NanoLumens Illuminates Aboriginal History with ‘LED Blades’

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Melbourne’s Town Hall is a historic building that has stood tall in the city center since 1867 and is used for cultural presentations, concerts, theatrical plays, exhibitions, and tourism. So, when the Melbourne City Council (MCC) approached Citadel Technology Solutions (CTS) to install a display to promote and celebrate the city’s rich aboriginal history, Citadel Solutions Architect Paul Materazzo and the Citadel team designed the LED Blades display. They then turned to Digital Place Solutions (DPS) and NanoLumens for a LED Nixel Plate solution that would re-imagine a 19th century building for a 21st century audience of visitors.

 

“The MCC had a specific idea to try and attract people to enter into the town hall visitor centre off the street and they wanted a display to grab people’s attention with a visually stunning presentation of the region’s Aboriginal history,” Paul Materazzo explained. “This would be their first LED display installation and they wanted it to be stunning and immediately compelling.”

Paul Materazzo stressed that the MCC was looking for an unusual solution and knowing the flexibility that the NanoLumens Nixel Series offers, he proposed what he called “LED Blades” — a four-post display design that would be the first of its kind in Australia.

“The MCC wanted a solution that would allow them to display individual words or images down each post, so I came up with the design of the four posts and I wanted them in various heights to enable each to have individual media displayed or a complete display over all four posts,” he explained.

The finished display consists of four unequal length blades, the tallest at 2.2 meters, with a total display width of 1.1m. The Nixel Series LED displays tied this concept together perfectly as they designed each display to Citadel’s very specific specs.

“DPS worked with NanoLumens in selecting the correct LED solution for the job and then helped design the layout and insured the right technical cabling and process to make the displays able to handle the content on multiple posts together and as a single canvas,” he said.

Materazzo also noted that, “Andrew Pain from Avico was instrumental in working with us to build the canvas map for the blades and configure the digital media to display on the blades, utilizing the Smart Sign Platform.”

DPS Director Gerry Thorley also spoke to the role the DPS/Citadel relationship played in making this project a success. “Through DPS experience and NanoLumens support we were able to use the two international time zones to work out the design, drawings and budget very quickly. DPS, NanoLumens, and Citadel really pulled together as a team to deliver a stunning LED display solution on time and on budget,” Thorley emphasized.

“The result is a solution that galvanizes the attention of visitors, allowing the Melbourne City Council to present its rich cultural history in a way that will never be forgotten.”

The specific content includes an introduction to Melbourne from the Aboriginal community along with subtle imagery depicting the transition of the Aboriginal history to modern day Melbourne. A voiceover explains how the Aboriginal people see the land today and how it still connects with their history. Visitors are then directed to the area’s many galleries and museums that showcase Aboriginal culture.

Among the many factors that made this a successful installation for Citadel was the support and confidence Paul felt working with NanoLumens on this project.

“Having the NanoLumens six-year warranty provided such a peace-of-mind and the hands-on approach they gave us from the very beginning speaks to the great support they offer,” he said. “They worked with us through every stage and also were personally involved in helping us succeed and reach our target of on-time delivery and excellent build quality.”

Susan Jacqui, Senior Project Coordinator, Business and Tourism for the MCC added, “The element of speed, flexibility, and commitment to make it happen on the part of NanoLumens and DPS played a major role in turning Citadel’s and MCC’s ‘dream of an idea’ into a compelling and engaging reality.”

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