a while? What does the space need to accomplish and how should it make the user feel? Professional design intention will always relate to the overall objective of the audience experience.

3. We have winning elements that we incorporate (when it works).

Of course, with our ever-expanding resources for inspiration, plus new technologies, today’s designers have plenty of winning techniques and new trends to capitalize on. They also rely on personal experience from years in the field.

Two of our favorite elements include:

  • Integrating natural light into the containers by using clear-storey windows (such as in the TaylorMade Performance Studio). Science proves that natural light makes people feel happier and more comfortable. Utilizing natural light also decreases the need for other lighting sources, making it a great cost-effective and energy efficient solution.
  • Installing a second level, such as a deck space accented with flags and branded railings. This higher vantage point is an attractive new experience for users, particularly at tradeshows when everyone’s perspective is the same. People are used to small pop-up tents or traditional pipe and drape combinations. It’s been our experience that elevation sparks audience interest.

4. We make safety a top priority.

Design isn’t “just” style and vision. Though we have separate architectural and manufacturing departments, safety and user comfort are never far from our designers’ minds. A major consideration for us is always crowd control, which is why our structures are designed with the scope and scale of the event in mind to withstand occupancy levels that are both safe and appropriate for the venue. When necessary, we either position a sign to inform users about safe occupancy levels, or assign a monitor to enforce it.

We build to the widely recognized International Building Code standard, but we also take into consideration the various regulations of the different municipalities where we will deploy our structures. From the outset, we design our spaces to have quick and straightforward emergency escape routes that match not just local safety codes, but international standards as well.

Good design looks nice. Great design strategically uses all available resources to accurately translate a client’s vision from paper to reality without compromising safety, mobility, or the end user’s experience. A Boxman Studios designer lives and breathes these four pillars of design so that every project evolves into something unique, eye-catching, functional, and safe.