Audiovisual equipment isn’t always the first thing architects consider when planning a building. At the A’18 architectural conference last week, Draper and NEC Display Solutions partnered to show how a custom architectural audiovisual experience can play a major role in aesthetics, wayfinding, and messaging.

To showcase that role, Draper worked with NEC to develop a stunning, never-before-seen mounting structure that included direct view LEDs in custom operable louvers. Draper’s custom structure provided an elegant, innovative interface, and NEC’s dvLED panels wowed with crystal clear images.

“This idea of a videowall, fronted by operable louvers that also had LED panels, started out as an idea on a napkin,” said Draper’s director of business development Kevin Barlow. “Our ability to take that from concept to finished solution in a relatively short period of time impressed visitors, as did the overall elegance and ingenuity of the concept.”

“The video wall was a perfect means of showing how NEC and Draper are capable of working together for a common goal of understanding our customer’s needs which in many cases are pain points, and creating solutions that eliminate those pains,” said NEC’s senior product manager Grant Wylie.

Quite a bit of “buzz” about the exhibit was generated on the show floor, as architects and other attendees used the example to start thinking about new ways to incorporate AV into their designs.

“Given that the concept for the innovation on display had been literally sketched on a napkin a few weeks prior to AIA,” said writers for the website BimSmith.com, “we left the booth with the distinctive feeling that both Draper and NEC not only meant what they said about customization, but could deliver on it without question.” (You can read their entire show wrap-up here.)

Large window openings require extra-wide window shades and unfortunately wider shades also mean larger, heavier headbox profiles. Architects often prefer trim, elegant solutions. During A’18 we also talked about our larger FlexShade ZIP XL. Available up to 25’ wide, the cassette-style shade is delivered as a complete, enclosed unit, and is installed that way. That means there is no assembly required onsite, and no separate installation of headbox or fascia and brackets or endcaps. It features a smaller, lighter profile that resonates with architects. It also has an integrated cradle support system that minimizes deflection that can cause wrinkles to develop in the fabric. To learn more about the FlexShade ZIP XL, click here.