Being good at solving problems requires certain skill sets. You need to be a good listener, adaptable, smart, and open to ideas. You also need to be able to step back and approach the problem from another angle. The cliché term for this is thinking outside the box.

Here are five examples of how Draper worked a different angle to solve specific problems.

Moving sideways.
Kennesaw State University was adding a gymnasium to its Student Recreation Center. The space was designed to include four basketball courts, overhead volleyball systems, an elevated track about 10 feet behind the basketball backboards and three Roll-Up Divider curtains. That is a lot of equipment in a relatively small area. And fitting it all in was especially challenging considering the 38-foot ceiling attachment height. That low height meant that a typical straight mast backstop would have been about 29 feet tall and the backstops would hit the curtains when being raised.

Draper solved the problem by using a sideways bent stem (bent stems are typically to the front) and a side-folding backstop. This allowed space for the backstops to fold without hitting the divider curtains. There was no compromise of function or safety, and KSU avoided the expense of designing new products and parts. Click here to read a case study about this project.

Dealer: Beverly Venetian Blind Co. Photographer: Barry Rustin.

Follow the angle.
Gordon Parks Arts Hall is a new arts facility at the University of Chicago’s Lab School. The beautiful facade design features unique angles and breaks in the glass. Because of that, finding a workable solar shading solution proved difficult. Initial ideas for shading called for the fabric panels to hang straight down and not follow the angle of the glazing. This mean t lots of wasted space behind the shades.

After some back-and-forth exchange of ideas and on-site meetings, Draper proposed an innovate design. We created a custom motorized shade system that uses re-directional rollers to help the shade fabric pass smoothly over the angles. The fabric panels are kept in place with side channels. Click here to learn more.

Photographer: Barry Rustin.

Another angle.
The solar control issue at American furniture manufacturer Herman Miller‘s manufacturing facility in Holland, Michigan, also had an issue with angles. The original skylight shading system wasn’t working and in fact hadn’t been used for several years over worries that the 12’ wide x 18’ high units might fall.

Due to the significant slope of the skylights, Draper designed a custom wheeled hem bar with side tracks to guide the hem bars along the curtainwall slope. Intermediate rollers add support to the fabric and minimize sag. Custom brackets provide an additional safety component, capturing fabric rollers in case of an unforeseen mechanical failure.

More information can be found in this free case study.

Up against the wall.
When it came time to add a projection screen to the main sanctuary of the Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, United Methodist Church, it couldn’t interfere with the ambience and design of the sanctuary, or with the 20’ centered cross and large vaulted ceiling. They didn’t want a framed screen on the wall and the vaulted ceiling made it impossible to drop a screen down into the space.

Draper worked with Camp Hill on a solution to keep a screen flat against the wall when not in use and swing it out into the space during use.

Draper engineers developed a solution that combined technology from our motorized, side-folding basketball backstops with a motorized projection screen, and the unique Screen Boom was born.

Read more about the project here.

Angled mirrors and tilting projectors.
For a projection mapping project at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii, the only place to hide the projectors was inside metal housings on the roof of the hotel. Projector support structures and mirrors would extend through the parapet wall surrounding the roof, and project down.

Draper’s solution had to be able to handle the weight of the projectors, have a low profile, and hold up in 30 mile-per-hour prevailing wind.

Draper designed a structure with long steel support arms holding a small glass mirror, and with adjustment platforms that allowed the projectors to be tilted to 22 degrees. The custom structures were shipped in pieces to be assembled on the roof. To address the windy conditions, Draper reinforced the mirror support arms with 14-gauge steel.

Read more here.

Have a problem you need solved? Click here to find and contact your Draper representative.