City of Sydney - City Art Smart Plaque

Hyde Park, Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW



The City of Sydney City Art Smart Plaque trial was initiated to develop a modern, contemporary solution that integrates art, physical signage, and smart phone technology with a mobile app. An art Installation in Hyde Park Sydney called Yininmadyemi, by Artist Tony Albert, was used as the basis for the trial. The key objective of the project was to demonstrate and trial the use of iBeacon technology and how it could interact with the City of Sydney Culture Walk App.

iBeacon technology enables a location-specific bluetooth low energy signal to be detected by a mobile app. The app can send push notifications to a mobile screen and direct a user to a specific page of interest. Using a small battery powered ‘beacon’ that was concealed in the base of the plaque (and on top of a number of selected park signs) it has been possible to directly link people to an artist’s information page and an audio narration describing the artist’s work.

The project also developed a new form factor and finish for City Art plaques, as well developing a pavement marker solution with QR code integration to promote the new technology. Based upon lessons the learnt from the trial installation, the outcomes will potentially inform a wider application of the technology solution to other locations and art pieces as part of the City Art Program.


Project engagement on this Digital Wayfinding project was in the following areas:

  • Project and Site Assessment
  • Stakeholder Interviews
  • Strategy Development
  • Use case planning
  • Concept Design
  • Schematic Design
  • Industrial Design
  • Prototyping
  • Application & Website Design and Development
  • Analytics
  • Design Co-ordination
  • Project Management
  • Presentations


Working in collaboration with BrandCulture and BeaconMaker, Meld Strategies lead a design team to develop a solution for a next generation plaque that can be used for public artwork.

The solution involved a mix of industrial design (bronze plaque, beacon enclosures), software design (smartphone app) and hardware (beacons).

City Of Sydney



Project Website


June 2015