Good things come in small packages, the saying goes. And sometimes big packages. Very big packages.
Circ Corporate Experience took this old saying to new heights with a two-day program for client BASF, an international chemical company and one of the leading global producers of plastics and other packaging products. “BASF Pack.it,” held 18 months ago in BASF's headquarters city, Ludwigshafen, Germany, played with the “packaging” theme on various levels. One hundred leaders of the packaging and brand-name goods industries joined in the event, “which became a form of packaging itself,” says Circ executive director Michael Leroudier, “as an informative, interactive, cultural and culinary interpretation of BASF's expertise in terms of packaging.”
The centerpiece of the event was the venue itself. Circ and its event partners took the Gesellschaftshaus — a late 19th century building in Ludwigshafen now dedicated to music studies — and wrapped it in 13,000 square feet of gleaming silver polyamide, a BASF product. The structure — still plainly visible beneath its shiny new skin — represented the role of packaging, Leroudier explains. Guests saw “the invisible contribution that BASF makes to the visible success — the power of packaging — today and in the future.”
French artist Xavier Juillot came up with the technique used to “wrap” the building — a special vacuum-shrinking technology that integrated air channels into the fabric. The result, Leroudier says, was the impression that the work was a living organism.
And Juillot didn't stop with the building exterior. He also wrapped trees around the building as well as various function rooms. Even invitations to the event were created out of BASF packaging materials.
On the first day of the event, guests arrived to marvel at the building, then came inside to enjoy a 10-course meal from noted chef/restaurateur Juan Amador, who wrapped each dish in its own distinctive packaging. The evening ended with a performance by Nouveau Cirque, who performed within a casing of transparent packaging.
On day two, the 100 business leaders joined forces with 50 children, recruited by Swiss idea-development company BrainStore, for a packaging workshop. At the end of the session, participants left with more than 6,000 ideas for new, different and better packaging, Leroudier says.
Pack.it concluded with an interactive exhibition demonstrating potential uses of 35 new raw materials in the packaging industry — “proof of BASF's expertise in a total of seven different areas,” Leroudier says.
After the executives' event, the installation stayed in place a few more days for the public to visit.
Circ Corporate Experience Unter den Eichen 5, Building F, Officio III, 65195, Wiesbaden, Germany; 49 (0) 6 11.9 86 82 36; www.circ.de