Martin Control Stability at Expo 2010 Shanghai

October 07, 2010

The Danish Pavilion at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai is a cutting edge and technically complex installation, as well as one of the most popular of the 200+ country pavilions. Every aspect of the installation is not only professional but highly innovative, including the Martin lighting control solution.

Lighting control is handled by two separate artnet systems, one for the exceptional LED facade and one for the rest of the Pavilion’s lighting. The LED facade is controlled via a project-built media server developed by Aarhus University’s Centre for Advanced Visualization and Interaction (CAVI, Denmark). The CAVI media server controls the look of the facade by triggering timings using sensors mounted around the building.

The non-facade lighting areas are quite substantial however. There are 25 other areas of the Danish Pavilion which are illuminated and controlled individually - a social bench, bike ramp, Mermaid Bar, shop, and storytelling boxes to name a few, but most notably Denmark’s iconic “The Little Mermaid.”

Virtually every area of the Danish Pavilion incorporates energy-efficient LED light sources and the entire system (more than 20000 DMX channels on 45 DMX universes) is run from a single touchscreen MaxModule Cerebrum™ lighting controller with a second Cerebrum available as a backup with an auto-switching system. The MaxModule Cerebrum is a compact and powerful touchscreen computer that has proved exceptionally stable over the first four months of the Expo. The MaxModule Cerebrum triggers looks from the sensors through the CAVI media server.

All lighting is controlled locally and, if needed, the complete system can be monitored remotely via a secure vpn connection from half way around the world at Martin’s Danish headquarters or a nearby location. Even complete resets, troubleshooting and any software upgrades are handled remotely and control can even be done from an iPad. The MaxModule Cerebrum was programmed by Martin’s Johan Colméus. Facade programming was completed by CAVI.

Martin’s handy iPhone MAXRemote™, which allows for remote control of lighting devices straight from an iPhone, iPod or iPad, is used to walk around the Pavilion and make adjustments. Lighting for weekly concerts can even be handled via a webpage or iPhone.

Additionally, there are eight Martin Ether2DMX8™ boxes used (one spare) to handle the large number of DMX channels. The DMX router translates Artnet protocol into DMX in/out universes but can also be used as a DMX merger, DMX splitter hub, fail safe device, cue playback, and DMX viewer monitor. The Martin MaxNet architecture combined with the Ether2DMX8 boxes has allowed for thousands of dollars in savings compared to traditional console networking with expensive DMX processor nodes.

The Pavilion runs in automatic mode, e.g., light settings change on their own from daylight through dusk to evening. Actual lighting conditions influence the system in real-time via the light sensors installed around the Pavilion. A blue sky produces a different setting than a cloudy day for example, so no matter what the weather the lighting is always perfectly adjusted to the surroundings.

Key personnel are able to control individual settings, e.g., for events outside normal operating hours, test runs, fixture cleaning and other proactive maintenance. The lighting system is even employed outside opening hours as the Pavilion’s cleaning personnel use it when they go about their work.

Martin Professional and CAVI, in collaboration with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) architects, have designed, developed and installed the dynamic façade and auxiliary areas for the Danish Pavilion.

Polish Pavilion
Martin control systems can be found at other pavilions around Expo including the Polish Pavilion where a Martin Maxxyz Compact, supplied by Flashlight and programmed by Tibbe Warnier, is used to control an automated light show.

“I have had many good experiences with the Maxxyz and programming the show for the Polish Pavilion was definitely one of them,” Warnier commented. “The Maxxyz Compact is a great lighting controller – it’s not only easy to use but it can do everything from events to theatre to architecture, all in one system.

“For the Polish Pavilion, I took various cue lists and brought them together in one simple program to control LED fixtures and automated luminaires with gobo projection.” Lighting design for the Polish Pavilion is by Marc Heinz with set design by Boris Kublicka.