Edutainment & Infotainment

Hager Forum – how modern media technology was used to create a customer forum for conveying knowledge and extending competence.

The Premises
The Hager Group is a leading supplier of solutions and services for electrical installations in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. The products and services it offers range from energy distribution, to cable routing and safety equipment, all the way to intelligent building control. The Hager Group is the world market leader in the field of electrical installation solutions. This independent, owner-managed family business is one of the industry’s innovation leaders and celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015. The Hager Forum in Obernai was opened in 1992 as a place of training and education primarily for customers. This concept, which was intended to set the Hager Group apart from its rivals and strengthen personal ties with its customers, was visually augmented in 2015 by the addition of a new building designed by architects Sauerbruch Hutton. A 7,140 square meter cube made of wood, glass, steel, and aluminum, which blends harmoniously into the existing architecture, now acts as a striking architectural corporate symbol and catalyst for the company’s development.

The new Hager Forum serves as an educational and training center for employees, customers, and their business partners worldwide. It is a bricks-and-mortar embodiment of the company’s values and identity and a flagship for the brand’s international image. The Forum incorporates four unusually designed exhibition areas, ‘The Hub’ event area for conferences, seminars, concerts, and exhibitions involving up to 400 delegates, and Café Spark which serves as a meeting point, quiet zone, co-working space, and project room rolled into one.

The Task
The general contractor responsible for conceptualizing the content and building the event areas was the agency Milla & Partner, a specialist in spatial communication. They appointed Production Office to plan the media equipment, invite tenders, and manage the construction of the A/V equipment area. Technical planning of the lighting was undertaken by Berlin lighting planners weißpunkt und purpur. Amptown System Company won the public tender for organizing the suppliers involved in, producing, installing, and programming the A/V and lighting equipment. The Hager Forum’s exhibition areas that are equipped with pioneering media technology are:

•    Lab 1 – Commercial buildings
•    Lab 2 – Residential buildings
•    Force Field
•    Origins

A technical room in the basement of the Hager Forum was fully fitted out by ASC and acts as a control center for all four exhibition areas. A modern glass fiber network is used to transfer data and video signals.

The Solution
Milla & Partner also presented the company’s 60-year history in the basement of the building:

Origins

An extensive wall of history called ‘Origins’ incorporating a map of Alsace and Saarland together with historical images, earphones, display cabinets, and artifacts transport visitors back to the inspirational founding year of 1955. ASC housed the audio reproduction equipment as a standalone solution directly into the back-structure of ‘Origins’. Take the earphones from the wall and you can switch between French, German, and English at the touch of a button. A fascinating and informative panel invites you study and discover, providing an analog counterpart to the multimedia Force Field in the following room.

Force Field
Here, a tripod-shaped force and projection field draws visitors into the world of the Hager Group. There they discover what drives the people behind the brand and encounter founders, visionaries, workers, and developers face to face. The company’s values and facets are conveyed at an interpersonal level with the help of ASC’s media technology. The media presentations are highly flexible and can be run in different modes depending on the occasion and the target group – for instance: a fully automated show, or in interactive mode. The whole system is designed so that the technology is easy to use and the media content and exhibits can be updated and expanded easily at any time. When the room is switched from Show to Exhibition mode, visitors can follow the company’s history by viewing tangible innovations and product exhibits, each of which ushered in a new technical era. ASC integrated a complex A/V system solution and control system into the Force Field and networked the various sound components with projection and LED lighting to form one extraordinary choreographed event.

The Residential and Commercial Buildings Labs
On the ground floor, which includes a central event area, seminar rooms, a cafe, and a shop, two showrooms were designed which demonstrate how the latest Hager technologies interact. Milla & Partner came up with a series of spatial picture stories for the two Labs whose vibrant atmosphere radiates out into the foyer. These stories present visitors with examples of how the technology is applied now and in the future. The images come alive on surfaces and objects in the room, revealing that which normally remains hidden to users: how intelligently networked technology ensures that Hager’s different components interact perfectly.

In Commercial Buildings this infrastructure, today so necessary, is depicted playfully using a controllable LED grid featuring LEDs that ‘run’ through the exhibition space. Real products are transformed into interactive tools which visitors can use to unlock content in a variety of media formats. Lab 2 (Residential) shows very clearly how the Hager Group’s system solutions provide more comfort and safety in certain living situations. A sophisticated surround system inconspicuously positioned by ASC and including effect speakers provides tonal and emotional emphasis for the visual impressions.

In each exhibition area ASC integrated the building, exhibit, and effect lighting aesthetically into the interior architecture and installed the sound systems in a way which enables them to function perfectly while remaining visually inconspicuous. ASC also worked closely with Milla+Partner to develop and program a complex content management system which would translate the corporate and communication content and spatial scenes that were required into a multimedia presentation.

The Residential and Commercial Buildings exhibition areas were networked by ASC together with the central equipment room in the basement. Almost all of the video and audio signals originate from that equipment room, while control signals pass bidirectionally between the equipment room and the exhibition areas. ASC built and installed the media racks needed for this in the equipment room and the exhibition rooms, then laid out the cables and electrical wiring in the media racks and networked the components in the exhibition area almost invisibly.

Questions? We’ll gladly assist.

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    Hager Forum

    ‘Origins’, which extends over seven meters, takes visitors on an inspiring journey back to the 1950s, when the Hager Group was founded.

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    Hager Forum

    In the Force Field, visitors can witness a multimedia show acquainting them with the Hager Group’s main facets and values. In the subsequent exhibition, historical and current products illustrate key milestones in the company’s development.

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    Hager Forum

    In Lab 1 (Commercial Buildings), the Hager Group’s solution portfolios from the commercial sector are depicted in the form of specially developed picture stories. Multimedia technology and Hager products interact in media dialog.

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    Hager Forum

    In Lab 2 (Residential Buildings), visitors are provided with a clear portrait of the control and automation possibilities available for use in residential construction.

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    Hager Forum

    Both labs feature a projection table for large-format projecting. LEDs are used to form a link with each product group. The content management system developed by ASC is used to project video and picture content which provides details of the products presented.

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    Hager Forum

    Partition to Lab 2 (Residential Buildings). A vivid presentation of a selection of light switches and room control units from the Hager Group’s product portfolio.

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