Guest of Honor Pavilion, 2009 Guadalajara International Book Fair
Guadalajara, Mexico / Completed 2009
Guest of Honor: The annual Guadalajara International Book Fair (the Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara, or simply “FIL”) is the second largest book fair in the world and one of the largest cultural events in Latin America. In 2009, Los Angeles was its Guest of Honor and after a long selection process, JFAK was chosen to design the 20,000 square foot Guest of Honor Pavilion that would project Los Angeles’ identity for the nine days of the fair.
Innovation: The pavilion’s design created a public plaza where people could gather, interact, and trade ideas and visions. The larger theme that guided the design’s content was that of innovation – a theme common to L.A.’s artistic, cultural, commercial, and developmental history.
Atmosphere: Rather than stuffing the pavilion with books and facts about Los Angeles, the design created an ephemeral, atmospheric environment that itself communicated the spirit of this elusive, ever-changing City. The pavilion was designed to embody innovation, rather than to display it.
Bubbles: Two signature elements marked the design. The first was a set of large, suspended, pneumatic “Idea Bubbles,” originally inspired by the speech and idea bubbles found in cartoons. These bubbles formed the backdrop for ten short, specially commissioned films that depict L.A.’s life, art, history, icons, landscape, culture, industry, and film. The bubbles were designed and engineered using advanced digital and computational tools.
Interactive Author Wall: The second iconic element was a 100-foot long interactive “Author Wall,” on which were projected the names of over 220 writers whose work has illuminated and defined Los Angeles over the years. A large touchscreen occupying a platform in the center of the Pavilion allowed visitors to control the moving wall text, which included biographies and quotations from each author in both English and Spanish.
- Principal-in-Charge: Alice Kimm
Project Architect: Garrett Belmont
Project Team: John Friedman, Stefan Becker, Greg Corso, Brian Kenworthy, Lauren Takeda
Project Assistants: Patrick Conner, Angel Menendez
Structural Engineer, Balloons: Buro Happold
Balloon Fabrication: Airstar
Furniture Fabrication: Cisco Brothers
Strategist: Agustin Garza
Environmental and Motion Graphics: Andy Goldman
A/V Consultant and Interactive Programming: Electroland
Literary Content: David L. Ulin
Music: Tom Schnabel
Filmmakers: E.E. Cassidy, Electroland, Christopher Ell, Lyn Goldfarb, Ann Kaneko and Peter Bill, X. Dean Lim, Maura Milan, Laura Simon
General Contractor: Grupo Omega
Photography: Marcos Garcia
- National Endowment for the Arts, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
- Interior Design, March 2010, "Border Crossing", Guest of Honor Pavilion, 2009 Guadalajara International Book Fair