Whitepaper : Digital Screens in our Cityscapes

Page 1

WHITEPAPER

SEPTEMBER 2019

DIGITAL SCREENS IN OUR

CITYSCAPES


EXECUTIVE

SUMMARY

T

he concept of a modern, vibrant and dynamic town

Today’s burgeoning cityscapes are those that have innovated in their

centre has evolved. The big-draw retailers and anchor

design and created a unique sense of place and personality that

tenants aren’t always prevalent or relevant to today’s

embraces public art, digital technologies and distinct architecture.

high street, and younger generations of tech-savvy

The traditional and the modern can sometimes be uncomfortable

consumers interact with their surroundings in a different way to

bedfellows, but they needn’t be mutually exclusive.

older demographics. By taking advantage of the latest innovations and focusing on There’s no escaping the fact that Britain’s high streets have been

sympathetic and considerate design, and a focused content

hit by the highest shop vacancy rates in 5 years (10.3%) with 2,870*

schedule, large scale digital installations can help bring together

store closures in the first half of 2019 and a continuing drop in

local communities, support businesses, and create an effective

footfall even over the summer months. But we know that even

urban centre where people want to live, work and spend their leisure

as retail struggles the leisure market and experience economy is

time together.

meanwhile booming, and worth an estimated £129billion in the UK**. Unquestionably, the town centre must move away from a retaildriven experience, evolving towards more flexible and mixed use spaces where residential combined with retail and leisure, and where temporary and pop-up enterprises can thrive.

WHETHER SCREENS ARE PART OF A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE INITIATIVE, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF KEY FACTORS THAT CAN DETERMINE SHORT TERM ACCEPTANCE AND LONG TERM SUCCESS: • An architectural design that is elegant and sympathetic to the surrounding environment • A clear purpose that adds benefit to the local community and/or businesses • A clear and realistic content strategy with long term funding in place for management and ownership of its delivery This paper will focus on the architectural challenges and the usages of integrating large display technology into existing urban realm and seek to offer advice for success.

*According to research by PwC and the Local Data Company (Sept 2019) **Mintel press centre, March 2018 - https://www.mintel.com/press-centre/leisure/ brits-to-spend-129-billion-having-fun-with-kids-activities-proving-a-big-hit-with-adults

2

WHITEPAPER 2019 - DIGITAL SCREENS IN OUR CITYSCAPES


VISITOR BEHAVIOURS IN TOWN CENTRES WITH LEISURE & ENTERTAINMENT

57% 27 MINS TRAVEL FROM FURTHER AWAY TO VISIT

LONGER SPENT IN THE CENTRE

15% 32% MORE LIKELY TO MAKE A PURCHASE

INCREASE IN SPEND ON RETAIL & GROCERIES

The latest research (above) unequivocally shows that leisure and entertainment form a vital cog in the strategy for community shopping centres (Ellandi Knight Frank – Beyond Retail May 2019).

3


SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE

T

own centres have a civic responsibility to create a

BBC BIG SCREENS: A LESSON LEARNED?

sense of community and bridge the gap between

While the programming broadcast and its relevance to the local

diverse demographics and socioeconomic groups.

community is pivotal, the way screen technology is integrated into a scheme is fundamental.

How can you create a public realm that’s effective in appealing to millennials just as much as baby-boomers, and how does that

The BBC Big Screens project was by far the biggest rollout of large

shape the social infrastructure of town and city centres?

LED screens into British town centres and saw 22 large LED screens installed across the UK in preparation for London 2012. It’s fair to

‘Every day spaces’ should have the ability to accommodate a wide

say it didn’t create the success or positive legacy hoped for.

range of live community events and support shared experiences. This influences the overall design or regeneration of a scheme,

A lack of funding and inspiration for programming post 2012 was

with the space, street furniture and technologies to encourage

underpinned by the fact many of the screen installations were too

congregation and socialisation.

visually dominant within their urban settings.

The integration of digital screens in the public realm can also be

The unfortunate absence of elegant design or consideration to

valuable in bringing people together for shared viewing experiences,

the install location meant that most of the screens didn’t enhance

whether its global sporting events, nationally-important occasions

the surrounding public realm. Many of the large-format displays

or fresh, exciting community content during a live activation by the

detracted from uniquely historic architecture, heritage or public art,

council.

where it should have been the case that their design and visual aesthetic was sympathetic to the surroundings. It could be viewed

In defining a location, careful consideration should be given not

as a lost opportunity to provide future-proof solutions that are

only to the congregational space but also the surrounding area

admired and enjoyed by the local community for many years.

to activate and support local events with leisure and food and Bodies such as English Heritage have been quite damning of

beverage outlets.

the BBC Big Screens project –and rightly so – but it shouldn’t Local consultation is paramount at an early stage and should help

discourage the careful and considered integration of screens into

to shape and define the very raison d’etre of the whole project,

the public realm more widely in the future.

as well as secure vital support within the local community. It’s

4

important that this is an inclusive process that consults across a

Screen technologies and installation techniques have evolved

wide range of age groups and demographics, and that local benefits

remarkably in the last 10 years since the BBC project was unveiled.

are then clearly defined and documented. Reaching out to the local

The knowledge amongst architects of how to best integrate

population can also help to clarify a longer term content strategy,

screens into placemaking has moved on in leaps and bounds;

as well as identify individuals and groups who can contribute to

applying digital technologies in a way that brings an attractive and

help minimise longer term operational costs.

interactive layer to the public realm.

KEY TO SUCCESS

WHITEPAPER 2019 - DIGITAL SCREENS IN OUR CITYSCAPES

A FOCUS ON SYMPATHETIC INTEGRATION INTO EXISTING BUILDINGS AND THE BENEFITS TO LOCAL COMMUNITY NEED TO BE AT THE CENTRE OF ANY PROPOSAL. INVOLVEMENT WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS ACROSS ALL AGE GROUPS CAN HELP TO ENSURE BUY-IN AND DEFINE USE-CASES.


BREWERY SQUARE, DORCHESTER The 60sqm ‘Screen on the Square’ was one of the first elements

conceptualised

in

the scheme, acting as the focal point around which Dorchester’s high-profile

regeneration

project was designed. Helping create

a

vibrant

cultural,

commercial and residential hub in the Dorset town, the screen is used every day of the year, with a compelling mix of free to air TV, local advertising and live event broadcast.

THE VISION FOR ST. JAMES’ SQUARE, CHESTERFIELD

On the elevation facing St. James’ Square a large, seamless LED

The historic town, famed for its 13th century crooked spire, has a

canvas will bring a focal point to the amphitheatre-style public

masterplan for its’ Vicar Lane shopping centre and the regeneration

space. The screen will be installed in a way that makes it look like

of neighbouring public realm, St. James’ Square.

the fabric of the building, with retro-fit and curved edges to sit within the existing façade.

Leslie Jones Architects and property fund ALTERIS have joined forces to re-energise the site, and technology is a key feature in the

The plan is to broadcast a wealth of programming; from free to air

plans. Cutting-edge solutions aim to make the customer journey

TV, films and local business promotion to sponsored news channels

more user friendly while enhancing the existing architecture.

and national advertising campaigns.

5


PLATFORMS FOR DIGITAL

OUT OF HOME

O

ut of home advertising is an accepted and prevalent

While size, scale and design can vary due to the media owner of

form of commercial revenue for local authorities and

the site, there are some incredible examples of installations that

landowners, and across all urban settings you’ll see

enhance, excite and engage; it’s certainly not the case that all

media sites that adorn street furniture and buildings

media screens should be discouraged in significant public spaces.

or are visible at the roadside. Since media owners will place the most value on high footfall It’s only natural that this channel has evolved given the advances in

and high traffic locations, the busiest public spaces or routes

digital technology, and at last count there were over 11,000 screens

have most appeal and will generate the highest revenues. It’s

sited across the UK.

therefore imperative that while these screens provide standout for the advertisers they are also carefully considered in their design, integration and sensory impact on surrounding location and communities.

KEY TO SUCCESS EARLY ENGAGEMENT WITH COUNCIL PLANNING WILL IMPROVE THE CHANCES OF PROJECT APPROVAL.

THE MOOR, SHEFFIELD Sheffield’s first and only large-format digital out of home site creates impact but is carefully integrated and inset within the contemporary ‘art deco’ style of the scheme.

6

WHITEPAPER 2019 - DIGITAL SCREENS IN OUR CITYSCAPES


DRAKE CIRCUS LEISURE, PLYMOUTH The new leisure development at Plymouth’s Drake Circus will

feature

a

100m 2 LED

screen on the front elevation. From the earliest design stage the large-format display was a key feature of the scheme, with a bespoke clad surround that ensures the display is a

prominent

element

that

and

dynamic

brings

the

exterior of the contemporary build to life.

CHURCH STREET, LIVERPOOL On the front of the Forever 21 store in Liverpool’s most prominent retail area a large LED canvas has been retrofit above the main entrance to the retailer. The portrait format of the screen fits flush within the

build,

complimentary

to

the architectural styling, while putting big brand advertisers in front of shoppers and visitors to Liverpool.

7


ARCHITECTURAL

ENHANCEMENT

T

he places we work, live and play can be an expression

Like an architectural building material in its own right, LED can

of anything at any time, and digital applications

be used on almost any exterior or interior surface; with curves,

allow us to instantly transform our experiences of

creative shapes, complete building wraps, or cladding an expanse

architecture and cityscapes.

of ceiling or feature wall - the opportunities for application are almost endless.

Digital media and LED canvases can communicate at scale and bring life and personality to any surface, instantly establishing

In a new scheme the integration of digital should be done at the

interaction between people and their surroundings.

earliest architectural stage for the best results, especially with regards to planning consent and overall aesthetic. Finding a digital screen provider with experience of similar projects

LED IN PARTICULAR IS AN INCREDIBLY TRANSFORMATIVE AND VERSATILE SCREEN TECHNOLOGY; SUITABLE FOR BOTH INDOOR AND OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENTS IT CAN BE

and knowledge of the latest products, installation techniques and creative design solutions will be of huge value if they can bring their expertise to the earliest concepts.

USED IN A NUMBER OF CREATIVE WAYS TO HIGHLIGHT ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS, RE-ENERGISE UNLOVED SPACES OR CREATE EXCITING NEW CHARACTERISTICS TO THE PUBLIC REALM.

KEY TO SUCCESS GREAT CONTENT WILL DEFINE SUCCESS OR FAILURE – NOVEL, UNEXPECTED CONTENT CAN BE AS POWERFUL AS BRIGHT, IMPACTFUL CONTENT. ENSURE YOU’VE CREATED A PLATFORM THAT ALLOWS CREATION BY THIRD PARTIES TO ENSURE LONG TERM SECURITY. IT’S VITAL TO CHOOSE AN EXPERIENCED PARTNER WHO CAN PROVIDE HARDWARE, CONTENT MANAGEMENT AND CREATIVITY.

8

WHITEPAPER 2019 - DIGITAL SCREENS IN OUR CITYSCAPES


110 HIGH STREET, BOSTON This

example

from

the

US

highlights beautifully how a formal, corporate scheme can be injected with personality and playfulness; with a seamless super wide LED screen bringing a sense of fun and personality to

an

otherwise

traditional

office block.

FEN COURT, LONDON The

ceiling

of

this

secret

passageway in the City of London is transformed with over 180sqm of LED. The screen disperses atmosphere

and

ambience

around the enclosed space, with artistic seasonal themes and live media.

9


DYNAMIC AND EVER-EVOLVING

PUBLIC ART

W

hile static sculptures and public artworks may capture attention and generate excitement, their long-term appeal for local populations in flux or a challenging high street is uncertain. While initial interest generates footfall and traffic to a new project this

can quickly die away, and with it the genuine engagement and public draw to the surrounding cityscape. By commissioning artworks that are bold and innovative in their use of digital technologies the value that can be driven for the long-term is significant. The artwork takes on a new dimension every day, week, month; whenever content is changed.

DIGITAL ART IS CAPABLE OF AUDIENCE INTERACTION AND CONTINUAL EVOLUTION TO KEEP IT FRESH, SEASONAL AND RELEVANT, AND ULTIMATELY DELIVER UNEXPECTED MOMENTS OF EMOTION, JOY AND DELIGHT FOR THE FUTURE.

MARRIOTT LA LIVE PREMIER Launched as the full-motion art piece in Los

KEY TO SUCCESS

AN ONGOING CONTENT AND PROMOTION STRATEGY THAT REACHES OUT TO AND HEAVILY INVOLVES THE LOCAL COMMUNITY IS VITAL TO THE SUCCESS OF PUBLIC ART PROJECTS.

10

WHITEPAPER 2019 - DIGITAL SCREENS IN OUR CITYSCAPES

Angeles, this content-diverse canvas features art produced and curated in-house.


THE BEACONS, LEICESTER With a brief to create something playful, engaging and interactive for the public realm, The Beacons deliver on every level and are a truly landmark project. The seven towering LED totems with in-built sensors have created an immersive digital sculpture in St. Peter’s Square outside Highcross Leicester; a dynamic public art experience that draws people to it and that offers genuine engagement. The 3-metre high columns are an ever-evolving sculpture and crucially a canvas to showcase local arts, charities, creatives and culture. The fundamental success of the award-winning project was the close partnership between the LED provider (acting as Principal Contractor) with the Studio of Cinematic Architecture and Levitate Architects practice, in order to turn their initial concept into a living piece of art.

CHICAGO 150 MEDIA STREAM A 45 metre stretch of LED ‘blades’ brings together light, colour and movement to display the work of rising international and local artists on a grand scale.

11


@ADI_LED

ADItvLED

0800 592 346 | info@adi.tv | www.adi.tv

aditvled

adi-tv