Unified Field pushes the boundaries of digital signage to create a sophisticated, immersive brand experience for Yale University. See projects like this at Xlab 2014!
Opened in January 2014, the 242,000-square-foot, Foster + Partners-designed Edward P. Evans Hall is the new home of the Yale School of Management. To create a lasting impression of the school’s presence and brand, and to easily communicate timely information, Unified Field created three floors of interactive media and digital signage for the school’s students, faculty, and visitors.
Unified Field spent several months working with Yale School of Management staff on a media plan for the building’s two large-scale displays, each nearly 240 square feet and spanning three stories floor to ceiling. The displays are visible from both inside and outside of the building, so the content had to be high impact from a distance as well as close up.
The narrow-cast network displays real-time information such as school-wide agenda, class and conference schedules, special announcements, and photography as well as customized presentations and broadcast media. The design team also created a series of data visualizations that rotate on the screens in large-scale animations. Unified Field worked with Yale’s communications staff to build data sets that examined and compared major trends that are transforming markets and changing organizations around the world. The data visualizations were designed to communicate the reach and connection of the Yale School of Management to global issues around the world. The media displays dynamic graphic visualizations of social and economic data and offers shifting perspectives on global trends such as Internet and social media usage, type and availability of medical care as a percentage of population, life expectancy, market values of publically traded stock, and cost of capital and gross national product.
In addition to providing an immersive brand experience and moving data visualization to an architectural scale, the project’s key innovation was pushing a digital signage system into a narrow-cast network—moving the medium beyond display to interpretation of the school’s essential connection to global and business issues. Dynamic messaging adds to the school’s brand image.
A primary design challenge was creating graphics and media that could be viewed at varying distances and from multiple viewing angles. The display can be seen from throughout the school as well as from the street. It had to be legible from inside and out, and during the day and at night. And it had to appeal to visitors passing quickly through the building as well as those with time to linger.
While the project was initially designed as a temporary installation, it was so well received by university administration, staff, students, and visitors that it has been made permanent. Content and data visualizations will continue to be changed to appeal to its viewing public.
This project was a 2014 SEGD Global Design Award winner. See more award-winning work in the SEGD Global Design Awards archive.
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YALE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT DATA VISUALIZATION
Client: Yale School of Management
Location: New Haven, Conn.
Project Area: 2 displays including 36 monitors, each 46-in. in 9x4 orientation
Open Date: January 2014
Design: Unified Field Inc.
Design Team: Marla Supnick (project lead); Jeff Miller (director of technology); Tonian Irving (senior producer); Maureen Lin (art director, lead designer);
Bobbi Jo McCauley (graphic designer); John Singer, Henry Tseng (engineers)
Consultants: Foster + Partners (architecture), YCD Multimedia (digital signage platform)
Photos: Ian Harris/Arbuckle Industries, LLC