Why Bother with Architects and Designers?

In this economic climate why would you miss opportunities to expand your audience and customer base? 1/22/2013 12:25 PM Eastern

Why Bother with Architects and Designers?

Jan 22, 2013 5:25 PM, By Leslie Gallery-Dilworth, FAIA

In this economic climate why would you miss opportunities to expand your audience and customer base?

Product manufacturers, system integrators, and installers are missing the opportunity to communicate and connect with the architects and designers. By not reaching out to the system integrators, and product manufacturers, the architects and designers are missing the opportunity to expand their palette of materials.

Why does this matter? Why should you reach out? To put it simply, these professionals are the opinion leaders, the thought leaders when it comes to visual environments and shaping immersive experiences.

Do these professionals directly specify your products? Probably not. Why bother with architects and designers? And for the designers and architects who may read this article, I can hear you saying, “But these are just big digital signs; it is clutter. I do not want anything to clutter up the lines of my building or my immaculate interior space.” I can hear the urban designers and planners muttering, “It is just more visual clutter. I hate billboards!”

I suggest you reconsider. Digital signage technologies, gestural technologies, 3D mapping, among other tools available can become another material in the expanding palette of materials and technologies available to architects and designers. But first the designers and architects have to know about their existence, their potential, how to incorporate them, and about the requirements for their use.


At the Olympic’s Nike Camp Victory built in Portland for the Olympic tryouts, the client—the creative director of Nike—wanted to create an experience for visitors which would capture the feel of trying out for the Olympic track events. Nike hired architecture firm Skylab Architecture and the digital experience consultant Hush. Together the team brought in the integrator who specified the actual media products.

Sebastion Guivernau of Skylab Architecture commented, “It would be a great advantage for designers to have more direct knowledge of these technologies, so that these technologies can be integrated earlier into our projects. It is similar to where sustainability—green building materials and design—was 20 years ago. Then an architect would go to a sustainability consultant. Sustainability was not an integral part of the design and planning process. Now the concept of sustainability—the building products and building systems are integral to the design and the entire design process. The digital sign industries, to reach the same level of integration, must first create a conversation with the designers.”


To initiate this conversation, there will be a preconference workshop on Feb. 26 at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas. This workshop will bring together the architects, designers, integrators, and the manufacturers. This is an opportunity for a productive dialogue in which all parties can influence each other. Architects, designers, manufacturers, and integrators will discuss their projects.

Leslie Gallery-Dilworth will be moderating and presenting a full day seminar program titled, “Design Directions: Dynamic Digital Environments,” at Digital Signage Expo 2013 in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Feb. 26. For more information or to register, go to

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