Indiana University Franklin Hall

Renovation Calls for Digital Media Technology to Attract and Retain the Next Generation of Talent

Franklin Hall is a prominent tour stop for visitors and prospective students at the Bloomington campus of Indiana University (IU). It features an impressively large two-story-high commons and is a branding image for the University. It is especially important for the students and faculty of The Media School who affectionately call it home. The aesthetics and functionality of the space are used to attract and retain the next generation of exceptional media professionals. Thus, Franklin Hall needed a makeover, and digital media technology in the commons was an essential component
of the renovation.

At the core of this makeover is a 24’W x 12’H LED video wall that looks like it is floating under the glass ceiling. Furthermore, the backend technology provides for more than a simple viewing experience. Students and faculty can interact with the digital wall using a variety of inputs, including laptop PCs, cable boxes and a gaming cart with the most up-to-date gaming consoles. Several content sources, including a live feed from the adjacent student control room and digital signage from the campus network, can all be displayed on the screen simultaneously, with the ability to resize and reconfigure images by recalling selected layouts or presets on the touch panel. Additionally, there are three input locations where users can plug into the system—
local connection spots that also allow the custom credenza housing Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U gaming consoles to move around the space.

Using this digital media technology, the IU Media School team can now display customized messaging with their internal digital signage platform while at that same time, the all-important IU Hoosiers sporting games are a mere click away. “WOW,” typically is the summative expression many use when entering the space. Most say it’s not something you expect to see in a higher education lobby. The digital display is crystal clear, bright and easily viewable even in its high ambient light space. Students say that the display’s “floating look” – even though it is suspended by aircraft cable above, feels very “futuristic.”