The word ‘museum’ is a tricky one. For some, it brings back memories of childhood outings lost in wonder at pickled specimens in jars and relics from far away civilisations. But for others – most, perhaps? - it suggests a quiet, sober space where you’re supposed to learn something about your ancestors and how they lived. Serious, strictly controlled, and somewhere that’s supposed to be enjoyable - but often isn’t. That’s such an out-dated idea, though. In fact, if you go back to the origin of the word, you’ll find that it’s actually supposed to be a place of inspiration. The clue is in the first four letters – ‘muse’ – something or someone that unlocks ideas, feelings and creativity, so that you’re inspired to do something positive.

The brief we got from IMKAN, who wanted to showcase their stunning international projects at Cityscape in Abu Dhabi, shouted out for a ‘museum’. Cityscape is the premier property show that’s attended by 15,000 people seeking inspiration. To ensure IMKAN achieved just the right level of interest and attention at this event we created an immersive world that delivered a truly authentic ‘museum’ experience – all within a self-contained serious of spaces within what we called a ‘box’.

IMKAN’s image is sleek and stylish, so the box had to match their brand. We built a 624 sqm space that brought the company’s slogan to life: “Soulful Places. Enriched Lives.” The space was the ‘muse’ that transformed the busy world of Cityscape into a cocoon of contemplation at the heart of the exhibition’s buzz. We showcased signature developments like the AlJurf waterfront riviera at Sahel El Emerat within the museum-style space, which encouraged visitors to go on a journey deep into the environment that could be theirs, were they to buy one of the properties.

To ensure that the true character of the development was communicated we based the furnishing, flooring, and wall coverings on the materials that could be found at AlJurf – from fabrics to natural materials to local features (including plywood). We used sketches, images, and primary research to get the look and feel just right. And because it was all enclosed within the calm spaces of the ‘museum’ we were able to focus the attention of visitors on both the brand vision and the details of the developments.

That’s very important to the way we work at Action Impact. We don’t simply replicate what a client tells us; we always strive to go deeper, to transcend the brief and go beyond it to delight not only the client – although in this case they were indeed absolutely delighted – but also, more importantly, the primary audience – the visitors themselves.

The IMKAN Box has become renowned. That’s good for them and good for us. Visitors loved it, as did HH Sheikh Nahyan al Nahyan and HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan when they visited it during show. We had all the usual HD screens and intricate models on show, but the ‘museum’ environment within the unique box made the entire thing a truly responsive experience.

by Paul Farthing