A few weeks ago we held an event called Play With Design at the V&A Museum of Childhood as part of the London Design Festival. Bit more on the background here. A small event all about design and computer games. The point of the event was to show kids that if you like drawing and you like computer games, you could be a games designer.
In the main hall you could see sketches of famous games and draw your own character and downstairs you could make your own computer game using Scratch Jr. We had 40 kids doing workshops and the stack up character cups got higher than the kids. I'm not sure of visitor numbers, but it was busy all day. MakieLab even brought along a 3D printer.
It was fun. Hopefully we'll do it again next year.
Last year I joined the advisory board of the London Design Festival. It's a pretty big deal, with over 300 events in one week. Started in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell it's spawned similar festivals all over the world..
Anyway. I decided to try something different and see if that worked. So on Saturday 20th September there is a small event at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green called Play With Design. It's about design and games. And it's aimed at kids that like drawing and like playing games.
You'll be able to draw a character on a coffee cup like Rexbox does and see very early sketches of famous games characters like Moshi Monsters and Monument Valley.
MakieLab will be there and hopefully we'll have a 3D printer working away on the day and there will be dolls!
I'm extremely grateful to all the support and help from Jo Roach, Rhian Harris - Exec Director of the Museum of Childhood, Sophia George, Jo Twist and Elaine Wyatt who actually organising the event.
It would be great to see you and we could do with some help. You won't miss us, we'll be right next to the cafe.
If you can draw - please come along and help draw on the cups. The more people that do that the better.
If you are an actual games designer and you have early sketches please drop me a line. I'd like to get hold of some more so we can print them big and exhibit them in the museum. The more we get and the more sketchy they are - the better! Email me ben.terrett at gmail.
This is a City of London bollard in Swanage, Dorset which is not in London. I noticed it on a walk early one morning. Here are some more.
The internet has more info, "Many architecturally interesting buildings and monuments were scavenged as a result of the company's construction work on prestigious projects in London, and re-erected by Burt in Swanage and Durlston… More prosaically, many of Swanage's cast iron bollards were originally made for London boroughs, and still carry their names."
And a bit more here, "One of the reasons why George Burt and his Uncle brought so many artefacts from London to Swanage had to do with the sailing ketches they used to trasnport stone from Swanage to London during the 19th century.
It was unsafe for these ships to return to Swanage unladen as they were liable to capsize without sufficient ballast. Masonry, bollards and street furniture, discarded in the rapid redevelopment of Victorian London, proved the ideal cargo for the return journey to Swanage.
Over the years, numerous bollards and many other items were transported to Swanage, so many in fact that the area became known as "Little London by the Sea."
Little London by the Sea. I have been to Swanage loads and never heard anyone call it that. But I wonder if any other coastal towns get called that? I bet they do. Posher places, probably.
Anyway. Even more info here. If by chance you are read this blog because you're interested in the local history of small Dorset towns.
A few days ago Mike wrote a post about the prison visit booking system we're working on with MoJ Digital. He visited HMP Rochester, "This visit opened my eyes to just how hard people will work to cope with inadequate and unsuitable IT systems."
Leisa wrote a blog post yesterday about Joy and the huge notebook she has made to enable her to use the computer system she needs to do her job. Leisa writes "She told me that each time they upgrade the system it seems to get harder, not easier, to use."
It shouldn't be like this. You shouldn't have to write a book to help you complete simple tasks on a computer.
As we say in design principle number 4 "With great power comes great responsibility — very often people have no choice but to use our services. If we don’t work hard to make them simple and usable we’re abusing that power, and wasting people’s time."
This is true for more things than government. Making things easy to use isn't easy. But it's worth it.