Harley-Davidson 100th Anniversary Open Road Tour
One of the largest shows of its kind, this traveling exhibition fills over 80,000 square feet of exhibition space when installed and a fleet of over 100 trucks when transported. Harley-Davidson saw the opportunity to throw a birthday party for its extended family of enthusiasts and to affirm its legacy as an American icon to the broader public. For the designers, the challenge was creating a flexible, large-scale exhibition that accurately and substantially represented the Harley-Davidson experience – diehard bikers can be very discerning. To achieve this, the designers organized the exhibition around three large tents, each devoted to a separate theme. The customized, circular "Machine" tent is the largest and most distinctive, focusing on the design and engineering of the bikes and their engines. Its central support is an "engine tower" covered in the letter designations of Harley's classic engine types. Every three to four minutes, this "hub" emits the distinctive rumble of a Harley engine. The space also includes a display of the style department's 100 favorite tank graphics, presented within a fabric form – a tent within the tent – that is a riff on the teardrop shape of the Harley gas tank.
"Honoring a legacy brand which is also a cultural icon demands careful acknowledgement of the past while providing a vital image of the present and future. Starting from the fundamental brand elements like the colors black and orange, the machines themselves and even the sound of the engine rumble, this exhibit has a state fair feeling about it, which references the cult gathering of bikers. The bikes are clearly the hero in this design and all design elements with 2-D and 3-D are in support of highlighting these great machines. Sculptural environments reference the contrast of hard and soft forms of the bikes and become exciting backdrops for the history, heroes, and hell raising of the Harley culture."
J. Abbott Miller (Lead Designer), James Hicks, Jeremy Hoffman
Ziger/Snead Architects (Architecture), FTL (Tent Design)
Design & Production, Inc., Reiger Image Labs, Windsor Fireform, Filmet