Written By: Kate Couch and Tony Sprando
Design over function is often an argued topic amongst the design community. We think that these things are in lieu of the other, but that isn’t always the case. In many circumstances, the ability to get maximum function and purpose out of a system can seamlessly blend in tandem with design. Design with functionality is becoming more popular in the 21st century. With people living in less and less space, we need to maximize our design pieces so they can serve as both. Be that storage, organization or just having a second purpose.
This can go into the corporate office as well. It’s important to be able to maximize space when you don’t have that much, and this is very plausible in most corporate workspaces. There’s also a lot of corporate workspaces that might need an AV system, but the design is very important to their business. Any sort of waiting room or conference room that needs to look sleek and professional and represent the company cannot have a bunch of wires and AV odds and ends sitting on a three-legged table in the corner. Visible AV systems aren’t always the most attractive option. So what is?
This is where AV systems are heard, but not seen. There are certain things you can install to make your AV systems tuck away or have them blend in with your design. The first and most easy way to hide an AV system is to have it in a nearby closet. Having sort of a command center for your AV rack is an easy way to make your AV system accessible and protected but also out of sight. But if you’re crunched on space, there are other things you can do.
There are a couple of ideas when it comes to hiding audiovisual systems. It depends on what you have installed, but for the most part, you can get low-profile speakers and microphones installed on the ceilings. People are less likely to look up, so they’re out of the way while still serving their purpose.
When it comes to managing wires, there is the molding you can get that can be installed on the corners of a space. This molding is similar to a baseboard and can go vertically or horizontally on the ceilings, floors or in between two walls. Inside the molding is a space for wires. This is an easy way to hide wires when you’re installing an audiovisual system, even after a house or office has been built. It’s important to keep in mind that you do want your AV system to be accessible for easy maintenance. Make sure that just because you might not be able to see it, that doesn’t mean you can’t get to it.
There are also lots of design pieces that are secretly AV systems. TVs that look like framed pictures have become very popular in recent years. AV has been easier to hide in furniture pieces. This can be numerous amount of things: Couches, TV consoles, desks and pictures on walls can all hold and hide cameras, wires and other AV corporate or home needs.
The last option would be to have an AV system that is only displayed when in use. For example, having a remote control system where your TV retracts from a picture frame on the wall. Or, a projector or camera that comes out of the ceiling. Though this is a slightly more expensive option, it is the most streamlined and user-friendly. It is also easier to implement than many believe. Putting equipment on retractable tracks has become popular and is more accessible.
Keep all these things in mind when trying to implement new AV equipment and systems in your home or corporate office. Make sure to ask your local AV company if these are possible for your project!
*This article is Tony Sprando of AV Bends intellectual property. To use or reference this article please contact: Tony@avbend.com*
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