For two days in June 2019 Ludic Rooms took over a whole tent at Coventry’s Godiva Festival and filled it with a special blend of free creative fun, technology, making and play. The Experi-tent included activities ranging from a giant marble run that visitors helped build, modify, and rebuild to eye popping digital images and a VJ station.
The Experi-tent was commissioned by Coventry City Council for Coventry Godiva Festival 2019. With contributions by Lanchester Interactive Archive and the Community Studio Van (a joint project between Coventry University and Warwick Arts Centre).
Moving Image Lab (MI:Lab) is an ongoing series of workshops for young people with a focus on developing skills in experimental media and digital arts. The programme includes areas such as producing holograms, projection mapping, and animation. The work produced at MI:Labs is regularly shared through organised showcase events as well as in high profile public settings alongside the work of professional artists, for example the work has featured at the Random String Festival, Godiva Festival, and at an Open Projections event at Coventry Cathedral.
In 2018 Ludic Rooms took up residency at The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and produced Play!, a series of events, activities and art works centred on the theme of play. Activities included an evening event at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum with a variety of participatory activities.
We invited visitors to play, build, design and protest with us across the building, with each activity feeding into the research and development of the residency.
In residency at the Herbert Art Gallery we created a modular, evolving physical play space that appeared in different spaces around the Gallery and Museum.
Installations incorporated elements produced during the Herbert residency were installed at Godiva Festival, Spon Spun Festival, and The Random String Symposium.
The Toyless Toys Catalogue is an online catalogue that doesn’t contain anything you can buy. Instead it shows players how they can design, build, hack and construct their own playful things from found materials and digital things.
Open Citizens is a programme of activity by Ludic Rooms exploring how a playful approach to creative technologies in public space might drive new conversations around citizenship in the 21st century.
We take the approach that everyone can inform and develop creative ideas using technology, if given the right tools and the invitation. We have developed a speculative design process, with our own specially created playing cards to provide context and stimulate ideas. We make and remake ideas, using familiar materials and work with participants to refine concepts to the point that they can be produced as a working prototype.
Throughout 2017, we delivered our largest Open Citizens programme to date, engaging a community of creators, making work that sparks the imagination of local people. We were delighted to be awarded the West Midlands Tech Award for ‘Innovation in Arts and Culture’ for this project!
We hosted a series of workshops, working with different community groups to imagine how we could make Coventry a more friendly and playful city by placing interactive artworks in public spaces. Over 100 ideas came out of the workshops, and we then worked with the participants to create prototypes of some of these designs.
We displayed 20 of the best prototypes at a two week exhibition in Coventry’s CET building to get feedback from the public and develop ideas further.
We turned a handful of ideas that were developed during community workshops into reality when we hosted a takeover across the city centre with arts, technology and play.
Local people were invited to visit a special CanCan Capture booth to be filmed dancing, these were then digitally edited together to create a vast line of Coventry citizens dancing the CanCan!
The CanCan was shared online and in a large-scale projection on Coventry’s ring road.
The line of Coventry citizens dancing the CanCan demonstrates the warmth and friendliness of our city.
Motorised scooters were modified to respond to sound. The scooters have a microphone that reacts to sound, so that the louder you scream, the faster you go!
These scooters encourage people to let go of their inhibitions and enjoy the thrill, just by using their own voices.
City Centre Bins were modified with sensors and audio speakers so that when rubbish was chucked in, they responded with comical effects and rewarded people for their good behaviour.
The Nod Bins provide a talking point and local people can enjoy experimenting with different bins and their sound effects.
A modified bench to encouraged chat between strangers by rewarding conversation with warming seat pads and massages.
The Buddy Bench is a digital wellbeing generator – getting people talking, laughing and relaxing together.
How can challenges of the urban environment be made visible to its inhabitants? How can we ‘nudge’ behaviour and use data to solve problems? In this collaborative project, we invited 30 Year 11 secondary school students and 20 undergraduate students to consider this whilst playing with, identifying, and solving problems within their own communities.
This multipartner project aimed to explore how STEM subjects can contribute to young people becoming more active future custodians of their city and to examine how access to open manufacturing techniques and open public data might inspire social change.
By looking in detail at an aspect of urban life, we hoped to encourage young people to not only think critically about the social infrastructure that surrounds them but more importantly, how they can be empowered to facilitate change.
Supported by Think Higher and FabLab Coventry.
Random String is a major development programme based in Coventry which gives a diverse range of opportunities to experience and learn about creative technology. Random String began in 2014 and has grown into a biennial project, running in 2014, 2016, and 2018.
A one day sector-focussed Symposium brings together artists and arts organisations to share knowledge and expertise in the creative potential of technology.
RS Symposium aims to act as a driver for new work by sharing examples of best practice by leading thinkers and practitioners.
A three day programme of arts, play, and technology performances, workshops, and exhibitions taking place across Coventry City Centre.
RS Festival offers exciting experiences to build audiences for creative technology and to animate the city, building a richer urban culture.
A six month support scheme for artists from any discipline to explore how technology could impact their practice.
RS Fellowship gives artists from across disciplines, time and support to explore technology in their practice.
The Kitchen Circus brings circus performances, songs and digital arts onto the streets, to explore ideas about identity, hospitality and how we live now.
The 2015 performances in Hengrove explored the notion of ‘home’ and included a circus performance on the green, a trail of illuminated objects and musical performances at local landmarks, including on a boat.
The Kitchen Circus was commissioned for Bristol’s Circus City festival and produced by KWMC and Cirque Bijou.
Commissioned by Bristol Green Capital 2015 as part of their Neighbourhood Arts Programme, inviting people to see “junk” in a fresh way by tapping into the shared experiences of play across different generations and cultures. It creates new invitations, pretexts, tools and spaces for social interaction, by starting with the very personal & then connecting up with neighbours and neighbourhoods. The project will work with lead local residents on a journey of social archaeology to rediscover and repurpose the playable gems hidden among the dusty piles of forgotten “junk” lurking in people’s attics, garages and sheds, shining a light on the latent social and cultural potential of these objects through the lens of collaborative play. These playable artefacts- from rusty bike wheels & old sledges to bent hoola-hoops, dusty console controllers and forgotten Furbies will be reborn through story-telling and active play.
A performative projection-mapped visual poem made with young women outside mainstream education, produced with the incredible support of poet/MC Samira Arhin Acquaah and dance artist Dave McKenna of Being Frank Physical Theatre. Commissioned by the Core at Corby Cube as part of their Priority Project, supported by Mighty Creatives. Presented for the first time at the Core’s ‘Youth Arts Slam’, July 3rd 2015.