Photography by Joshua White, 2010
KEEN is a footwear company with a huge amount of personality. They have a strong culture built around the values of sustainability, giving back, and enjoying life. DOE was asked to conceive a trade show booth that would not only allow KEEN to get down to business but would embody the company mantra, “Create. Play. Care.”
Keen is green. It’s an important part of who they are as a company and it was important for this to come across in their booth. The challenging bit was to set them apart from all the other “green” booths that are out there these days. Instead of drawing from the typical palette of eco-materials, we built the booth almost entirely of materials that were salvaged or repurposed. Old pallets became the walls of the booth and furniture pieces. Old license plates and traffic signs became shoe shelves. Old car hoods became meeting tables. Old oil drums became recycling bins. Furniture was made from old bicycle parts. Old newspaper dispensers held catalogs.
By making use of material that was at the end of its life we were essentially borrowing it on its way to being junked and therefore creating very little environmental impact. By intercepting these materials, giving them a second life, and then disposing of them responsibly, we are actually reversing their environmental impact.
An important piece of the strategy behind the booth’s unique aesthetic was making sure that the things that were reused to create the exhibit were recognizable for what they once were. This is what created a connection with people and drove the eco-story home without any explanation required. It’s obvious that the walls were pallets and the shelves were license plates and traffic signs etc. Some things weren’t as obvious but this added an element of intrigue and discovery to the booth. This playful patchwork of different elements gave the booth immense character and really played off the personality and philosophy of Keen.
The final 5,400 sq/ft booth debuted at the 2010 Summer Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City where it received the top honor of "Best of Booth" award. The booth later went on to be featured in EXHIBITOR Magazine as one of seventeen exhibits, worldwide, selected for the 25th Annual Exhibit Design Awards. The KEEN booth was honored for its eco-friendly approach, receiving its award in the Green Exhibits category.
A huge thanks to Greenspace out of Portland who did the production work and really brought the design to life!