Project-Launch: Digital Signage i ‘DR Byen’

Finally, after months of preparation, we have launched the digital signage system in DR’s new headquarter in Copenhagen… and it went well :-)

From a workplace to a place to create.
That was the headline of the project from day one. DR Byen has been built by four different architects who has made four very different buildings.
Pictures from one of the four buildings in DR Byen
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Our project was meant to deliver an integrated communication platform and to ‘bring the media’ inside these buildings.
As you can see on this images the last part in the project (the Concert Hall) is still more or less a construction sites (see the official site here). About three quarters of the building is finished and the digital signage project has been launch in three of the four parts of the building.

Number one: To connect the architecture with our corporate identity:
First of all, we needed to make a tighter connection between the architecture and the corporate identity.
Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) is, as the name implies, a media corporation. And although it’s an amazing piece of architecture made by 4 different companies, it is not immediately obvious that it was the home of the largest Danish media corporation, that we are delivering high quality public service content, and that we are the de facto keepers of the Danish cultural media heritage.

Number two
Second, we are experiencing an increasing competition in the media business, and the most important competitive advantage is creativity. Therefore I believe that it is absolutely vital to create a pleasant and inspiring environment for creativity to happen. Of course we can’t do an ROI calculation on how much creativity this project will generate, but I believe that we are creating the ground upon which creativity may grow more easily than usual. And that’s why we have been focusing on the integration of different kinds of visual art in the project and creating an experience instead of just an information screen.

Number 3
Finally, our customers have ever changing needs, and therefore we must able to communicate very fast inside the organization and also be able to change our communication procedures very quickly, if needed. A fully automated digital platform, as the one we have created, is a big asset in this race. In the web-2.0-user-has-the-power communication world of today it’s very important to have non-intrusive way of pushing important communication to your stakeholders, employees and customers.

First of all, the Entrance.
When you step into DR at groundlevel, this is what you see. Three large video projections (one is hidden in this image) on the white and grey concrete walls.

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We’ve been working closely together with the architects to create a coherent experience of the room. The content is very abstract and meant to supplement the room with depth, dynamic and a creative atmosphere.
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I think it’s important, to be very courageous and to use an abstract and symbolic content that will activate the viewer instead of communicating in the usual corp-speak discourse. We should stimulate experiences with the use of symbols and montage-effects and not with the use the very powerful media to promote corporate taglines. See for instance how Jason Eppink is transforming standard commercials to street art.

The entrance from another angle:
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The foyer from one of the side entrances. Four 19″ monitors placed on a white concrete wall.
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The ‘Main Street’ on the 2nd floor:
The connection between the four buildings in the ‘DR City’ is a giant glass-covered street (12*18 meters) with a bridge crossing the water channel going through the area called ‘Ørestaden’.
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In this part of the building we have placed 6 46″ screens. The content consists of news from our own news-channel and news from the department of corporate communicate. Besides that, there are breakers made by young visual artists. They we’re given access to our media archives and used some of the old material to make new artistic expressions.

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The ‘Main Street’ viewed from the bridge on the fourth floor.
Every screen has it’s own unique flow of information configured to the specific physical context and user behaviour.

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The Meeting Center:
In our Meeting Center we’ve made an integration to MS Exchange Server. In this way our meeting booking system is automatically updated on the screens next to each meeting room. The interface is based on Flash using xml-data from Exchange generated by AgendaX.

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What’s next??

Well, this is just phase one of the project. In the next 1-3 month we will be creating a lot more content to the system, for instance the weather forecast, trailers, traffic information and of course more visuals. In february we’re having the first art exhibition with the project ‘Runner’ in collaboration with Illumenart and EPI. Hopefully, we be able to extend the system to the other parts of DR in Jutland and on Bornholm and most importantly we’re learning a lot about what it takes to maintain and use this kind of communication platform.

Besides this, we’re of course looking forward to completion of the concert hall and to the exciting task of creating the digital projections in and outside the concert hall See the pictures. That’s gonna be amazing!!

I will hopefully be able to upload some video soon. It gives a better sense of the look and feel of the displays.
Please comment if you have any good ideas or experiences with digital signage solutions.

/Lars Silberbauer

8 Responses to “Project-Launch: Digital Signage i ‘DR Byen’”


  1. 1 Morten Ankjær

    Hi Lars,

    Nice to see the project live. Looking forward to a sneak peek in the concert hall.

    Best regards

    Morten

  2. 2 Lars Silberbauer

    Hi Morten,
    Thnx, it work out quite nicely in the end and we’re looking forward to seeing the Concert Hall as well.
    Nice working with you!

    Kind regards,
    Lars

  3. 3 Håkan

    Did you create the Exchange integration yourself or did AgendaX do all that for you?

    How are you getting the information to the screens, over lan or from a PC via VGA?

    I´m looking into doing something like you did for our conference rooms, but i´m have a hard time finding information.
    Any info you could give me would be appriciated.

  4. 4 Lars Silberbauer

    Hi Håkan,

    We use AgendaX to the Exchange integration, but only to the meetingrooms. All other places we use a flash application or schedueling the content directly from the Scala application that we are using.
    There is a player-pc attached to every unit (or split screens).

    How many screens are you planning to use?

    Kind regards,
    Lars

  5. 5 Håkan

    I’m looking for a simple and cheap solution to display meetingroom calendars for two-four meetingrooms.

    What would be the best way of achiving this without having to buy external hardware? We have lots LCD’s and pc’s we can use in house.

    Appreciate any input.

    Håkan

  6. 6 Lars Silberbauer

    Good question, in my opinion it depends on your budget and your demands to uptime and surveillance of the monitors.

    The easy solution:
    You could do it by a simple flash-application running on each pc. The flash-application could then pull xml from AgendaX. But you need to make a different flash application for each pc, which again would make it time consuming to update your flash-application when you need to and hard to monitor the players. On the other hand it gives you more possibilities for making a cool design.

    The more expensive solution:
    You could also buy a more professional system like Scala,3m digital signage, InstoreMedia (http://www.insm.se/index.php?lang=en) or many other. It is more expensive but gives you more control over you monitors and the scheduling of content.
    But then again, if you only need to show the meeting schedule I would say that it is a overkill and not worth the money.

    Please let me know how it works out, always nice to know if someone finds a trick or two in the process.

    Kind regards,
    Lars

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