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Seattle firm creates showcase for … Airbus?

Image: Airbus Experience Center
Visitors can take the controls in the interactive Briefing Room at the Airbus Experience Center in Washington, D.C., which was designed by a Seattle-based firm. (Credit: Hornall Anderson)

Captain Kirk from the original “Star Trek” is celebrating Star Wars Day today, so maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising that a Seattle-based branding and design firm helped create the Airbus Group’s state-of-the-art Experience Center in the nation’s capital.

Hornall Anderson is behind the look of the exhibit space, which takes up about half of the 20,000-square-foot Airbus office space that opened last month on Pennsylvania Avenue. The Experience Center’s videos and interactive displays highlight facets of the Europe-based consortium’s operations in the United States and worldwide.

“You’ll see our Rosetta spacecraft that landed on a comet,” Airbus Group Chairman and CEO Allan McArtor said in a news release. “You’ll see the Perlan II glider that is going to ride wind currents into the stratosphere. You’ll see U.S. Army helicopters that are built in Mississippi, and A320 single-aisle aircraft being built in Alabama.”

A design company based in Seattle may seem an unusual choice for Airbus, considering that the Boeing Co. is building rival 737 jets down the road in Renton. There are Boeing-centric “experience centers” in Renton and other locales. But Airbus decided that Hornall Anderson, which recently did the rebranding for Seattle-based, all-Boeing Alaska Airlines, was the right firm for the job.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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