Saint-Gobain (PA)Advance Corporate Objectives & Strategies
Saint-Gobain Celebrates 350 Years of Innovation
Founded in France in 1665, Saint-Gobain—the world’s largest building materials company—has been a part of developing such iconic sights as Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors and the Statue of Liberty. The company upholds a rich history of innovation by making a difference in the spaces where people work, live, play, heal, and learn.To celebrate their 350th anniversary and educate the public about how the company has “crossed the ages and changed the world through innovation and the daring of its employees,” Saint-Gobain created Future Sensations, an international traveling exhibition presented in Shanghai, São Paulo, Paris, and Philadelphia (near the home of their North American headquarters) in 2015.
According to Saint-Gobain Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pierre-André de Chalendar, “Because a picture is worth a thousand words, we are launching this virtual exhibition. Put together form the archives built up by Saint-Gobain over these three and half centuries, it will provide everyone with insight into the company’s memory.” He added, “Because we know that experience builds trust, because inspiration is nothing without curiosity, and because Saint-Gobain is a crucial stakeholder in habitat, we encourage our teams, customers and students who are interested in our businesses, and all those who are fascinated by industry as well as the general public, to explore the way we have taken and to imagine with us what tomorrow’s world will be.”
On the Future Sensations website, the company explains that “the exhibit is an immersive experience with five distinct ephemeral pavilions that take visitors on a sensory journey of science, storytelling and art that celebrates the past three and a half centuries and offers glimpses into future innovations that will transform the world.” The pavilions showcase Saint-Gobain’s capacity for innovation and its expertise in construction materials. A total of 26 products from the Saint-Gobain family of companies are used in their construction.
A Reflection of Progress: The LOOK pavilion is comprised of numerous mirrors inlaid with LEDs and is a tribute to Saint-Gobain's tradition of glassmaking. By day, its exterior reflects the dynamic world around it; by night, it becomes a perpetually shifting cube of light.
A New Sensation: The LISTEN pavilion is a nod to the Company’s acoustic performance materials. This “padded” cube is perfectly sound insulated and uses sound unique “spatialization” technology to take visitors on an interactive aural journey.
The Stuff of Dreams: The COLOR pavilion is a freestanding carousel made of two glazed mobile concentric rings with custom-contoured multicolored textures. A kaleidoscope on an epic scale, this slowly revolving installation transports visitors into a dreamlike multicolored world.
The Art of the Matter: The CREATE pavilion is a true architectural feat a seemingly perpetual spiral staircase that evokes the upward movement of mankind across the centuries.
History and Future: The DISCOVER pavilion, exclusively designed for the Philadelphia exhibition, is an impressive 70 foot dome offering an immersive 360 degree visual experience, which educates visitors about how Saint-Gobain innovations and employees have impacted the lives of everyday Americans.
In addition to the impressive pavilions, the Philadelphia installation was accompanied by a daily pop-up beer garden and multiple food trucks.
“This exhibition will remind people of the strength that is acquired through 350 years of enduring, relevant innovations,” said John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and its North American construction materials subsidiary, CertainTeed Corporation. “Pushing boundaries and rising to the challenges of the technological world has shaped our history and given us the conviction to believe in the future.”
Photos courtesy of Saint-Gobain.