AVIXA POV: Commercial AV Illuminates The Experience


AVIXA takes a look at some of the best AV experiences all around the globe.

Agriculture, industry and services have driven global economies for centuries. Now, though, in 2020, we live in “the experience economy.” The term was first used in a Harvard Business Review article back in 1998. In it, B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore stated, “An experience occurs when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event.”

That certainly explains the objective of AV design and technology. AV professionals and their clients work together to conceptualize experiences and assemble the perfect mix of AV technology to deliver them.

AVIXA created the AV Experience Awards to applaud the remarkable ways that professionals are designing and applying AV technology to create dynamic art; flexible spaces; and collaborative, individualized, immersive and in-person experiences. Here are the winners:

Best Collaborative Experience
Klarman Hall at Harvard Business School
Boston MA

In October 2018, Harvard Business School opened Klarman Hall, a forum designed to connect voices from all over the world so they could discuss critical issues. Harvard’s case-method approach required a different design as compared to traditional, lecture-style classrooms. It wasn’t enough to support one-direction communication. The room had to support the interaction on a large scale—namely, a 1,000-seat room. The AV design by Idibri and installation by AVI-SPL allows students to see each other and speak to each other from their seats. The sound systems allow for presentation, while a separate voice-lift audio system supports the students’ interaction in the hall. The oversized multimedia display (61.8 feet wide) is curved to optimize viewing angles. It supports concurrent media presentations, enabling a variety of ideas to be expressed at once.

Best Dynamic Art Experience & Best In-Person Experience
DATA GATE: NASA AI Astronomical Sculpture
Nanjing, China

In Nanjing, China, new-media studio Ouchhh collaborated with NASA astrophysicist Dawn Gelino to create a permanent, 15-ton, 360-LED installation to allow the public to observe the exoplanets (planets that are outside our Solar System). The DATA GATE: NASA AI Astronomical Sculpture utilizes machine learning (ML) in the context of space discovery and astronomical research through NASA’s Kepler data. The resulting work invites visitors to plunge into the fascinating world of space discovery through the immersive data sculpture.

Best Dynamic Art Experience
Tours globally

If you attended Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) or InfoComm in 2019, you were treated to the sight of Sviatovid, BARTKRESA studio’s 360-degree, projection-mapped sculpture. Inspired by both a ninth-century Slavic deity and a medieval sculpture of the same name, Sviatovid is a 15-foot-tall faceted totem. The histories of the deity and medieval statue are the subject of debate among historians, but BARTKRESA studio took inspiration from the all-seeing nature of the figure. With four faces, Sviatovid, although not omniscient, could literally take in the world in an allencompassing way. BARTKRESA studio projects a library of animations onto the sculpture as a reflection of Sviatovid’s distinct perspective and journey.

Best Individualized Experience
Yogi Berra Museum
Montclair NJ
TRITECH Communications

The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, located on the campus of Montclair State University, in Montclair NJ, is an engaging setting that reflects the humor, good nature and humility of famed New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra. TRITECH Communications collaborated with exhibit designer Responsive Spaces to create the museum’s extremely popular PITCH! immersive experience. It allows visitors to face off with an animated batter and catcher, as well as track the ball’s velocity and accuracy. Then, the umpire responds with a “strike” or “ball” call, along with a fitting Yogi-ism—for example, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” The design team faced a multitude of challenges: What type of ball would provide the most accurate experience? What type of glass would best protect the video displays? The final product is a fun, safe and portable exhibit.

Best Flexible Space Experience
Qatar University’s Sports and Events Complex
Doha, Qatar
Techno Q

In November 2019, Qatar University opened its approximately 275,000-squarefoot Sports and Events Complex, a flexible space that hosts a wide range of events—everything from large sports events to small conferences. This flexibility is achieved through retractable seating, ceiling and lighting; scalable rigging; and portable staging. AV integrator Techno Q employed a mix of technologies to create this multifunctional space, which features the largest movable ceiling in the country, covering about 229’x131′. The ceiling panels can be illuminated to multiple colors for atmosphere. The complex scales up for a 5,000-person crowd for a sporting event or scales down for a 900-person banquet.

Best Immersive Experience
Copenhagen, Denmark
Audio-Visuelt Centrum A/S

When you arrive in the main dining hall at the restaurant Alchemist in Copenhagen, Denmark, you’re immersed in a different world. The dome ceiling can transport you to the sea or under the Northern Lights. This magical experience was created by Audio-Visuelt Centrum A/S utilizing 10 projectors and audio distribution. Patrons’ senses are amplified beyond taste and smell during this dining experience.

It’s clear that we’re living in an experiential world. Accordingly, organizations understand that, in order to capture their audience’s attention, they must create that holistic experience. AV technology has the power to make that happen. To quote Pine and Gilmore once again, “Commodities are fungible, goods tangible, services intangible and experiences memorable.”

For more from Sound & Communications, click here.

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