Week 5 – Competitive Context

Lecture with Torsten Posselt from FELD, Studio for Digital Crafts, Berlin
Matthew Jones and Michelle Dona from Accept & Proceed, London
Wouter Dirks from Studio Dumbar, Rotterdam
Stijn van de VenEden and Luke Veerman from Spiekermann, Amsterdam

Workshop Challenge

Read, research and analyse the four preselected ‘Industry Set’ project briefs and write short preliminary notes about each option.

Post the preliminary notes onto your blog. Select one of the ‘Industry Set’ project briefs that you would like to develop and deliver over the next eight weeks. Announce your selection on the Ideas Wall, for peer reflection.

Research and discover three creative studios, agencies or solo practitioners who have created competing projects that are in a similar field to your chosen brief. This could be an agency that regularly work in the same field or have created a one-off project, that is similar to your selected project brief. Post a link to the three creative practitioner websites and/or competing projects onto the Ideas Wall, for peer discussion.

Write a 200 word synopsis (600 words in total) to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of all three competing industry professional project examples. Post your three written synopses onto your blog and remember to include a selection of images that illustrate and support your evaluation.

Four Briefs

1 – Creative Conscience

This brief is quite interesting, as there are a lot of avenues to explore. This year’s competition focuses on improving health and wellness, and asks you to focus both on stopping negative things and how you can help to start positive ones. This is very broad as you can focus on so many things. Obvious possibilities would be mental health, food deserts, encouraging physical activity or dealing with social isolation, especially during lockdowns

2 – Collaboration

Collaborate with an active client. This one would be difficult for me – I don’t have any active clients that would be open to a speculative project, and the only project that would have been suitable for this brief has been wrapped up already, or has too tight a timeline. One avenue would to continue working on my Cornish Myths project, as it is already a collaboration, but I don’t think it would be suitable as my relationship with my husband leads to very different working practices than working with any other client!

3 – Science Museum

This one immediately grabbed my attention when we first started discussing the module. I’m not sure about settling down into one idea though. The talk with John Stack was incredibly compelling, and he seemed very open to any ideas we can come up with. He also encouraged us to broaden the age range if we wished, which could helpful. My sister is a junior high science teacher and she might have some insight into what older children might be interested in as well as my own 10 and 13 year olds.

4 – Adidas

This brief held absolutely no appeal to me. I’m not a fan of sports or big brands so my initial response was a hard no. In discussing it with other students, I can see more applications and worth in the brief, so perhaps I was too hasty in dismissing it and should look at it a bit more closely.

The Science Museum brief is the one I feel most drawn to, and what I finally chose.

In looking at competing projects I found this online timeline by the British Museum and the Google Cultural Institute.

The timeline is interactive across many different aspects, date, location, specific area, and it is very effective at inviting that interactivity.

Bill’s Attic this was an interesting one close to home. Bill Mitchell was the artistic director of Kneehigh Theatre and Wildworks. After he died, he donated his attic creative space, crammed full of interesting artefacts, and inspiring bits and pieces. The collection is now housed in the top floor at Krowji, available for inspiring residencies for artists or rentable for meeting space. Before they moved the collection, they carefully digitised the collection in the original space.

They collected a complete mapping that including photogrammetry of the entire attic and artefacts, 360 degree photography and videography and audio collection. 

The entire attic is available on Sketchfab, as an interactive dollhouse, and as a VR experience.  In addition to this, all of the development files are available to artists and the residencies are free.  In exchange, all they ask for is something to be left behind, either an archive of the work created while there, a workshop, or new object to add to the collection.  I really like the community involvement in this archive, and that it is designed to continue to grow and be a community resource. Its weak point is that it isn’t well publicised, I had a very hard time tracking it down even though I had heard of it and knew where it was located.  It took me an hour of sifting through websites before I found it on FEAST’s website, and didn’t find anything about it at Krowji at all. 

Another one from Google Arts and Culture, teaming up with the Natural History Museum to help produce interactive exhibitions online. These are mostly limited to 3d panable images, and a lot of the content is blurred out, which I found interesting. Is this due to copyright claims? Or some other reason.

This is also interesting as they are making a special exhibit partially available for free. The exhibit costs £56.25 + £5.70 donation for a 4 person family ticket, or £22.00 + £2.25 donation for a single adult ticket. You are able to scroll through the exhibit space, with each panel featuring a 360 degree panable image. You cannot zoom in, or click to navigate the space, only interacting with what is specifically offered to you, but it does seem to go through the whole exhibit.

In addition to the exhibit preview, there is a lot of supplementary content, including a behind the scenes video, games, information about animals and mythical creatures, and the real life inspiration behind the specific creatures in the exhibition, quizzes, an AR whale, colouring and more. 

Puzzles can be played interactively with more than one player

They also link you to another Google Arts and Culture experience with the British Library and Harry Potter.   The entire online experience is fantastic, with both in-depth features and quick attention grabbing ones.  It would be fun to go through with your children to get them excited about an upcoming visit to the exhibit,  but also contains enough content that it is an experience in and of itself.