Backstage Academy, part of the University of Bolton, has received a donation of a fully refurbished 6mm Barco LED display from digiLED to assist students on their BA Hons Visual Production course.
The donation came about after a digiLED screen was purchased to upgrade an installation at a site in Canary Wharf, leaving the fully functioning Barco display in need of redeployment. In response to this, digiLED took the modules to their Dorking warehouse where they were refurbished and then stored, before contacting course leader Shannon Harvey at the university.
The Visual Production degree, a three-year specialist design course, was developed with the support from the UK’s live events industry and covers creative, technical and production workflows for visual media as well as lighting for live events and installations.
Harvey had expressed a need for his students to be able to test content on large LED displays rather than using the available 40-inch LCD screens. So when Tom Mudd, Technical Director at digiLED heard this, he saw an opportunity and suggested that Canary Wharf donate the old kit to Backstage Academy.
The LED panels now provide students with the practical experience of working with LED products, including physical and content design, technical setup, operation, troubleshooting and maintenance. Upon the screen’s arrival, students immediately began working with the display to check and test the individual modules. Within a week they had designed and implemented a setup using 20 of the modules in a split configuration for The Hepworth Wakefield’s 5th Birthday Weekend in West Yorkshire.
“Having the support of industry leaders in technology like digiLED is critical to giving our students the best experience in the delivery of large format media. This donation by Canary Wharf enables us to work with the technology and develop further opportunities for creative expression,” said Harvey.
Tom Mudd said: “It was great to be able to help organise the donation of this used screen with good life expectancy. The next generation of content producers for the events industry will benefit with real hands-on experience of this technology. There’s nothing like testing the results of your work on the medium it is intended for but unfortunately, buying LED screens is out of the reach of most education establishments. We look forward to seeing the results of their hard work!”