Layout of a tech event: the architecture of Nexus 2050

Pink Flower
Pink Flower
Pink Flower
Architecture firm 2001 has been hard at work designing the exhibition spaces of the inaugural Nexus 2050. Let’s take a peek at their plans.

Nexus 2050 is a joint initiative by marketing agency The Dots and media company Maison Moderne. The aim is to organise an event for stakeholders interested in using technology to enable productivity gains while addressing ethical issues. “Nexus 2050 proposes to support businesses and the government in their efforts to make a digital and ecological transition, hence our reference to 2050, the year by which economies must achieve carbon neutrality,” explains Mike Koedinger, CEO of Maison Moderne. The event will take place on 26-27 June 2024.

To create a space that matches these ambitions, the organisers have asked an architectural firm to help. “We have entrusted the task of scenography to 2001, as we wanted to give a strong and distinctive visual expression, but also to integrate a responsible approach,” says Koedinger. “The work of Philippe Nathan and his teams is recognised for both these qualities.”

A master plan

“The brief is to create a scenography that produces as little waste as possible, with an outstanding effect, and that can of course accommodate a large number of visitors,” explains Nathan, architect and founder of 2001. “The question is: how can we create an experience around technology while maintaining a strong link with the material and without falling into the trap of kitschy decoration? We realised that, more than a scenography, what the organisers needed was a master plan. That’s why we envisaged the space as an urban space, with different types of neighbourhoods. We also felt the need to reverse the way we look at things: rather than filling the space to the brim, we want to ‘curate’ the void.”

Villages built with scaffolding

To achieve this, Nathan and his team have designed a structure that relies on scaffolding of the type used on construction sites, a material that is easily rented. The scaffolding will be spread over two levels and organised around a central square with trees, which will provide an ideal place for exchanges and networking. Around this square, three neighbourhoods will unfold along diagonal axes, like micro-villages, in which it will be possible to wander. “Like in Venice, a city that served as inspiration for several of our ideas,” says Nathan.

Within each themed village, there will be a series of stands of different sizes, organised around avenues, streets or lanes, as well as small squares that will serve as stages for the themed conferences.

The stands will be concentrated in one of two halls. The other hall is reserved for large seated gatherings, with a stage area for keynote speakers on one side and a vast space for a gala dinner on the other.