SDE industrial design students design sustainable exhibition stand for L’Oréal at one of world’s largest trade fairs

10 MAY 2016

From left to right: Mr Denis Fung, Design Merchandising Manager of L’Oréal Travel Retail Asia Pacific; Mr Emmanuel Dartois, Retail Design and Merchandising Director of L’Oréal Travel Retail Asia Pacific; Mr Cheng Jun Hoe, one of the two laureate students of the competition; Professor Heng Chye Kiang, Dean of the School of Design and Environment, NUS; Associate Professor Christian Boucharenc, Deputy Head of the Division of Industrial Design, SDE, NUS, and supervisor of the project with L’Oréal Travail Retail Asia Pacific

For the fourth time L’Oréal Travel Retail Asia Pacific has collaborated with the Division of Industrial Design (DID), School of Design and Environment (SDE), National University of Singapore (NUS) on a platform project open to students from their second year onwards.

The theme of the first platform was: Perfume and Cosmetics Design for Men”, whilst the theme of the second platform was: “A Modular System for Cosmetics Display & Road Show”. The third platform, however, was “To design the exhibition stand of L’Oréal for the TFWA fair at the Marina Bay Sands in May 2015”. It was the first time a design school in Asia had the opportunity to conduct a project of such prestige.

Given the success of the previous years, the fourth platform also focused on the design of L’Oréal’s exhibition stand for the TFWA fair at the Marina Bay Sands in May 2016. This stand presents 18 brands under the L’Oréal group. They will congregate for the various clients in Asia.

For this project, students were encouraged to explore state-of the-art technologies and develop some investigation and experimentation using recycled materials and dismountable modular systems, making it reusable and adaptable for other exhibitions. This current design will be used for at least three years.


The L’Oréal exhibition stand designed by Ms Lee Han Xi and Mr Cheng Jun Hoe for TFWA fair at Marina Bay Sands in May 2016

The winning team has hands-on experience in the development and the construction of the project in Marina Bay Sands.

Following these four platforms, eight of our DID students were awarded a six-month internship at the
L’Oréal Travel Retail Asia Pacific office in Hong Kong. At the end of their internships, all of them received the opportunity to join the L’Oréal team as full-time designers.

This platform project was mutually beneficial for both parties, the Division of Industrial Design and L’Oréal Travel Retail Asia Pacific. During the 13 weeks of the design process, our students received valuable feedback from the professionals and gained much experience working with the team from L’Oréal. The students had to take into consideration a professional brief with various variables and constraints as well as take into account the corporate identity of the L’Oréal group. The strict schedule compelled them to be ready to present their work for the respective phases of the design process. This project was not only an opportunity for the students to master the use of two and three dimensional tools (2D, 3D CAD and model making), but also a chance to develop their self-confidence and communication skills in presenting in a public context. L’Oréal Travel Retail received 9 strong projects which addressed the design brief. One of these projects was chosen by the team from L’Oréal as it not only matched but surpassed the expectations of the team.

Ms Lee Han Xi and Mr Cheng Jun Hoe (the laureate students of the competition) went to Hong Kong to develop the project with the L’Oréal team.

The platform project was conducted in collaboration with Mr Emmanuel Dartois, Retail Design and Merchandising Director of L’Oréal Travail Retail Asia Pacific and Denis Fung, Design Merchandising Manager and Mr Hong Ling Yang, Retail designer. On NUS side, this project has been supervised by Associate Professor Christian Boucharenc, Deputy Head of the Division of Industrial Design and Mr. Leow Yuan Kai (3D instructor).

About L’Oréal TWFA Exhibition Stand

The concept for the L’Oréal TFWA exhibition stand is centred around spatial transparency, while at the same time, allowing for private discussion with cosy alcoves dotted throughout the exhibition space. This was developed in consideration of the large, bustling crowd that was expected at the TFWA exhibition. Windows on every booth provide long perspectives throughout the exhibition layout, giving a sense of openness amidst the crowd.

The modular booth design

A modular booth is developed with the simple and efficient idea of intersecting perpendicular planes. Each booth comes furnished with a semi-private space for informal discussions, ensuring easy access to the products on display. By carefully positioning these booths throughout the exhibition space, a dynamic space is created, one in which visitors can meander through, evoking a sense of discovery at every turn. In this way, the booths themselves demarcate walkways and segment spaces, eliminating the need for additional walls and dividers.

The otherwise muted facade features a grand arch which draws visitors into L’Oréal’s exhibition stand. The arch provides the shelter needed to create the ambience for a dimly lit atrium, one that is a cosy space perfect for mingling and informal discussions. The long bar in the atrium also serves as a flexible meeting space for four to eight people.

The eighteen brands of L’Oréal are equally represented throughout the exhibition. Each brand has equal booth space with a standardised display system, which however, allow different brands to customise the configuration of product displays according to their needs. Entrances to meeting rooms are also discreet and mindfully located away from high traffic flow areas.

With sustainability concerns in mind, the L’Oréal exhibition stand was designed to be reused in the following three years. This involved considerations regarding the construction, storage and customisability of the entire exhibition stand. The components of the exhibition booth were designed for nesting, in order to allow for efficient storage. Furthermore, the modular structure and fluid layout of the individual booths allow for brand changes to be implemented easily in the following TFWA exhibitions.

(Provided by Ms Lee Han Xi and Mr Cheng Jun Hoe)

About L’Oréal Travel Retail

Travel Retail, which represents all products sold in the travel distribution channel (airports, airlines, ferries, cruises, downtown duty-free shops, etc.), plays an essential role in this strategy as it is a dynamic market. Travel retail is considered at L’Oréal as a ‘sixth continent’. All of the group’s major brands, from luxury (Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Armani, Kiehl’s, Urban Decay) to mass market (L’Oréal Paris, Essie), from dermo-cosmetics (Vichy, La Roche Posay) to hair care products (Kérastase)—and not forgetting The Body Shop brand—have the opportunity to develop on this ‘sixth continent’.

Within Travel Retail, L’Oréal is the only group to offer such a varied and complete range of beauty products. L’Oréal is constantly adapting to the increasing diversity of travellers across the world and is ideally positioned to offer them the products they seek, whatever their beauty rituals or their purchasing power may be.

Travel retail consumers are global shoppers who buy where they are and not only where they live.
To respond to the aspirations of travel customers, L’Oréal has developed a personalised approach by adapting to languages, cultures, and beauty rituals—immense potential that L’Oréal is ready to seize thanks to the richness of its brand portfolio.

Travel retail plays a strategic role in showcasing L’Oréal’s brands and in recruiting new consumers.
L’Oréal demonstrates its confidence in the huge potential of this channel and has high ambition for the future of travel retail.