When you encounter people walking through the workplace, how do they engage? Do they make eye contact and smile your way? Or are they head-down, eyes glued to a phone screen?
The Smartphone Dilemma
With the smartphone available 24/7, we’re more connected to information than ever. But are we still connected to one another and the spaces that we inhabit? It’s become so easy to access anything at the touch of a phone screen, but the wealth of consumable digital data is taking our attention away from what’s actually in front of us.
Next to the countless benefits of this new technology, there are its downfalls. The question now is how do we pull attention away from the screen and back to an IRL reality?
The Digital Media Solution
Strategic architectural design may have the answers. What we like about our phones is their ability to serve up important information — in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing to boot. So if we could take that benefit and install it somewhere other than on a handheld device, people can take notice. Digital media walls, the latest commercial real estate trend, is doing just that.
A digital media wall is a large digital display that has the capability to host content. Sometimes it’s one screen and sometimes it’s a grid of many varying images. They can display anything from social media live feeds, to news, to dynamic photography. But ultimately, they all operate on the same agenda, and that’s to activate spaces and engage those within them.
The best place for a digital media wall is one where people are standing still or in transition, since it in these moments — when people are idle — they’re most likely to pull out their phones. In these times, a digital media wall serves as a placeholder for that temptation, giving meaningful information while drawing attention to the broader space.
At 71 S Wacker, Irvine Company has harnessed this insight. The multi-screen digital media wall is centrally located between the two escalators carrying people between the lobby and amenity level of the building. With a dazzling display, customers can’t help but look up as they pass through the elevator banks or step onto the escalators. And if even for a brief time, their gazes turn up, allowing them to take in the beautiful interior space around them with new eyes and energy.