The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame has unveiled the concept for its exhibits and activities in its new 23,500-square-foot permanent home at 311 S. Hamilton St.

The exhibits are being designed by Roto, an international exhibit design, fabrication and installation firm, based in Columbus, Ohio, and the building (designed by Freeman Kennett Architects) is set to open in 2022.

“The building’s design is stunning, and the exhibit concepts are brilliant,” said David Gebhart, Hall of Fame Board chairman and creative team member. “Our home, with great intention, will become the genesis for new thinking, for creativity and thought-provoking conversation among those in the Leaders Circle.”

“We are creating a long-needed hub for activities designed to generate pride among our industry, as well as among consumers, for the place that we call home,” said Caroline Hipple, Hall of Fame board first vice president and creative team member.

The Creative Team is comprised of David Gebhart, Global Views; Caroline Hipple, Norwalk Furniture; Larry Rogers, consultant and building committee chairman; Mark Phillips, Phillips Collection; Mike Herschel, Furniture Marketing Group; Kyle Hughes, Hall of Fame historian; and Karen McNeill, Hall of Fame CEO.

The Hall of Fame has long been building a body of work, including 29 Hall of Fame inductee documentaries, manufacturing videos, photography and memorabilia.  A significant new element will be the creation of an industry training video, “The Inside Story of Home Fashion: Creating the Place We Call Home.”

Organized around four themes, the exhibits will be presented as the industry, the people, the process and the products, featuring interactive displays designed to teach and entertain.

Ideas for the exhibits’ design include: an Inspiration Theater, digital introductions to the inductees, a discovery place for the jobs and people behind the scenes, a Tell Us Your Story Video Booth, interactive discover centers, and spotlight galleries highlighting trends and technology.

From the outside, visitors will be greeted by the Grand Story Wall, a digital matrix of interlaced LED screens, each programmed with photography and videos. Inwardly facing, the Dynamic Story Wall can be used as a backdrop for presentations, training, or for setting a mood of inspiration.

In addition, multiple meeting spaces have been incorporated into the plans, to be used by our industry, area businesses and the community. The Celebration Hall will seat 400, supported by a catering kitchen for full service events.  The Display Galleries can be used to host cocktail and other small events, and the Leaders Board Room will accommodate meetings of up to 50 or can be split into two smaller meeting rooms.

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