A/V designs for flexible spaces

We have a project here for a client that involves putting a display into an historic space.  They will fill it with loose seating, as many chairs as will fit, front to back and side to side.  And we’re wrestling with image size and how high to set it above the floor.  There are standards we can go to: https://www.avixa.org/standards/discas-calculators, but they require concrete figures to plug into their calculations, and we’re pretty sure that half our seats will be disallowed.  In the real world, how do we approach this?

A good place to start is to recognize that there may be no one right answer.  In a flexible space, we need to weigh conflicting requirements.  What will our content be, and how important is it that every line of text be legible?  How do we respond to the need to create a video experience, and the subjective evaluations that accompany this?  How do we predict the location of our most critical viewer, and does this location move?  Do the opinions of certain people count more than others, due to their roles (department head?)  What do we expect in terms of windowing multiple images?  What happens during off-hours; is our display dark, or concealed in some way, or running digital signage?  

A good approach is to start with the math, and with an understanding of how best to deliver typical content to typical viewers.  This may not be the solution in the end, but is the foundation for further analysis.  Then take this solution, and weight it by needs for special content, locations of special viewers, and other factors that are out of the ordinary.  Run the math again, and look for those things that simply don’t work (as opposed to not ideal but acceptable).  And then go back and do it again, until you have a balance among your many competing goals.  Note that we’re not looking for a perfect solution for a single use, but a best solution across many.

In the end, we’re relying on our experience and judgment.  We need an engineering solution to our display problem, but a solution we can defend to our client, and which is affordable and can be supported.  Our industry has gotten too good, and we’re expected to find solutions even for the most challenging spaces.  And when we do, we’re pushed even farther the next time.