Dynamic Digital Environments Master Class

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
8:00am - 5:00pm

Moderator & Program Coordinator

Leslie Gallery-Dilworth, FAIA
Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsors


Planar Systems

The Dynamic Digital Environments Master Class features exciting speakers presenting case studies of cutting edge projects including the media features at the new LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal. Presenters share information essential to architects, designers, art directors, and the integrators, fabricators and manufacturers who work as a team to create innovative, informative and effective environments for museums, retail, entertainment, airports, hospitality, office buildings, sports facilities and urban environments.

DSE is a Registered AIA Continuing Education Provider


Special Discount Rates:
$495 through 1.24.14; $595 after 1.24.14
SEGD members - $445 through 1.24.14; $535 after 11.24.14 - Use code "SEGDMEM"
AIA members - $445 through 1.24.14; $535 after 1.24.14 - Use code "AIAMEM"

Packages & Pricing


8:00am – 9:00am Registration & Coffee
9:00am - 9:30am "Worldwide Projects Overview" - Leslie Gallery-Dilworth Details
9:30am - 11:00am "LAX Bradley International Terminal and Its Integrated Environmental Media System" - Sakchin Bessette | Mike Rubin | Marcela Sardi | Stephan Villet Details
11:15am - 12:15pm "Gensler LA Lobby Project – A Multi-surface Experience" - Jennifer Davis | Arturo Fernandez | Mark Yoffe | Alan Robles Details
12:15pm – 1:45pm Networking Lunch
1:45pm – 2:30pm The Challenges! How and When Will Architects and Designers Incorporate These Technologies In Their Design Palette? - Sebastian Guivernau | Harry Spetnagel Details
2:30pm – 3:30pm "Montréal's Luminous Pathway of the Quartier des Spectacles" - Mikaël Charpin Details
3:45pm – 5:00pm "Group Discussion" - Susan S.Szenasy Details

"Worldwide Projects Overview" - Leslie Gallery-Dilworth

9:00am - 9:30am


Leslie Gallery-Dilworth, FAIA

For 12 years, Leslie Gallery-Dilworth was CEO of SEGD (Society for Environmental Graphic Design) and founding editor and publisher of the award-winning quarterly magazine segdDESIGN. SEGD, an international membership organization of designers, architects and fabricators, provides education resources for professionals working at the intersection of communication design and architecture, including complex wayfinding and sign programs, exhibit design, branding and experience design.

Prior to SEGD, she founded Philadelphia's Foundation for Architecture, a civic platform for urban planning and public participation. She has produced lectures, tours, design competitions and guidebooks, as well as Philadelphia's award-winning direction and attraction sign program. She has taught at the University of Texas and consulted internationally on making cities more easily understood and accessible.

An architect, landscape architect and urban planner, she was elected to the AIA College of Fellows and served on the board of the American Architectural Foundation and Overseer of Penn Design, University of Pennsylvania. The recipient of three design fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, she was selected by the NEA as a USA fellow.

"LAX Bradley International Terminal and Its Integrated Environmental Media System" - Sakchin Bessette | Mike Rubin | Marcela Sardi | Stephan Villet

9:30am - 11:00am


Sakchin Bessette
Co-founder and Creative Director
Moment Factory
Mike Rubin
President & Founder
MRA International
Marcela Sardi
Sardi Designs Inc.
Stephan Villet
Smart Monkeys Inc.

Dazzling, is the most common description of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)! And for the very first time, we present the extraordinary team responsible for the largest immersive multimedia system of any airport in the Americas. With seven major media features, LAX is a cutting-edge media experiment.

Meet the team responsible for this sensation and learn from their challenges, frustrations, complications and successes: MRA International, Sardi Design, Moment Factory, Smart Monkeys Inc., with Electrosonic and Digital Kitchen.

Enhancing the passenger experience, recreating some of the romance of travel and creating a soothing environment were some of the goals of the Los Angeles World Airport.

As the world's largest interactive feature, the time tower displays more than 60 pieces of multimedia content across 5,480 square feet of LED surfaces. The Integrated Environmental Media System (IEMS) is the first of its kind in airports.

A central feature is the elevator tower, three stories, four-sided, completely covered in LEDs. The tower can be a clock and touch the sides, and your hand sets off interactive sensors that might shoot a star straight up. Screens are triggered by passengers' movements and flight data.

And all of this is under the dramatic curving roof designed by Fentress Architects of Denver.

How was this complex project conceived, coordinated and actually built working within the challenges of a public agency, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)? How are sponsorships part of the ongoing funding strategy? And how did the various consultants, manufacturers and integrators work together? This is the future, you can learn about it now!

Sakchin Bessette is the co-founder and creative director of Montréal-based Moment Factory. Founded in 2001, the Moment Factory is the new media and entertainment studio responsible for all the creative content in the LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal project. Moment Factory's job was to use video to transform the supercharged, distraction-filled "hub of stress" that is a modern international airport into an environment that would calm, lessening the chaos and stress of today's air travel.

The Moment Factory is known for staging attention-grabbing spectacles like Madonna's halftime show at the 2012 Super Bowl. The company, which has also collaborated on events for Microsoft, Coors Light, and Jay-Z, is best known for its original technology, X-Agora. This playback system uses video mapping to create immersive experiences in places from basketball courts to building façades.

The Moment Factory team employs some 100 staffers from all corners of the globe. According to Bessette, the Moment Factory is about collaboration. "We're integrated with technology, programmers, engineers, designers, directors, 2-D animators and 3-D animators. So all kinds of different talent from different backgrounds come together here," he says.

As project director, Mike Rubin was responsible for the project concept and execution of the media experience at the LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal. MRA International is a development consultancy specializing in the conceptualization, strategic programming and execution of "destination developments" and "place branding" for major projects across the globe. The firm's work includes urban, waterfront and mixed use destinations, sports anchored destinations, casino and resort destinations, public place and cultural destinations, entertainment destinations and attractions.

Among MRA clients have been the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, the Walt Disney World Company, Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Studios and MGM Studios. Major projects include MGM's City of Entertainment in Las Vegas. In addition to place branding, Rubin's work includes the development of auxiliary revenues through sponsorship, advertising, brand immersion and events programming. Working closely with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the nation's premier development association, he has served as chair of its Entertainment Development Council, and co-authored two ULI books on developing urban entertainment centers and retail entertainment destinations. Rubin earned his Master of Architecture and Master of Science degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from the Wharton School.

Marcela Sardi was responsible for the (Integrated Environmental Media System) IEMS media feature designs for LAX. She is a designer and producer of environmental multi-media systems and immersive, experiential settings. Sardi Designs Inc., founded in 2001, specializes in creating experiences and environments integrating media, interactive systems, architectural lighting, environmental effects, sound systems, digital projection, embedded LED's, fountains, color washes and patterning, environmental art and events programming. Sardi's current focus is on the creation of interfaces between public places and network based media including. She holds an MS in Architectural Technology from the Graduate School of Design, University of Pennsylvania.

Stephan Villet, co-founder with Alan Anderson of Miami-based Smart Monkeys Inc., is a show control specialist with extended knowledge in Medialon Products and programming. After working five years for Disneyland Paris as a show control designer and project manager, he joined Medialon as technical manager, then sales manager for North and South America in 2004. Smart Monkeys Inc. of Miami was responsible for the (Integrated Environmental Media System) IEMS content delivery systems and the technical systems in the LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal project. Since its founding in 2008, Smart Monkeys has been a respected and innovative leader in the show control industry. In addition to LAX, the company has worked on the Comcast Experience and the new Bush Library with David Niles, as well as the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, the Frank Gehry designed IAC HQ in NYC, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and many other architectural entertainment environments, museums, expos, theme parks and shows.

"Gensler LA Lobby Project – A Multi-surface Experience" - Jennifer Davis | Arturo Fernandez | Mark Yoffe | Alan Robles

11:15am - 12:15pm


Jennifer Davis
VP, Marketing
Planar Systems Inc.
Arturo Garza Fernandez
UX Designer
Microsoft Store
Mark Yoffe
Director of Engineering
Synect Media
Alan Robles
Associate, Experience Designer

This Multi Surface Experience, found in Gensler's LA lobby, is a groundbreaking smart space that allows people to interact with their environment in a way that's never been done before, as global design firm, Gensler, and digital signage and interactive agency, The Hive, unveiled an innovative augmented reality experience.

Known as The Hive/Gensler Multi Surface Experience, the installation is designed to engage and inform visitors to Gensler's award-winning downtown Los Angeles office and showcase the architectural firm's portfolio of work.

Gensler is a leading global design firm with 44 offices and over 3,500 employees worldwide. Founded in 1965, the firm has deep expertise in design and architecture across 20 practices, including commercial office buildings, professional services, retail, aviation, planning and urban design, entertainment and hospitality, sports stadia and education facilities. Gensler also holds practices focusing on brand strategy, environmental graphic design, mission-critical facilities, and has recently invested in consulting for real estate workplace and sustainable design.

The experience attracts users toward a digitally augmented table, and book. The table is the SLO Gen Table, an iconic collaboration between Gensler and architecture students at California Polytechnic School in San Luis Obispo. An interface appears on the table allowing visitors to use movements such as hand motions to digitally explore the content of Gensler's urban architecture and modern cities monograph.

Enhancing each object with a new layer of digital content, the installation adds new context to the contents of the book. With this interface, guests can access digital media from Gensler's vast portfolio on a connected 4K video wall. This exceptional tableau showcases the firm's work across a variety of sectors, ranging from expansive international airport projects in Palm Springs, Calif., to Chennai, India, to intricate retail experiences in leading luxury stores — all of which can be explored on the video wall or in the book.

Jennifer Davis is currently VP of Marketing for Planar. Her work involves a wide variety of markets and technologies including digital signage and architectural displays.

Arturo Garza Fernandez has been with Microsoft since 2010 - first as part of the UX Engineering team inside Microsoft IT, and now as part of the team for Microsoft retail stores. He does video and digital signage work for Microsoft stores, including content areas displayed on the video walls. Fernandez’s primary interest has been on developing “good user experiences” by focusing on the front end of technology as well as the psychology of the users.

Mark Yoffe is director of engineering at Synect Media where he leads development of new experiences for smart spaces, digital signage and video walls. Yoffe has spent nearly a decade in technology and R&D, specializing in digital signage and massive multi-display installations. Yoffe was director of engineering for Gensler’s Multi Surface Experience, where his technical expertise enabled a seamless integration between physical space and digital experience. His passion for research and development instills an experimental approach to his work at Synect Media where he builds new ways to incorporate interactivity into public spaces.

Alan Robles, associate and experience designer for Gensler, has spent more than 20 years exploring the relationship between users and their environments, creating environmental communication opportunities for clients and projects of every scale around the world. As digital media has become a more significant part of user engagement in the built environment, his work has focused on exploring the interplay between content and context. He describes his role as creating stories in physical spaces with special attention to the value those stories help communicate within the transaction environment.



The Challenges! How and When Will Architects and Designers Incorporate These Technologies In Their Design Palette? - Sebastian Guivernau | Harry Spetnagel

1:45pm – 2:30pm


Sebastian Guivernau
ZGF Architects
Harry Spetnagel
Senior Associate/Design Director

Some design and architecture firms are embracing experiential design and new media technologies in their projects, but many are not. Some want to incorporate these technologies but do not know where to begin, or even who to contact. This is not being taught in the architecture and design programs, as most of the faculty are still unfamiliar with these tools and materials. This will have to change. Students will graduate and embrace all forms of digital media. The designers and architects will recognize that this does not mean a TV screen on a wall.

Harry and Sebastian, both representing two highly influential firms - Gensler and Zimmer Gunsel Frasca (ZGF),  will have a conversation about the challenges, the possibilities, and the processes, as well as the entry points for integrators, fabricators and manufacturers.   

Sebastian Guivernau has spent over a decade working in multi-disciplinary teams integrating architectural design, visual and performing arts and is a specialist in turning visionary ideas into workable solutions. As an associate at ZGF Architects, his design explorations revolve around making branding part of the built environment through the use of both graphic and digital arts.

Guivernau has produced innovative work for clients such as Lincoln Center, Disney, Pixar, Heineken, Nike and the European Space Agency, and worked at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Rafael Moneo, SOM, Allied Works and Skylab Architecture, as well as leading his own practice in Spain. While at Skylab he lead Nike’s award-winning Camp Victory project for the 2012 Olympic Trials in Track and Field, featured at DSE 2013. Guivernau also teaches at the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture, where he plays an active role in exposing students to multi-disciplinary design and collaborative working models, and is working towards making the pixel part of the design palette of young designers. He holds a degree in economics from the University of Michigan and received his masters in architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Always pushing the boundaries between visual and spatial storytelling, Harry Spetnagel has directed the design, documentation, and implementation of award-winning branded environment and wayfinding projects for Gensler’s regional, national and international clients in the retail, hospitality and entertainment industries. Among the projects are MGM City Center, LA Municipal Coliseum, the Creative Artists Agency, and the Venetian Orient Sands in Macau. 

As an advocate of multidisciplinary design and a strategic, human-centered process, Spetnagel is interested in innovative communication strategies derived from the intersection of industry research and new technology. He is a member of SEGD and the AIGA.

"Montréal's Luminous Pathway of the Quartier des Spectacles" - Mikaël Charpin

2:30pm – 3:30pm


Mikaël Charpin
Assistant Director, Luminous Pathway
Quartier des Spectacles

Luminous Pathway is Montreal's dynamic award winning urban branding program of the Quartier des Spectacles. Nearly 30 public spaces and cultural venues are illuminated year-round using LEDs as a red carpet pathway, architectural lighting on building facades, video projections and special crosswalks.

The Quartier des Spectacles has become a canvas for video artists and a showcase for new digital media technologies. By highlighting the cultural attractions of the district and utilizing the imagination of artists, Luminous Pathway continuously creates the environment for a community-wide immersive experience and strong visual identity.

With partial funding from the Ville of Montréal and agencies including Economic Development Canada, Luminous Pathway has performed a vital role in turning the once rundown area into a world-class 365-day cultural destination and economic success. This case study is of special interest to designers and architects, urban planners and artists, real estate developers, and those designing and specifying for entertainment environments.

With formal training in civil engineering and architecture, Mikaël Charpin specializes in lighting and new technologies in public spaces. During the past three years, he has worked to develop and shape the lighting identity of Montréal's Quartier des Spectacles, overcoming technical, economic and innovative challenges. With his passion for architecture and urban design, he has worked with leading lighting designers, creative artists and manufacturers, as well as the community, to achieve the goals of the Luminous Pathway.


"Group Discussion" - Susan S.Szenasy

3:45pm – 5:00pm


Susan S. Szenasy
Editor in Chief

Susan S. Szenasy is editor in chief of METROPOLIS, the award-winning New York City-based magazine of architecture and design. Since 1986 she has led the magazine through decades of landmark design journalism, achieving domestic and international recognition. She is internationally recognized as an authority on sustainability and design.

Szenasy served two terms on the boards of the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and the Landscape Architecture Foundation. She’s on the board of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Interior Design department and Center for Architecture Advisory. She’s been honored with two IIDA Presidential Commendations, is an honorary member of the ASLA, and the 2008 recipient of the ASID Patron’s Prize and Presidential Commendation as well as the SARA/NY medallion of honor. She is an ASID distinguished speaker.

Szenasy has received a citation and an honorary membership from NYC AIA. Along with METROPOLIS Publisher Horace Havemeyer III, she was a 2007 recipient of the Civitas August Heckscher Award for Community Service and Excellence. In 2011, she won the Gene Burd Urban Journalism Award and was named a Senior Fellow by the Design Futures Council.

She holds an M.A. in modern european history from Rutgers University and honorary doctorates from Kendall College of Art and Design, the Art Center College of Design and the Pacific Northwest College of Art. She lives in New York’s East Village in a small loft designed by Harry Allen, where she moved after 9/11 to reduce her ecological footprint.

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