UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay Honors Donors with Video Wall


This digital signage installation is a unique and highly immersive video wall at the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay that combines donor recognition with education, entertainment, and placemaking to create a compelling experience for hospital supporters, patients, families and staff.

Nominating Company: Sensory Interactive, Baltimore, Maryland
Venue: UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, San Francisco, California
Project: UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay installation
Category: Education & Healthcare

UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay sought to create an installation that would express its gratitude to the donors who have contributed nearly $600 million for the construction of its new $1.5 billion children’s, women’s and cancer hospital complex.

The centerpiece of the installation is a 4-foot by 13-foot interactive wall that can deliver engaging content to multiple users simultaneously. The wall features a gesture-controlled “attract mode” that captures the attention of visitors walking past the installation. Then, with their curiosity piqued, visitors can use the wall’s touch-screen capabilities to learn more about donors and also explore engaging, interactive content about the institution’s hospitals, faculty, staff and programs.

The full installation also includes two non-interactive LCD displays across the corridor from the interactive wall, a variety of static graphic panels, architectural finishes, lighting and a custom audio environment, giving it an immersive, museum-like feel.

The institution wanted to create an installation that did much more than just list the names of donors. Instead, they wanted a compelling, memorable installation that would use a broad range of interactions to tell a meaningful story about the institution’s mission and accomplishments, and about the important role that donors have played in its success.

From a hardware standpoint, the interactive wall required a display that produced very little heat in order to avoid costly retrofits to the HVAC system. This required developing a very thorough understanding of the desired content and user interactions, and then evaluating a broad range of technologies to find a solution that could operate within these parameters.

To meet the project’s ambitious goals for user engagement and content delivery, we began the project by facilitating a series of stakeholder workshops that gave all groups an opportunity to express their concerns in collaborative sessions. The assembled stakeholders brought examples of the content they wanted on the wall, and as a team, we sorted, ranked and arranged categories of content to create the consensus for an exceptional storytelling model.

We then used this understanding of the desired content and user experience in the development of the overall program for the space, the design of all system components, the specification of hardware and software and the creation of interactive applications and content. We also supervised the fabrication, installation and final commissioning of the elements that make up the complete environment.

The installation has been a tremendous success with visitors to the facility, and it is regularly in use by patients, family members and guests looking for more information or just trying to occupy some free time. The client has stated that “the installation recognizes our tremendously generous donors in a uniquely comprehensive and engaging manner,” and that “it is the perfect complement to our new world-class, high-tech hospital.”

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