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Perfect Formula

Five years in the making, the ground-breaking Formula 1® exhibition with innovative lighting design by Michael Grubb Studio allows viewers to experience the past, present, and future of this racing sport. Produced by Round Room Studios and Pathfinder Studio, the attraction debuted at the renowned IFEMA MADRID in Madrid, Spain on March 24 and will remain open until the summer. 

From AV spectaculars to elegantly curated displays, the exhibit provides a journey of interactive and immersive technologies, installations, artifacts, and interviews. It is displayed across six rooms, each individually designed to showcase the world of F1, from the beginning – “Once upon a time in Formula 1” – to the exhibition’s climax, “The Pit Wall.”

The award-winning Michael Grubb Studio was appointed by Round Room Studios to provide creative lighting design for the six purpose-built rooms. The studio worked in collaboration with designer Alistair McCaw, Director at Real Studios, who liaised with curators, artists, and filmmakers to support the narrative of Formula 1.

The lighting reflected the setting and atmosphere of each room, building up a cinematic atmosphere in the first room, “Once upon a time in Formula 1,” before transitioning to a cool and functional display for the “Design Lab,” where visitors are transported into a F1 factory to view the design and manufacturing process. The illumination heightens to represent speed and chaos in the “Drivers and Duels” race circuit design, before climaxing into a crescendo for “The Pit Wall” finale, as fans relive the greatest moments in F1 history.

Tim Harvey, Managing Partner at Round Room Studios, explained, “We recognized early on that lighting is a critical part of the experience of this exhibition. The lighting supports the narrative of each individual gallery space and helps bring the story in that room to life through an immersive experience. After initially appointing Michael Grubb Studio to provide the design for one gallery, we soon approached them to illuminate all the separate rooms once we saw what their lighting design could achieve. We couldn’t be happier with the finished result. Michael Grubb Studio has helped us elevate this experience with dynamic lighting displays that will wow fans for years to come.”

Michael Grubb, founder and Managing Director of Michael Grubb Studio, added, “We were thrilled to be part of a project for such an iconic brand with a rich history in sport. We were delighted to have been appointed by the client at the early design stages. As this is a complex exhibition, with many galleries and stories to illuminate, the design had to consider not just this, but the technical aspects of how it could be transported from city to city. The result is an incredible immersive lighting experience that can be transported, retained, maintained, and operated as sustainably and efficiently as possible.”

The dazzling lighting design has helped bring to light the rich history and immersive atmosphere of F1, highlighting the speed, chaos, and elated feeling of celebration for fans and visitors of this unique experience.


Client: Round Room Studios

Show Production: TRUE Staging & Sysco Productions

Exhibition Designer: Real Studios

Production Designer: 59 Productions

Lighting Manufacturers: Stoane Lighting, Unibox, Architainment Lighting, Optelma, LEDFlex, UFO Lighting, Prolicht

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