Gearhouse South Africa's Cape Town branch supplied specialist LED and AV display technology to 4 different installations at the Design Indaba 2011 exhibition, which was staged at the Cape Town international Convention Centre (CTICC) and included the Design Indaba Conference and Young Designers Simulcast.

Since 1995, the Design Indaba Conference has invited the world’s top creative minds to address professionals from the creative, corporate and educational sectors and championed the creativity that enhances all aspects of our world. This highlight on the Cape Town event calendar appeals to anyone with an interest in design and innovation, recognising graphic design, advertising, film, music, fashion design, industrial design, architecture, craft, visual art, new media, publishing, broadcasting and performing arts ... all side-by-side.

As a supplier, Gearhouse South Africa is well known for technical creativity and an innovative approach; so this was the ideal platform for showcasing some of their newest technology to a creative target audience of design aficionados.

The first installation was a striking countdown clock made out of Lighthouse L16 LED panels mounted in a custom frame, all supplied by Gearhouse together with the motor that flew it from the ceiling. It was positioned outside Auditorium 2 of the Conference. The client supplied a laptop and the relevant software to run on the display, and the clock ticked away continuously for the 72 hours of the conference.

The second installation was a 5.5 metre high and 3.1 metre wide plasma wall located in the foyer of Auditorium 2, opposite the exit, so everyone could engage with the content appearing on it as they exited. It was made up from a 6 x 6 matrix of plasma screens and mounted on a special base sub-structure that elevated it 1 metre off the ground. It received images and content from the separate Christie MicroTile installation (see below) that was set up outside Auditorium 1.

The MicroTile display measured 4.4 metres by 2.47 metres and was made up from 88 Tiles. Gearhouse has recently invested heavily in this product, which has been in constant use for numerous applications - with exhibitions and conferences being a prime example!

Content for the MicroTiles was uploaded to a local server via 4 Macintosh workstations, fed by delegates and students who were encouraged to create and share their own material and experiences from the day so far - images, videos, text, etc. All of this was then sent to the plasma wall outside the Auditorium 2 exit in 15 minute refreshes.

The fourth installation supplied by Gearhouse was a piece of plasma art based on 12 screens suspended on a 4-legged ground support system. Once built, this was clad with black PVC covered flats, complete with client logos so it effectively formed an arch structure. The plasmas were hung in 3 drops, each of 4 screens.

Showing on one set of 4 screens was the same content as the MicroTiles, created by delegates and students, and on the other 2 sets of screens was material supplied by the end client - in this case ABSA bank - all of which was stored on a media server.

Gearhouse was working for Johannesburg based advertising agency Jupiter Drawing Room, and the project was co-ordinated for Gearhouse Cape Town by Jason Lang, who comments, "It was an interesting and different project, requiring thought, precision and careful application of the right equipment"

For more press information on Gearhouse South Africa, please contact Robyn D’Alessandro on +27 (0) 11 482 8981/ +27 (0)83 607 3010 or check

Story by Louise Stickland and photos courtesy Jupiter Drawing Room

Jun 11, 2011

The Gearhouse Group of Companies