Media Façade Architecture

Interactive Architecture News

Outdoor signage goes high-tech

New opportunities in billboards and building wraps combine specialty fabrics with dazzling digital effects.
Specialty Fabrics Review | November 2010


Through a partnership with Garage-Media, A2aMEDIA will install and operate a Mediamesh display at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey facility atf 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in New York City. The display will cover approximately 6,000 square feet and will create active and engaging communication opportunities for regional and national businesses when it goes live at the end of June, 2011.

“Outdoor advertising is big business. In 2009, advertisers spent $5.9 billion on signage—and more than $3.8 billion of that was on billboards alone. As businesses seek new opportunities to make their brands stand out, the sign industry is meeting the need with high-tech options that integrate specialty fabrics with new technologies such as LED display and solar power. But PVC (or its eco-friendly fabric counterparts) is not going away. Signage fabricators and printers can successfully combine traditional print media with electronics to help their customers make a statement.”

That's a (building) wrap

“For the better part of the last decade, fabric-based wallscapes and building wraps have dressed up a structure's exterior while impressively communicating a message. To bring these products to the next level, two companies have partnered to introduce a new product called Mediamesh®. Ag4 has designed, developed and patented Mediamesh in cooperation with GKD—Dueren in Germany (its U.S. operations are in Cambridge, Md.), a metal fabrics weaver. The product, which was first used on an exterior in Istanbul in 2007, is a transparent media façade that integrates digital imagery with color and metal fabric. At the same time, it is designed to become part of the architecture while maintaining daylighting, sun shading and open visibility qualities.

In addition, the product incorporates special high-luminosity LED strips woven at regular intervals (based on the project's viewing distances, viewing times, sun direction, display requirements and cost structure) into GKD's Tigris stainless steel mesh. “The LEDs are then interconnected and wired back to the computer control center where all content originates.”

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