Worcester Polytechnic Institute 

Utilizing Technology and Digital Signage tEnhance the Student Learning Experience

When Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts broke ground on the Foisie Innovation Studio and Messenger Residence Hall, President Laurie Leshin said that they wanted the building to represent “the front door to innovation.” The $49 million, 78,000-square-foot residential and classroom facility is one of the largest spaces on campus. The first and second floors of the building include a teaching laboratory complete with a robotics lab, a makerspace and high-tech classrooms for courses that introduce first-year students to WPI team-based projects.  

As with most academic installations, the biggest challenge was the deadline. WPI needed this high-profile installation to be up and running, tested and polished in time for the new school year. In order to accomplish this, planning for equipment, logistics and coordinating with other trades was key. 

Coordination for the high-profile video wall was tight. The builder fabricated the large wall to exact specifications, and the electrical contractor was directed to provide power in the exact locations required for the forty Christie displays. All of this had to be tested and working before installation could even begin. The RP Visual mounts allow each display to swing out for easy access. Concurrent with the installation of the 8×5 video wall, Diversified equipped several large classrooms with state-of-the-art technology. Five classrooms were built to include four Sony laser projectors in each room (one facing towards each wall), and more than 20 huddle spaces were outfitted with NEC monitors and Mersive Solstice pods.  

With support from Diversified’s creative services team, WPI utilizes the Appspace and Seenspire digital signage platforms to aggregate their social feeds, and an infotainment subscription from Seenspire allows the institute to stream STEM-related news. General student information, global project centers, alumni spotlights, photo galleries and more are communicated across the facility with ease. The versatility of the video wall and vestibule signage even allows for engagement, encouraging students to give feedback via a QR code and by downloading the WPI app. 

Thanks to the open communication between WPI and the associated trade partners, the project was a complete success with all needs met to ensure an optimum learning environment for returning and new students.