In 2018 I was asked to create some mock-up redesigns of the Pentagon Briefing Room. Initial thoughts were to visually open up the space, (if you've never been there, the room is much smaller than it appears on television) modernize it and make it more appealing visually on camera while keeping cost down.
As this was something I'd never done before, I started by breaking down the visuals of the room and considering ways to open up the space using color and light. I was fortunate to be working with Grant Stolz who is amazing with light. With the right resources, I knew that he could do a lot with the space with minimal redesign.
I suggested backlit panels and a brighter, matte curtain to replace the blue curtain currently in the briefing room. I also suggested simplifying and modernizing the seal and using large panels to visually break the curtain.
From there I was told that options incorporating the armed service seals were wanted. I was also told that the original Pentagon seal and the blue curtains were to stay. I decided to cover the curtain with wood panels and frosted glass/plexi glass. I wanted to have cut-outs of the seals placed within the frost. The frosting was to cut down on glare from lights and the etched look of the seals (which could be done on a budget with decals) would add some class and be subtle. The blue curtains behind the glass would add some color and the light wood would aid in visually opening up the space.
It was also requested that I provide options for monitor placement. I was initially told that any added monitors would likely be on rolling stands.
I still really wanted to provide options that didn't include the blue curtain so I came up with the next set of mockups that used the wood/plexiglass from the previous mock-ups but went with a lighter, matte finish curtain. I also wanted to provide some sleek monitor placement options that fit more gracefully into the environment of the stage. The idea for 2B was that the monitors would have mounts placed behind the wood panels. I also wanted to provide a visual of what the Pentagon seal could look like if placed in the frosted glass. In these mockups I replaced the "etched" service seals with metal seals.
Even though I really loved the idea of brightening the room up considerably with lighter curtains and lighter wood, we went back to the initial designs that included the original Pentagon seal and curtains. I was also told that options including the standing podium were to be created so my next mock-ups were a darker wood to match the podium. I provided different monitor options as well.
What became really important later to the requesters was the lectern. Acquiring Falcon lecterns was a hope, so the wood color was definitely set to be a darker cherry, which more closely matched the original lecterns. The final design they went with went much simpler than what I had envisioned, keeping the current corner monitor, forgoing the service seals, and losing one of the plexiglass panels completely. I really like that they did decide to light the panels from behind which adds a nice break visually to the curtains and brightens up the space.
The final? Some new wood panels, plexiglass, lights and lecterns. I'm glad they went with some of my ideas, even though I would love to at least see the service seals included.