On Friday night we co-hosted our first event for our new Heritage Lottery Fund project with The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.  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. We’ll be working with members of the public for the next three months to examine play under the lens of a series of societal challenges:


Play -ability
Exploring what makes something playable – how do we play, what do we need for play?

Plastic Play
Examining the environmental impact of toys and games, with a particular focus on fossil fuels and e-waste.

Playgrounds we build ourselves
Inspired by images from the Donne Buck collection and a sense of adventure, we’ll explore playgrounds vs. open play.

Folk play
It’s nearly 60 years since the Opies recorded the playground games of British schoolchildren. We’ll work together to bring this up to date and into the future, imagining the rhymes we’ll be chanting with clapping games in another half-decade’s time.

Norm toys
How toys can limit the imagination in the representation of gender, race, ability and bodyshape; exploring the ways in which stereotypes are reinforced by toys.

Selling Fun
Why can’t toys play nicely together? Deconstructing toy fads & making our own packaging & ad campaign.


For Herbert Lates, we brought along some of the materials we’re hoping to use to build our nest play structures and asked people to build in different scales. We also asked people what they would fight for about play, planning a protest and designing a pla(y)card to champion their cause, using chromakey to transport their protests to the heart of the issue. Dom led a series of very silly games curated by the superb Anthea Moys in the Herbert’s covered court, blew bubbles and sang songs (including a lovely new one about bum fluff).

Check out our Facebook page for details of more upcoming events at The Herbert.

All pics are courtesy of super talented Andy Moore at Pixeltrix