After experimenting with several ideas for new exhibition stands I was still struggling to to work out the best way to create a design that would incorporate all my key elements, i.e. lightweight, portable, easy to assemble, offer storage AND most importantly create interest.    I tried further ideas including folding cardboard boxes and pet carriers but neither produced the results I was looking for.  Sometimes, however, you’re just missing the obvious and whilst packing for my holidays, there it was, the object already designed to be lightweight, easily transportable and offer storage … a suitcase.  Now all I need to do is work out how this can be adapted to provide interactive and experiential environments, that are informative and engaging.  How can a suitcase be transformed to meet all these criteria and also offer solutions to a variety of organisations?

I started collating ideas:

Cases could be used independently, for a single activity, or combined together to create new spaces, either indoors or out. They could be used as community resources in libraries or to house games/activities in pubs.  Suitcases could be interchangeable, so organisations could swap cases to offer more opportunities.  They could also house education resources, such as a pop-up science lab.  They could also be used as an experiential marketing tool, creating spaces in unusual places.  Other ‘carry cases’ may also work well, for example musical instrument cases.   There are no shortage of possibilities!  

The suitcases themselves, provide interest, particularly if they are recycled vintage specimens.  This ties into my earlier research (Rural Industrial Heritage: Reimagined?) that suggests there is an emergence of nostalgia, particularly among millennials who are experiencing early on-set nostalgia as a response to an every increasing digital world and have a desire to engage with traditionally manufactured objects.


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