The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame has unveiled the concept for its exhibits and activities as a world-class gathering place and center for leadership through a series of 12 short videos. The building is located in the heart of the High Point Market at 311 S. Hamilton St.
The videos, most under two minutes, feature members of the Hall of Fame Creative Team and Executive Committee: Board President Caroline Hipple, president of Norwalk Furniture; Board Secretary-Treasurer David Gebhart, Global Views CEO, and Karen McNeill Pond, Hall of Fame CEO. The clips also introduce the vision for the exhibits told through the eyes of Joseph Wisne, CEO, and Mike Denson, Design Director, of Roto, the international exhibit design, fabrication and installation firm overseeing exhibits.
Videos can be viewed at:
“It’s time to build well-earned pride in ourselves as an industry and to capture the attention of future leaders through a concerted effort to promote the career opportunities and personal rewards of what we do,” McNeill says. “The home furnishings industry inherently thrives on changing fashion trends and products, uses technology extensively from design through manufacturing to delivery to the customer, is rooted in a deeply relational culture and serves a noble purpose: we improve lives by creating beautiful homes. We are an amazing industry with a story to tell.”
Each short video explores a different aspect of the Hall of Fame’s new 23,500-square-foot permanent home, scheduled to open in 2022. The clips include: Bringing the Exhibits to Life, A Hub of Discovery, Creating Value for Home Furnishings, A Living Space to Celebrate the Industry, A Look at How the Exhibits are Organized, A Noble Purpose, Designed for Gathering, Honoring our Leaders, A Catalyst for Innovation, Our Vision for Industry Engagement, Our Favorite Elements, and Joining the Region as a Center of Design.
World Class Exhibits: Genesis for New Thinking
“The Roto concept for the exhibits is brilliant,” Gebhart says. “People are attracted to places that ignite the imagination. Our industry home, with great intention, will become the genesis for new thinking, for creativity and thought-provoking conversation. It will benefit all of us at a time when consumers are passionate about their homes.”
Organized around four themes, the exhibits will be presented as the Industry, the People, the Process and the Products, featuring interactive displays designed to teach and entertain. “The People galleries will feature interactive displays on the vision and leadership of inducted members of the Hall of Fame, the people behind the brands and the roles they play. The Process will start with design, moving through production to delivery. The Products galleries will showcase the products that make up our industry and explore styles and trends,” Gebhart says.
As the Hall of Fame and Roto move from concept design to the next phase of exhibit design, the approach to some of the exhibits will include:
The International Market Center Inspiration Theater will present The Inside Story of Home Fashion: Creating the Place We Call Home, a fast-paced documentary covering the scope of the industry.
Digital introductions of Hall of Fame inductees will illustrate their innovations and contributions, what inspires them, how they lead, and examples of managing during challenging times.
Discovery Place will kindle interest in home furnishings jobs and people behind the scenes; it will explore what we do and how we do it through interactive exhibits.
The Tell Us Your Story Video Booth will capture what it’s like to be a product designer, a merchandiser, a sales representative, a retailer, a manufacturer or other member of the industry. Visitors also may participate by telling their stories of home. The Spotlight Galleries will highlight new trends and technology.
From outside the building, visitors will be greeted by the Grand Story Wall, a digital matrix of interlaced LED screens, each programmed with photography and videos. Inwardly facing the Celebration Hall, the Dynamic Story Wall can be used for presentations and training, including CEU seminars, or purely as a backdrop for setting an inspirational mood.
The Hall of Fame: A Hub for Gathering
“In our research, before we started the design concept, the Hall of Fame team met with more than a dozen museums and centers. The first question they asked was, ‘For sustainability and ongoing income, what is your meeting space going to be like?’” Hipple says. “As a result, our architects and design team have carefully and strategically incorporated multiple meeting spaces into the plans for use by our industry, area businesses and the community. The space is designed for people to gather, to learn, to share and to celebrate. This will be a living, changing space.”
Gathering spaces include:
The Bill and Carolyn Hinks Celebration Hall will seat 150 for dinner or host a cocktail party for 400.
The Display Galleries are perfect for intimate cocktail gatherings or other small events. The O. William Fenn Leaders Boardroom will accommodate meetings of up to 50 or can be split into two smaller meeting rooms. A Catering Kitchen will support full-service events.
“One of my favorite aspects of the building is our ability to introduce traveling and temporary exhibits,” Hipple says. “There will always be something new to inspire us as an industry and to inspire consumers who want to see the Home Furnishings Capital of the World.”
The Hall of Fame Creative Team includes David Gebhart, Global Views; Caroline Hipple, Norwalk Furniture; Larry Rogers, Committee Chairman; Mark Phillips, Phillips Collection; Mike Herschel, Furniture Marketing Group; Kyle Hughes, Hall of Fame; and Karen McNeill Pond, Hall of Fame.