Research & Development

Posted by Lianne Kerlin, Ian Forrester on , last updated

We collaborated on future media ideas over the two days and candidates were immersed in a world of future digital creativity and thinking through discussions and activities designed to prompt discussions and collaborations. Our other focus was to select two people to join us in February 2018 on a two week residency programme to work with us to design, develop and make the living room experience a reality. The live experience will be open to the public in May 2018 at FACT and again at the West Balkans Culture Summit in August 2018.

The workshop formed part of the conference programme, which can be read about here. The conference delivered a range of inspiring panels, talks and skills of tomorrow workshops. It hosted startup battles and engaged other digital artists, creatives and innovators looking at the future of digital services within the Western Balkans.

What we got up to

Day 1...

The workshop began by the facilitators each delivering presentations regarding key areas that will be pivotal in the project: information about FACT from Roger, OBM and IoT from Ian, Data ethics and HDI from Lianne and Neelima as well as Databox from James. Tom ran the show.

Ian presents in front of a TV screen.

Lianne presents in front of a TV screen.

A main Q&A session was held where candidates absorbed more expert knowledge from the partnership team, with breakout groups emerging around critical discussion areas such as privacy talks, measuring emotion, technical aspects and the balance between offering mass appeal whilst enabling aspects of personalisation. Workshop activities were designed to stimulate interesting discussions and enable candidates to learn more about each other.

Doodles from the Q&A Session

The remainder of the first day was spent team building with candidates partnering up with people that had similar interests but a different skill set - it was our ambition to push groupings based on complementary skill sets, so that one pair had the creative, production or filmmaking background whilst the second was technically strong. 8 solid groups formed and candidates began on developing their concepts.

A conversation takes place round a table.

At the end of day one groups were challenged to deliver a 3 minute ideas pitch to the partnership team that included motivations and the key questions or issues they were addressing in their living room.

An audience watches a presentation.

After this fruitful session the team fed back to help steer candidates thinking and help to further develop their pitch over night and the following day.

Another audience watches a presentation.

Day 2…

T Shirts bearing the name of the team members taking part in this event.

The morning kicked off with a presentation about critical design thinking by Tom. This stimulated and inspired candidates in their own pitches and helped to steer thinking around key idea developments.

An audience watches more presentations.

Candidates spent the rest of the day developing their pitch with help from the partnership team. Team members were on hand to answer questions and help guide participants thinking around key issues of personal data ethics, the technical architecture of databox and feasibility of their ideas. They were provided with a grid and prompt sheets to help focus and condense the information into a 5 minute pitch. Within their pitch they focused on presenting the motivations behind their key idea alongside the technical aspects needed to drive the experience. In addition they presented the key sources of personal data required to enable the experience and ways to communicate this data exchange within designs and notifications.

A group of people chat while sat round a table.

At the end of the second day 10 excellent pitches were delivered from a mixture of individual and pairs of candidates. These pitches covered both technical and artistic ground and conveyed the passion and excitement of what the living room of the future could deliver to the public. Each group communicated their ideas coherently and enthusiastically and it will be a shame that we can only offer two places for the residency.

Two people present their ideas to an audience.

Thank you...

To the fantastic candidates that brought incredible energy, enthusiasm and commitment to our workshop in what was a jam packed 2 days.  Each candidate brought their experience, background and unique perspectives and we wish to personally thank everyone for making the journey to Sarajevo and making it such an enjoyable experience. The second day pitches left us with lots to think about and we are incredibly excited to start the hard work and to make the living room of the future a reality next year. It’s certainly going to be a tough call picking just 2.

A group picture of everyone who took part in the event.

We would like to express a huge thank you to our partners for their amazing enthusiasm, energy and joy at co-hosting this workshop: Tom and Roger from FACT, Neelima and James from Uni of Nottingham, as well as the Amila, Emir and Nejra from British Council for hosting us. The effort that went into this before during and after by everyone was incredible and it makes us excited to get started on the next phase of the project!

Lianne and Ian pose with their shirts which have their names written on the back.

We now have a very tough decision to make..

To be continued… :)

This post is part of the Future Experience Technologies section