Winter 2015 Newsletter

Ford unveils 2015 models, 2016 concept car to receptive crowds

Ford unveils 2015 models, 2016 concept car to receptive crowds

Every year, automakers face a new challenge in presenting what’s new and exciting to the international media attending the North American International Auto Show’s press events. This year’s Ford press event, designed by Andy Warfel and produced by Gail & Rice Executive Vice President Bud Price, Executive Producer Bob Iverson, and Producer Cody Price, successfully met that challenge with assistance from a number of partners including Chicago Scenic.

Seats were full at the Joe Louis Arena where Ford held its presentation in mid-January. This year’s event opened with a video of Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford projected on an arena-filling scrim; behind the scrim, a series of historic automotive images appeared on an LED wall which filled the stage. The combined scrim and LED wall created a unique 3-D effect.

When Bill Ford’s presentation concluded, the 180-foot-wide scrim flew out on a counterweighted and motorized arbor system created by Chicago Scenic, revealing the full LED wall and the stage, enhanced by a 90-foot-wide curved back-wall basin.

Chicago Scenic created the intricately balanced system that flew the scrim and blackout drape behind it. The rigging support trusses flew at maximum height in the arena, close to 70 feet above the deck. Each mechanism included 2,000 pounds of counterweight to move the elements.

The Chicago Scenic shop also fabricated the back-wall basin that included a 20-foot section that tilted up to provide a dramatic center stage opening for car reveals. One of Chicago Scenic’s 20-foot-high capacity turntables and CS Control automation were used as well, providing accurate and controlled operation for the scrim, blackout drape, and turntable.

The event featured the newly re-designed Mustang GT 350R, the F150 Raptor truck, and the new Ford GT 2016 concept car which stole the show.

Chicago Scenic’s Project Director Ross Hamilton oversaw the entire project while Stefan Koniarz was the automation project manager.

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New Children’s Area Opens At Wauconda Library

New Children’s Area Opens At Wauconda Library

Children who visit the Wauconda, IL Public Library have new opportunities to stretch their imaginations now that renovations are complete in the library’s Children’s Section.

The library worked with Product Architecture + Design of Chicago to update its children’s area, asking them to create a ‘children’s museum in the library’, says Jim Lonergan, one of the architect-designers. “We discussed many ideas but settled on offering experiences that children don’t typically have at home.”

Now children can play on a kid-sized airplane, visit a grocery store with operating conveyor belt, and fly paper airplanes via the airplane launcher.

The airplane, the focal point of the play area, is designed (and sized) for 2-4 year olds and includes a two-seat cockpit and instrument clusters with switches, decals, and lights. The cockpit features two steering yokes and a movable throttle assembly for ‘realistic’ flight simulations.

Passengers and airline crew can access the plane via stairs and, for a fast exit, take the slide located at the rear of the aircraft. Underneath the plane in the faux engine cowling is a custom-cushioned reading cubby.

Adjacent to the plane, library patrons can visit the grocery store that features a check-out lane and a crank-operated mechanical conveyor belt that transports groceries to the bagging area.
The airplane launcher features a conveyor that transports paper airplanes vertically and then releases them.

Other popular features in the renovated area include multi-color cubbies for book displays and a two-track racing ramp sized for guests’ Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars. There’s also a vertical six-by-seven-foot Lego wall where guests can practice their construction skills.

Chicago Scenic’s Project Manager Jim Mallerdino managed the project; Mike Zaremba was the Shop Lead.

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Adler Window

Adler Window

Chicago Scenic recently worked with Chicago’s Adler School of Professional Psychology on updating their branding and the result was stunning.

Our first project with Adler was in the late fall of 2010, when the School brought in Chicago Scenic and Kym Abrams Design to revamp their interior branding experience with wall murals, display windows, dimensional graphics, and mission maps.

This year, we returned to their North Dearborn location to install a new window display designed by Gail McKernin of Kym Abram Design, just in time for Adler’s transition from the Adler School of Professional Psychology to Adler University.

Pictured at left is the 18-foot x 19-foot fabric banner printed by Rose Brand, set against a dramatic black wall and accented with a powerful vinyl message. The effect is sure to encourage passerby to stop and admire.

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Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest

Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest

Chicago Scenic helped transform Festival Hall at Chicago’s Navy Pier into a Winter WonderFest, the annual winter playground featuring 170,000 square feet of rides, giant slides, and an indoor ice skating rink.

This was Navy Pier’s 14th annual Winter WonderFest and Chicago Scenic has contributed scenic elements to the event every year. This year’s project included creating the 16-foot tall, 20-foot wide “tube slope” and its ADA-accessible ramp.

Chicago Scenic enlisted the assistance of a local architect and engineer to ensure that the completed tube slope was structurally sound. The slope was made of Steeldeck® and covered with a synthetic material that provided sledders with the sensation of riding on snow.

Chicago Scenic also created the two dozen CNC-cut, glittering white snowflakes that hung high above the crowds in Festival Hall. In past years, Chicago Scenic has also designed and built ticket and information booths, stages, and wooden figure cut-outs for photo opportunities.

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Heinz Ketchup Sculpture

Heinz Ketchup Sculpture

Ever think much about the ketchup you use? A visit to the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA will fill you in on the history of the H.J. Heinz Company.

As part of the History Center’s new Heinz exhibition, Director of Exhibits & Design Michael A. Dubois asked Chicago Scenic to create a unique tomato sculpture ‘waterfall’.

The completed nine-foot-tall tomato waterfall consists of a steel baseplate and pipe armature and features a Heinz bottle replica and more than a 100 custom-cast faux tomatoes (4 styles for variation), permanently affixed to a custom made tomato basket. Six of the tomatoes include fun facts about the iconic ketchup brand. Project

Manager Alyce Iversen oversaw the project; Steve Hemphill was the Project Lead.

The tomato waterfall is just part of the new exhibit celebrating the H.J. Heinz Company’s 145 years in business. The company began when young Henry John Heinz sold produce from his mother’s garden in Sharpsburg, PA; today the company features more than 5,700 products in 200 countries worldwide.

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Allstate Bus Mayhem

Allstate Bus Mayhem

For the fourth year in a row, Chicago Scenic created “mayhem” for Allstate and its advertising agency Leo Burnett at the Sugar Bowl.

This year’s Mayhem again featured a bus crash between the two team buses. Since Alabama’s Crimson Tide also played in last year’s game, Chicago Scenic updated just one team bus, removing the Oklahoma Sooners’ graphics and replacing them with team decals for this year’s contender, the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The ‘crash site’, located in New Orleans’ French Quarter, again proved to be a popular social media attraction as fans from across the country stopped to shoot photos and share them with friends and family. The Buckeyes were victorious, beating the Crimson Tide 42-35.

This was the third bus crash mayhem event at the Sugar Bowl. In 2012, Chicago Scenic created a different kind of “mayhem” by spearing a goalpost through a car.

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All Blacks Promo Event

All Blacks Promo Event

When New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team visited Chicago this fall, part of their pre-game promotion included a ‘skills and drills’ workshop at Union Station during rush hour.

The event was sponsored by Adidas; their agency Matchaction asked Chicago Scenic to provide scenic elements for the workshop, including a portable rugby goal, custom freestanding field banners, target boxes, and end zone crash pads.

The historic match between the USA Eagles and the All Blacks team celebrated an emerging sport that returns to the Olympics in 2016 after more than a 90-year absence. More than 60,000 fans attended the sold-out game at Soldier Field. The All Blacks – the world’s top team – beat the USA Eagles 74-6.

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