Creating catalysts: How audiovisual experiences shape spaces

Insights | 31 January, 2019

With the right content, and the right delivery system, any environment can be made newly memorable, transforming ordinary moments into impactful ones.


Creating memorable experiences isn’t easy. And the more moments of impact people are exposed to, the higher that bar gets. That’s why Studio Banana is always pushing the limits of creativity and possibility – because when we do our jobs well, it means the next project gets that bit more challenging (and exciting!).

We’ve identified audience engagement as one area where innovative ideas and creative reimaginings are especially crucial. These immersive audiovisual experiences, which often combine a spatial element, move past the boundaries of traditional A/V solutions to become catalysts in their environment.

More than meets the eye

Before you get to the “how” of audience engagement, you need to understand the “why.” Ernst and Young’s Wavespace Experience Center helps disprove one of the biggest myths about audience engagement: that it’s just about looks. While appearances can be fundamental in creating moments of impact, the real make or break element is a little less flashy. To figure out who your target is, and how to give them exactly what they need (and why), you’ll need a strong discovery process.

EY’s capability center is a space designed for seamless collaboration and decision making between employees, clients, and consultants. To do that, they needed a cutting-edge audiovisual system for accessing information, sharing analysis, and presenting their ideas clearly. The project’s success didn’t come down to aesthetics – what mattered most was usability and impact.

After studying these working patterns, we designed a flexible phygital solution to fit these needs. Our six mobile interactive docks make it easier than ever to collaborate and innovate, showcasing how audiovisual experiences can have a “wow” factor beyond eye-grabbing graphics.

Surprise and delight

Depending on the audience you’re looking to engage, inspirational imagery can be the perfect tool for grabbing attention and creating excitement.

That why when we were asked to work on an innovative print ad for Telefónica in Matador magazine, we knew we had to create something that their audience had never seen before. This was the perfect opportunity, and challenge, to surprise and delight a group of readers who aren’t easily impressed. It was also our change to create a piece that would be exhibited on giant screens in front of Telefónica’s headquarters, adding value to an already iconic building.

Achieved using paint, disguised subwoofers, and lots of experimenting to see what music offers the best bounce, our audiovisual product is beautiful and unexpected. Exploring the overlap between art and technology, the print ad featured a still image and smart trigger to transport viewers to the video. With the potential to work as a public art installation, interactive mobile experience, or traditional advertisement, the piece spans genres and platforms, grabbing attention and interest no matter where it’s viewed.

Fit in, stand out

As much a visual challenge as a technical one, site-specific audiovisual experiences can be a powerful storytelling tool in creating strikingly immersive moments that integrate seamlessly into the existing architecture.

For the Emirates Room located in the United Nations Geneva headquarters, our challenge was to draw inspiration from the richness of Arabic culture to design an experience that set the space apart. While we needed to dazzle, another part of the project brief was very clear: don’t make it so distracting that the delegates can’t get any work done.

We accomplished this with a simulation of the Emirati desert sky, which runs from sunrise to sunset over the course of a 9 hour cycle, creating a dynamic space that changes throughout the day and gives visitors the sensation of passing time. Supported, both literally and figuratively, in a structure inspired by the UAE emblem and kufic script, the piece makes a memorable statement that drives home the mission of the space.

Audience engagement can happen anywhere, at any time, but it’s not as easy as just putting together something beautiful or something practical or something unusual. To successfully engage your viewer you need to understand who they are, what speaks to them, and what you’re trying to say within a space. Whether with a digitized sky or bouncing paint splatter, we’re here to find that solution.

To learn more about how audience engagement can be used catalyse spaces, follow Studio Banana on LinkedIn.