Latitude @ designEX

The stand is called latitude.   Why? We can't decide.

Exhibition Stand Design

The purpose of the Latitude Stand at DesignEx is to showcase the works of young Designers.   Featured works are from three different groups, Melbourne Movement, Cicada Studios (New Zealand) and Craft Victoria. The opportunity to exhibit at DesignEx provides great opportunities for these young designers. Latitude seeks to foster and promote this enormous depth of creativity and talent in a gallery / café environment.

Our response for the need to locate and exhibit these designers' works in a gallery type space was to question the typical temporary exhibition space formula. Our fundamental concepts were :-

•  Bringing ideas of sustainability and environmental responsibility to a structure with a 3 day lifespan brings new challenges.

•  Communicate a single idea through a number of mediums, space, furniture, signage .

•  Creating open areas with enclosed more intimate performance spaces.

•  Corners and angles on the site create blind spots which in-turn create anticipation for what is beyond, transparent tubes allow hints but don't expose.

•  Delineating space within a 'fake' environment allows interesting intersections and sight lines through the space.

•  Ignoring the deliberate grid of the floor space.

  1. Creating a visual language and then applying it across a range of applications / walls / displays / stools / tables.

Main Entry:   lat·i·tude

Pronunciation:   'la-t&-"tüd, -"tyüd

Function:   noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin latitudin-, latitudo, from latus wide; akin to Old Church Slavonic postilati to spread

1 archaic : extent or distance from side to side : WIDTH

2 : angular distance from some specified circle or plane of reference: as a : angular distance north or south from the earth's equator measured through 90 degrees b : angular distance of a celestial body from the ecliptic c : a region or locality as marked by its latitude

3 a archaic : SCOPE , RANGE b : the range of exposures within which a film or plate will produce a negative or positive of satisfactory quality

4 : freedom of action or choice

- lat·i·tu·di·nal adjective

- lat·i·tu·di·nal·ly adverb


Latitude - Design Philosophy

Reference / Borrowing - why cardboard tubes?

Bricks have been used a lot and we are pretty sure that VITRUVIUS was not the first to use stone.   Materials make great statements about the age we live in.

There are many contemporary examples of cardboard being used as a building material. Notably the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has used cardboard tubes to pursue numerous philanthropic ideas such as emergency shelters.   Perhaps here we have done the inevitable. We have taken a generous philanthropic gesture,  removed it from its baggage of social conscience, packaged it and sent it out into the ruthless corporate world. Some may suggest that that is a cynical response. Another spin could be that we have given new meaning and life to a short term by-product of the building industry. These tubes would typically act as form for in-situ concrete columns.   Once the concrete sets the cardboard tube is removed and thrown into landfill as the leaching of the concrete makes it impossible to recycle.

In reality however, we may simply be 2 young subversive punks that want to avoid competing with the slick budgets and visual cacophony that often fills Jeff's shed. The LATITUDE stand has been designed and built on an almost non-existent budget.   Donations of material and, more significantly, time have made the stand possible.

Material contrast

Cardboard - Many materials, especially finishes such as acrylic, are highly refined materials that require a high level of processing and generate large quantities of waste in a number of ways.   Cardboard was selected as a material to act as a contrast to other "slick" highly refined materials. Cardboard is rudimentary, raw and tactile. It is impermanent and fragile in many environments. It is not "slick". It is not expensive. And its marketing budget is pretty low compared to many materials.

Acrylic - is a highly refined material.   On the LATITUDE stand it has a subservient relationship to the cardboard. Its transparency and elegance is in stark contrast to the cardboard that supports it.


Stencils have been used predominantly as a tool to describe a generation of designers. It is arguably of the most politically, rapid, urgent, accessible and subversive forms of art to emerge in recent time. Like the Cardboard tube, stencilling is part of the design palette for the LATITUDE stand. Corporate appropriation or deliberate subversion, we can't decide.


Many exhibition stands attempt to create a "fake" environment. They are a simulacrum of a kitchen, a bathroom, a lounge, etc. We have tried to avoid a simulacrum.   Latitude is intended to be an open space free from the clutter of its surroundings. It is a space where beautiful objects can be displayed free from imagery or other distracting stimuli. Some may call it a simple simulacrum of a gallery, we can't decide.

Main Entry:   sim·u·la·crum

Pronunciation:   "sim-y&-'la-kr&m, -'lA-

Function:   noun

Inflected Form(s):   plural sim·u·la·cra   /-kr&/; also -crums

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin, from simulare

1 : IMAGE , REPRESENTATION <a reasonable simulacrum of reality -- Martin Mayer>

2 : an insubstantial form or semblance of something : TRACE

*click here to see the construction images


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