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FLEXO Magazine : June 2009
FTA TODAY CLEMSON BOOTH AWES ATTENDEES Industry professional network with Clemson students at the school’s booth in the Education Pavilion at INFO*FLEX 2009. The entire booth was made from repurposed corrugated material, and was completely recyclable. S howcasing capabilities and drawing attendees to their booths—those were the secret goals of the TEST Education Institution Booth of the Year Award. While the judges scored the booths and determined a winner based on an established rubric, true success was determined by the students’ ability to draw a crowd and network with attendees. Clemson University students very much achieved that with their setup: an elaborate and creative series of constructions built largely out of repurposed corrugated material. “The booth had several pieces designed to both catch people’s eye and draw them in,” explained Dave Smith, one of the students who worked on the project. “The fi rst was the backdrop structure, made entirely of used fl exo plate boxes. Inside each box cavity we placed large placards containing information about Clemson University and the Graphics Department. Atop this structure was a large sign featuring intricate corrugated lettering cut with our Kongsberg plotter, which had our school name and the theme statement for our booth: ‘People Are Tomorrow’s Innovation.’” wood glue. Table top was reverse printed on the plexiglass” using our Mimaki UV proofer. “Lastly, , we incorporated reused corrugated material and the UV proofer to assemble and print a piece we called the ‘Spinner People,’ a hexagonal structure with four sections that could be spun to reveal amusing combinations of Clemson students’ heads, bodies, legs, and feet,” added Smith. Visitors to the booth were amazed by the subtle hint of sustainability that permeated the booth. “We purposely used sustainable materials,” insisted Haragos. “The most notable and least obvious use of recycled material was the large 9ft. by 8ft. wall that was built with the empty fl exo plate boxes.” Foncannon stated, “With limited resources we were forced to get creative.” Smith noted, “Our initial reasons for using corrugated were because it was cheap and we had lots of it due to our two corrugated fl exo presses; however, it quickly became a deliberate challenge for us to design only pieces that were recyclable.” “Sustainability is important and we believed the best way to draw attention to the subject would be to actually produce a booth that was highly Earth-friendly, yet incredibly functional as well,” asserted Haragos. He and Smith pointed out that, in the end, the entire booth could have been recycled. Displays of student work and the Phoenix Challenge College competition project. Fellow student T.W. Haragos said the booth was designed to have two distinct areas. “One was the area that conveyed information about Clemson’s Graphic Communication program and the other area was the space for us students to interact with the INFO*FLEX attendees.” The information area included the wall, as well as a second corrugated shelf wall, complete with working drawers, that displayed the Phoenix Challenge College competition project and other studentprinted work. For the interaction area, the booth contained what Smith called “a kind of living room in the middle of the booth.” Sara Foncannon, another Clemson student, said, “The two corrugated chairs were plotted and glued together with wood glue. The corrugated ‘iPhone’ coffee table had a plexiglass top, and was also plotted and glued together with 56 FLEXO JUNE 2009 Despite missing out on the Booth of the Year trophy, the Clemson Students intuitively understood the true purpose of the competition: to draw visitors, showcase their abilities and network with the industry. “Our booth was extremely successful in drawing a crowd of visitors,” said Foncannon. “Everybody was immediately drawn to the unique design and creative use of materials. The main purpose of having a booth, whether for this competition or otherwise, is to grab the attention of the passer by. If your booth doesn’t stand out in some way, foot traffi c will be considerably less.” Haragos added, “Our booth defi nitely allowed us to attract people long enough for us to explain who we are and why we were there. I believe we left a good impression on everyone we met.” “The booth competition was a great experience for us individually and also allowed us to remind attendees of Clemson’s strong presence in the fl exo industry,” insisted Smith. “As suggested by our booth’s theme, we believe that people really are the next innovation for this industry, and Clemson is doing its job to make that a reality. Our time at INFO*FLEX allowed us to make new relationships and reinforce old ones.” ■ The “Spinner People,” printed with a corrugated inkjet proofer. www. f le xography. org
Sustainable Spring 2009