29 November 2019

How does Technology affect to Ephimeral Architecture

29 November 2019
How do digital media (phones, GPS, laptops, internet, virtual realities, AI) affect the way we perceive, inhabit and design space? Why do architects traditionally design, draw and map the visual, as opposed to other types of sensations of space (the sound, the smell, the texture, etc.)? As professional exhibition stand builders we ask ourselves about all those questions.

Architecture is not only about the solid, material elements of space; it is also about the invisible, immaterial, intangible elements of space. In this post we would like to examine the design, representation and reception of the ephemeral in architecture, especially in exhibition stand design and build. Keep reading!

We are interested in how architects and exhibition stand design and build is made by mapping and examining the spatial qualities that these elements create and questions whether – and if so, how – they take them into account in the designing process. We would like to highlight that the ephemeral in contemporary culture and architecture is related to the evolution of digital media; and that it is related to the new ways of thinking about space and everyday situations that new media enables.

Dynamic and responsive exhibition stand design and build

Expert stand builders find out that with sound and video recording devices now being embedded in everyday gadgets and mobile phones, capturing sounds or ephemeral situations and events has become an everyday habit. New animation techniques allow designers and exhibition stand builders to think about space through time, as they are able to design dynamic and responsive spaces, as well as static spaces explored by someone over time. Contemporary video games are no longer based on a simple visual input and a keyboard; they now involve other senses, movement, and the response of the whole body in space, and we are specially interested about applying these innovations to the exhibition stand design and build area.


Subsequently, new media can also function as a new tool-to-think-with about space. Designers are now able to think through time, and design spaces accordingly. Time, temporality, ephemerality, become central issues in the exhibition stand design and build process. The emergence of new digital media caused a ‘shift in the sensorium’, is more relevant than ever, and can be expanded in order to accommodate the new emerging technologies. Through analysis of theoretical concepts, design case studies, and real-life observations, we are challenged and inspired as exhibition stand builders.

Stand Builders & Digital Media

The enormous growth in personal computing and communications contribute to a changing perception of space and its relationship to time, in a wide range of fields but especially in the exhibition stand design and build. A part of that change includes the idea that the establishment of place via architecture becomes less important in a digital world. Furthermore, people become more detached from the world as the windows of cars, planes and trains filter our experience of architecture. The rise of modern nomadic culture as facilitated by technology popularizes and spreads these perceptions. In turn, people’s minds open up to alternative understandings of our built environment, including one that incorporates ephemeral architecture as a desirable architectural solution. Architects, designers and exhibition stand builder’s responses to these shifts thus far typically have used established forms and structures.

The influence of digital media and information technology on architecture is increasingly evident. Architectural design, practice and exhibition stand builders are increasingly aided by and dependent on digital technology. The proliferation of computers and telecomputing in design education and practice has resulted in a major paradigm shift and a reorientation in theoretical and conceptual assumptions considered to be central to traditional design education and practice.

Contemporary architecture relies heavily on high-technology and high-precision methods. Architects, designers and exhibition stand builders are now able to think about space through time, as they are able to design dynamic and responsive spaces, as well as static spaces explored by someone over time.

Exhibition stand builders: Ephemeral Architecture

Ephemeral Architecture is an ancient part of our architectural heritage, stretching back to the vernacular works of nomadic cultures. However, the idea of architecture as something permanent grew into prominence when humans shifted to an agricultural based society and it has remained the dominant mode of thought ever since. The current interest in the ephemeral in contemporary culture and architecture is related to the evolution of digital media and exhibition stand design and build; and that it is related to the new ways of thinking about space and everyday situations that new media enables.

With sound and video recording devices now being embedded in everyday gadgets and mobile phones, capturing sounds or ephemeral situations and events has become an everyday habit. New animation techniques allow exhibition stand builders to think about space through time, as they are able to design dynamic and responsive spaces, as well as static spaces explored by someone over time. Contemporary video games are no longer based on a simple visual input and a keyboard; they now involve other senses, movement, and the response of the whole body in space. The traditional binary opposition between the sensuous and the digital is currently being reversed. We notice that daily in the exhibition stand design and build sector.

Re-using & Recycling Exhibition Stands

Current developments in digital fabrication now promise to trigger major changes in the way exhibition stand design and build is produced and experienced. Digital fabrication has emerged as a design technology and manufacturing process in which objects are temporary, delimited in time by the function they attend to. As new design technologies emerge, they act as apparatuses that create new subjects by responding to their very needs.

At this stage in the development of digital personal fabrication devices, there are already 3D machines that can repeatedly re-use and recycle the raw material used in the exhibition stand design and build process when the object is no longer needed. The plastic filament used for this purpose can be described as a sort of nonmaterial devoid of own will, from which the user can conjure up ephemeral shapes for temporary functions, a preternatural substance bound to take and lose shape again and again, like the very stuff of life. The actions of disposal and recycling coincide in time and place and users can create items by themselves and that objects can then easily be disposed of, to be recreated if and when necessary.

Now, more than ever, objects become ephemeral and functions transient, and as expert exhibition stand builders we value and take advantage of that.

Sustainable exhibition stand builders

The discourse on sustainability that emerged in recent decades for exhibition stand design and build, included a rethinking of the meaning of the lifespan of an object. Durability was one of the core qualities associated to good design, along with the idea that the form has to come after function, which implied high specialization in design and resulted in an extreme proliferation of industrial products for exhibition stand design and build. Towards the end of the Modernist paradigm mass production, specialization, proliferation, and durability were combined in a certain environmentalist vision to depict dystopian scenarios of natural landscapes covered by artificial objects that promised and threatened to outlive their very manufacturers and users.

The emergence of a homemade exhibition stand design and build and manufacturing technology in which objects are temporary, delimited in time by the function they attend to, seems to offer a way out of the impasse. Digital personal fabrication through 3D printing as a material technology has the potential to shape new subjects and new visions of the world, not only for exhibition stand builders but for a wide rage of areas.

Stability and permanence are essential to mobility, portability, transformability, the inflatable and the ephemeral. Yet, we are living simultaneously in an age of increasing change and uncertainty, and exhibition stand builders know it well.

Everything’s temporary. We are only a moment. Ephimeral architecture exists to remind us that changes are the only constant and it has such a bigger importance.

Mac Group Stands & Exhibitions
París, 209  Principal 2ª – 08008 Barcelona (SPAIN)
T.: +34 934 194 879

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