Royal College of Arts
Strive AV worked with RCA to supply an upgraded AV solution across multiple campuses, including a brand-new Battersea campus, that would meet the needs of students and educators now and into the future.
The past few years have seen a critical period of transformation for the renowned Royal College of Art. A new STEAM-focused era for the university (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) has been marked by the development of a new campus in Battersea. Additionally, the university has embraced the benefits of hybrid learning in the wake of the pandemic. These events have culminated in RCA revisiting the way it delivers its education.
Providing world-leading education requires world-leading facilities, and AV technology plays an integral part in supporting modern teaching methods. Understanding this, RCA brought in award-winning integrators, Strive AV, to specify, source, and install an AV solution across three campuses, including its new Battersea site.
A BLANK CANVAS
The university had clear objectives that Strive AV needed to deliver on. Firstly, RCA wanted the AV experience to be consistent across all campuses, for teaching staff and students, as well as those managing the equipment. It was also important for this consistency should also apply to students joining classes remotely to support hybrid learning.
RCA value being able to create a collaborative and inclusive learning experience between in-person and online students. Therefore, an AV solution should deliver content in uncompromised high-resolution and offer a wide range of interactive capabilities for those joining on, and off-campus.
In addition, RCA aspired for its open-plan studios to provide a more adaptable, multipurpose environment that could be easily re-configured depending on how the space was being used. This required flexibility that the existing ceiling-hung projectors and wall-mounted screens could not provide.
Strive AV was tasked with delivering the ideal solution across the university’s multiple campuses, whilst causing as little disruption to the students’ learning as possible.
THE ART OF AV
To meet these objectives, Strive AV specified a DTEN D7 all-in-one-video conferencing solution. Working closely with DTEN and RCA, Strive AV facilitated a small-scale trial of the solution ahead of the full installation. This gave RCA a chance to experience the quality, functionality, and performance of the DTEN D7 to ensure it was the right choice.
The DTEN D7 includes inbuilt features that support high-quality collaboration and hybrid learning, such as the 4k HD camera which broadcasts sharp, clear video. The 16-microphone array and propriety DSP from DTEN, keep voices clear and eliminate background noises for audio clarity. Teaching staff can easily begin lessons thanks to the one-touch meeting start feature, which also provides seamless screen sharing.
With 4k resolution content sharing, images, text and video can be displayed with clarity and crispness, essential for students to fully engage with content to support their learning. The ten-point capacitive touch technology allows multiple users to interact and annotate with a piece of content simultaneously. This empowers students to engage in more productive group discussions and brainstorming sessions. Hybrid participants are not forgotten, as this ultra-responsive whiteboard feature can easily integrate with other devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
In total, 130 D7 interactive displays with custom protective screen frames, were deployed across the three campuses, fixed to Top-Tec Nova trolleys. The trolleys create mobile AV stations which can be used for pop-up huddle spaces, moved between classrooms, or to curate multipurpose zones in open plan spaces. The mobile solutions are made even more user-friendly with the DTEN D7 plug-and-play capability, which negates the requirement for technical support during set-up and empowers educators to confidently engage with AV as a tool in their lessons.
To ensure as little as disruption as possible to the students, the project was completed in phases. Overall, the full install across the three campuses was completed in 12 months.
“This solution has provided our academics with flexible teaching possibilities, while supporting a hybrid approach to learning. The knowledge both Strive AV and DTEN have of the education sector is fantastic, they understood what we’re trying to achieve and the direction of teaching methodologies. They’ve helped us meet the needs of our academics as well as the expectations of our students.”