Haworth first commissioned Tigerman McCurry to introduce their new partition system “Places” at NeoCon 1988. The installation was playfully designed by creating picket fences and crenulated scriptoriums out of product to illustrate the flexibility and breathe of the system. Subsequently the firm was retained to redesign the entire 13,000 square foot showroom for the 1990 NeoCon as well as a showroom at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles.
Since, the Merchandise Mart is a classic twenty foot bay concrete warehouse, this showroom exploits its structural system to create the ordered styleless environment considered by the client as the optimum background for product display. Mechanical, electrical and fireproofing systems all reinforce the geometric grid and the muntinized steel curtain wall recalls industrial construction. Transposed against the grid a random assemblage of industrial outbuildings establishes a metaphor of the steel industry — a symbol of Haworth’s Midwestern manufacturing product.
Conference, media, training, mock-up and color center rooms are metamorphosized into buildings that evoke the industrial images that appear and reappear along the skyway — the symbolic gateway to Chicago.