Four considerations when designing display technology into projects
From an escalator through an immersive 3-D ocean to a curved LED tunnel, AIA partner ANC explores how to find the right display technology solution to fit every creative idea.
Gone are the days when digital boards are just for advertising or wayfinding — interior and exterior spaces are increasingly ripe for use as engaging digital media canvases, whether you’re designing a commercial or retail space, transit or aviation hub, entertainment facility or attraction, or a mixed-use location.
The good news for architects today: there’s a technology solution to fit nearly every creative idea imaginable. The challenge is finding which technology is best suited for your specific project.
Here are four items to consider when setting out to design your next project.
Why integrate digital displays into your project?
Step one in determining the right technology is to best understand the why behind integrating digital. Is there a need to sell product? Communicate wayfinding? Display highly sought-after NFTs as art?
With today’s technology, display systems can bring your retail center to life with a ride up an escalator that is not just a few levels of glass, but an immersive 3-D ocean, with brilliant sea creatures swimming overhead and around architectural-grade media glass. Or bring your client’s home to life with an entire media wall of the highest-resolution LED that can instantly transform the feel of the space from a seamless wall to a personalized display gallery experience based on each member of the family.
On the other end of the spectrum, display technologies efficiently communicate complex transit wait times intermixed with an array of digital advertising or can provide ultra-crisp details of sports stats in the most VIP of sports bar settings.
Each objective will inform the appropriate video display hardware, sound systems, broadcast systems, interactive applications, and lighting technologies.
Aesthetic considerations for digital displays
Next, consider where your technology is being integrated. Are there distinctive environmental considerations, is there a need for curved LED to bend in line with the space, or are you looking for the impact of a massive but seamless display flush with the structure?
For example, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse turned an ordinary entry corridor into a fully immersive “Power Portal” featuring the unique combination of two customized LED manufacturer products to create a curved LED tunnel and Soundscape Technology experience that hypes up fans from the moment they enter the building.
In New York, a digital canvas activated an otherwise empty 60-foot-tall, open-air atrium for The Howard Hughes Company’s Pier 17 development in the South Street Seaport. The result is a dynamic multimedia canvas of continuous content across three levels of the building. Custom no-bezel columns allow for an immersive, uninterrupted viewing experience as shoppers traverse between floors.
How will you integrate creative content for your digital displays?
The third item to consider is how content will be integrated. What subject matter will need to be created, and who will create it? How can the content elevate the digital display network? How can sound and light enhance the experience?
Creating a destination goes beyond implementing cutting-edge technologies. The way people feel in your space will be defined by the experiential content that transforms the displays from just screens into an experience people won't want to miss. Consider creating content opportunities that will bring your displays to life post-installation and continually renew the visual experience — keeping your investment evergreen. Digital integration firms often work alongside architects or sometimes offer in-house creative studios as well as proprietary content management systems to aid in creating the most impactful spaces.
When helping your client establish an overall project budget, it is important to consider not just the cost of the AV products and installation, but also what it will take to keep it fully operational and impactful across the life of the building. When partnering with an experienced digital integrator, you are afforded experience with a vast variety of manufacturers to find the right product for the specific use case and operating parameters, taking into account the full life cycle of the space and ongoing service and maintenance.
“Our architect partners are creating spaces that merge technology into the overall aesthetic and owner objectives, with a leading theme of the ordinary no longer being enough,” said technology integrator ANC’s Executive Vice President Chris Mascatello. “The possibilities are now limitless, and we love working with our partners to help bring the wow into everyday life by creating unforgettable experiences.”
If you are interested in more information, Mascatello leads an AIAU Course for 1.00 LU/RIBA credit to help architects discern all the latest technologies and applications. Visit the course signup to learn more and schedule a virtual presentation.
ANC also offers complimentary technology consultations and site visits to help you select the right technologies for your space and project objectives. Get in touch to discuss your projects: www.anc.com/contact.
AIA does not sponsor or endorse any enterprise, whether public or private, operated for profit. Further, no AIA officer, director, committee member, or employee, or any of its component organizations in his or her official capacity, is permitted to approve, sponsor, endorse, or do anything that may be deemed or construed to be an approval, sponsorship, or endorsement of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.
Cleveland Cavaliers and Norm Trepal Photography