Each year, the AZ Awards reimagines its awards night, a gathering of over 400 of the top creative minds to celebrate the best architectural projects of the past year. Hosted at the Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto, the highlight of the night is an hour-long ceremony revealing the year’s winners. With over 20 distinct categories, the ceremony contains the same amount of content and production cues as a traditional 3-hour awards show.
The AZ Awards partnered with Frontier to develop the vision for the 2017 show, design its visual identity, and rollout the various campaign elements—from launch video, to physical and digital installations on the night of.
Frontier worked closely with AZ’s leadership team to develop a vision for the night that was celebratory in tone, yet reflective of the prestige that the awards embody. The team wanted to signal something new for their 2017 show, building on previous year’s momentum. This vision became the foundation from which the brand and video work was created.
To highlight AZ’s role as a program for celebration, Frontier developed a flexible identity which used the logo’s ‘A’ and ‘Z’ to create an expanding and contracting framing device that allowed the various disciplines of the AZ Awards to be featured.
Video for the night was designed as a cohesive narrative, mindful of the potentially repetitive nature of award shows. Along with over one hundred video cues for category nominees and winner reveals, five interlude videos were developed using interviews of the jury members to introduce the next group of categories. The interlude videos were edited to reveal the jury’s appreciation of upcoming winners without identifying who they were referring to, creating brief, auspicious moments throughout the night.
For the show itself, Frontier collaborated with the event’s production team to develop an unusually wide projection screen, equivalent to three 16:9 displays side-by-side. The result was an impressive 40 ft wide video system that formed the backdrop for the award show.
Frontier further developed the physical installation for the event, using a simple system of die-cut, interlocking cardboard sheets. Working with a traditional box manufacturer, the installation used a toy-like method of construction to assemble a large tower separating the ceremony space from the reception area, as well as smaller interventions through the event.