31 October 2011

onedotzero_cascade 2011

Last week I was chosen to participate in onedotzero's award winning education program onedotzero_cascade 2011.
Where to start... so much happened and I learnt so much in the space of 5 days, that by the end of it I was completely exhausted!

Day 1 was really nerve-wracking; I was standing in a room amongst 39 outstanding graduates from various disciplines - not gonna lie, quite intimidating to say the least! The morning started with an informal workshop by Andrew and Darius from The Spring Project to help us all become more familiar with one another. Afterwards, Kevin Palmer from Kin came in to give a fantastic and insightful presentation on the importance of collaboration. In the afternoon the co-founder of onedotzero Shane Walter came to give us our brief: Delve_Living in the Layered City.
We set off to form five groups of eight. My team consisted of: Kirsty Greig, Reuben Armstrong, Chris Shen, Amy Loa, Thomas Morris, Simon Sarginson and Dario Mazzanti. And thus, Team If was created!

Can't quite iterate the process of our thoughts, but hopefully the following pictures will give a glimpse of the mad brainstorming that followed shortly!
We all found that we had common ground in the fact that we were all drawn to the notion of sound. We also came to the conclusion that what we liked about London as a city is its transitory spaces, such as waiting at a train station, sitting on the tube or even waiting at a set of traffic lights.
After much deliberation, we managed to whittle down our choices of transitory spaces to one specific entity - bridges. So we went out to our surroundings and visited Tower Bridge. [I still can't believe that even after living in London for the past 4 years, this was the first time I had stood on Tower Bridge!] Tower Bridge is such a beautiful construction, however it seemed tacky and tainted by the horrible lighting and the cause of being a tourist hotspot. The fluidity of the traffic seemed to stop and start, and the bridge seemed to be more of a destination rather than something that takes you from A to B.

BUT we persevered and ventured along the river towards London Bridge. I think as soon as Team If stepped onto London Bridge, we knew this was what we wanted to base our project on. It was a commuter hotspot, the traffic seemed never ending and the people's footsteps sounded like a marching army!

I went out to London Bridge during Thursday afternoon to do some observational drawings. I loved the amount of people that seemed to gawk and oversee what I was up to, and the amount of people that gave me the thumbs up! Here is the end image - Reuben kindly coloured it in for me!
Our end concept was to uncover London's movements in a transitory space using an interactive sound experience. We would plant motion sensors and cameras all over London Bridge, and every time a movement occurred [be it pedestrian, cyclist, car, lorry or bus] a sound would be emitted. The pitch of the sound would change according to the type of movement. Ergo, meet project COMMUTER DISCO!

We also made plans to develop this concept for further branding, i.e. an online platform and game. Users would be able to create their own sounds, and manipulate live traffic feeds. We also discussed the possibility of Traffic Hero - inspired by the worldly popular games Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

On Friday, we were ready to go - we had to present our idea to a panel of industry professionals that included onedotzero co-founder Sophie Walter, AllofUs, LBi, D&AD, YCC, Ogilvy and Kin Design. The presentation went really well and we received some really good feedback :) Of course, there's always room for improvement, so I'm sure Team If will rejoin forces before the BFI!
On a final note the week ended with a press launch party held at the Red Gallery, where the booze was plenty and everyone let their hair down and mingled. An excellent way to end an excellent week. onedotzero_cascade was such a fantastic experience and I had such a good time. It was so refreshing to meet new people, and to bounce ideas off each other - needless to say that the energy was palpable!

HUGE thanks to the onedotzero team: Shane Walter, Sophie Walter, Nurjan Nevzat, Jo Shallow and Elizabeth Waite.

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