This is What @MicroTiles Were Invented For

Alex Hughes

Over the past few years Amigo has created a variety of MicroTile installations for a variety of unique client projects. Our most recently completed Media Wall using MicroTiles was for PwC which has just gone live as the centrepiece to their new Embankment Place HQ in central London.

DD_gala_finalist2013Quite often, we find ourselves being parachuted into a project at the last minute when somebody from the marketing department suddenly realises that all this new technology is worthless without some content to show on it. This is fine in most cases, but the end result is always a better and more considered solution when the content is thought of as an integral part of the entire video wall project solution.

Working with PwC, it was refreshing to discover that the client implicitly understood the need for the nature of the creative content and the purpose of their Media Wall to be a driving factor in the specification of the hardware itself.


PwC grasped very early on the idea that this Media Wall must be a live, dynamic, living and breathing showcase for not only the brand but also to act as a reflection of the PwC business offer to clients and employees alike – and in order to achieve that aim, the Media Wall had to be continuously fed with easily update-able content in creative templates that could be managed remotely by an internal design team.

The creative strategy and our whole approach to this project was to deliver a playlist loop that was visually seamless, integrated the PwC brand values as well as having the ability to impart corporate messaging both at a granular level through the use of specific text, imagery and video and at a more ephemeral level through the use of creative big ideas.

In addition to these objectives, it was very important to PwC that we did not just end up with a ‘mounted’ piece of hardware on a reception wall. To this end, Amigo played an influential role when discussing the environment where the wall was to be located and the subsequent wall finishes that might work as a surround for the Christie MicroTiles.

Early on we discussed the idea of making the wall ‘disappear’ and ‘reappear’ – the aim being to provoke intrigue and surprise to the audience whilst also integrating the Media Wall within its surroundings. Instead of a traditional white painted wall within which to mount the MicroTiles, the team agreed on dark wooden panelled slats of varying thicknesses – the idea being to then photograph these at a high resolution and re-create the ‘missing’ slats that were taken up by MicroTiles.

Given the incredible 4K+ resolution of the screen itself, we were able to match each slat individually and re-create a form of ‘digital wooden panelling’ that played to the strengths of the MicroTiles and blended perfectly with the surrounding ‘real world’ physical slats.

The results are stunning – the Media Wall uses transition effects to camouflage the wall at key points in time during the playlist. This creates simple, yet almost epic, visual effects that feel like the whole Media Wall is coming alive to display the PwC content underneath. As Bob Rushby, the co-inventor of MicroTiles recently commented, “A key part of the original MicroTiles vision was ‘pixels as a building material’ and this project is exactly that. I’m hugely impressed.”

What should strike readers about this project are:-

  • Firstly how successful a deployment can be when content and environment is considered up front – from the decision to curve the Media Wall shape to reflect and maximise the space we had available, through to the integration of the MicroTiles within the environment
  • Secondly, when a client takes ownership of a Media Wall in the way PwC has, how much MORE value they get out of an asset that is so much more than just eye-candy for a HQ; ownership within the business is paramount here
  • Thirdly how the delivery of a creative solution that is considered and well thought out with a view to the long term development of content for the Media Wall can lead to a highly successful installation and asset for the client themselves

The technology we used to implement the playlist and content management was handled by Scala which gave us a high degree of versatility when it came to adding live text, imagery and video assets to our templates. What was also unique to this project was the development of a custom content management interface that allows the PwC team to update the content themselves as they see fit, creating a dynamic ever changing playlist.

3 Responses to “This is What @MicroTiles Were Invented For”

  1. Kirk Says:

    Beautifully done, Alex.

    Stunning, stunning piece of work!

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