“Project Zen” Wins Gold

CDI World

Exhibitor Magazine judges have given CDI World USA the top spot in the Conceptual category of the magazine’s 35th Annual Exhibit Design Award Competition.    

We’re delighted with this prestigious award bestowed by one of our industry’s leading and most proactive journals. The competition is fierce and the standard of the entries is always very high, which makes the accolade even more satisfying.

Design concepts provide the sparks that bring projects to life but they’re rarely celebrated in their own right. We thought Project Zen combined a number of interesting and especially current themes and that’s why we decided to submit an entry in the Conceptual category of the competition for the first time.               

So how did Project Zen originate? The seed was sown by a collaboration with longstanding client WestRock in which we were asked to produce an ecologically elegant exhibition booth for a sustainability-themed event. Constructed entirely of corrugated fiberboard, it stretched our skills in all directions but its success got us thinking how we could exploit the omnipresent material in even more adventurous ways.

Award Winning Conceptual Design by CDI World

“We were looking for a kind of experimental laboratory to explore corrugated material further,” says CDI World associate designer, Ryan Hooper, who wielded the project’s digital pencil. “Through our brainstorming, the idea of creating a Zen garden emerged. It had so many intriguing features that I immediately dove in, researching both meditation gardens and corrugated structures, seeing what was possible.”

The result was Project Zen, a 3D photorealistic design for an immersive environment built with corrugated and other sustainable materials. Conjuring up the calming vision of a Zen meditation garden, the scheme features a winding path in the form of raked pebbles (but actually made of hemp rope), artfully placed river rocks, a giant tree, some tame wandering deer, and cardboard tube seating from which to contemplate the peaceful vista.

Further drama is created by a low-energy lighting scheme that adds drama and changes throughout the day – from dawn to dusk.    

Paving the way for more designs that combine aesthetic beauty, commitment to sustainability and recyclable relevance, Project Zen is proof of concept that there are viable ways of thinking well “beyond the box.” And it’s great to have that recognized by such a coveted award.  

If you would like to explore a design idea, let’s start the conversation now…

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