Digitalisation and design defined automobile development in 2015 – and were reflected live in the Mercedes-Benz IAA production in Frankfurt Festhalle.

From the escalator that took them to a height of 13 metres, incoming visitors got their first glimpses of the various theme rooms on three exhibition levels, as well as the live show. Surrounded by 9,000 square metres of floor space, the spacious, open central area created the backdrop for the 450m2 stage setup.

One of the stage production goals involved visualising how automobiles go online in data space, detect their surroundings in sensor fields, adapt their aerodynamics to the airstream and master obstacles in the real world. A spidercam, normally used to cover sports events, created an immediate, tangible live atmosphere as it moved silently to and fro. The live images it captured were then enhanced with augmented reality layers – not in a demo version, but at a busy trade fair. Ten hours a day, twelve days in a row, in front of a total of 960,000 visitors.

Since the spidercam roamed the entire stage space, it was possible to show live activities (such as real-life moving cars or presenters, but above all the public) in dynamic shots and from unusual angles. The AR layer complemented product worlds, vehicle information and interactivity prompts.

A kinetic LED slatted curtain formed an integral part of the overall choreography. When open, it provided glimpses of the current product portfolio, as well as the occasional classic car, as they waited for their cues in a three-storey rack.

The high point of the vibrant production was a live music act that brought a real concert atmosphere to the Mercedes-Benz brand presentation for a few minutes.

The auto show presentation enabled visitors to make contact with the future of the automobile interactively – and made them fellow-protagonists in an imposing production.


Daimler AG, Stuttgart

Architecture LP 1-8, Interior design and exhibition architecture, overall coordination:

jangled nerves, Stuttgart

Communication, exhibition, set and media design:

Atelier Markgraph, Frankfurt am Main

Lighting design:

TLD Planungsgruppe, Esslingen


Atelier Markgraph, Frankfurt am Main with Monomango, Berlin and NSYNK, Berlin

Support structure planning:

formTL, Radolfzell

Booth construction:

Display International, Würselen

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