When lamp posts talk

At the beginning of this year, we found out (and let you know too) that PAN Studio, an experience design practice run by Goldsmiths BA Design graduates Sam Hill and Ben Barker, had won the first Playable City Award for their project „Hello Lamp Post”. Arts venue Watershed in Bristol picked PAN’s entry out of 93 participants who pitched innovative ways of using technology to create playful public spaces. Well, the winning project is finally being implemented, so for eight weeks starting from the 15th of July, people around Bristol will be able to awaken street objects such as lamp posts and post boxes and chat to them via SMS. If you have a look at their website, you’ll be able to get an idea of the conversations that are happening around town.

Here’s a chat with PAN’s Ben Barker about Hello Lamp Post as well as other things.Read More »

Olivia Clemence doesn’t take smell for granted

Behind a red door in a very old building works Olivia Alice Clemence, our BA Design graduate whose work has made it to the pages of Wired recently. She shares a small and cozy studio with two other creative people, where she was kind to invite me for hot tea (in a Michael Jackson-printed cup) and a chat, on a rainy evening – because we can’t leave all the good stories to Wired, can we?

Scent_bottles

I had barely stepped inside and Olivia was already showing me the tools and ingredients of her craft: the distilling kit (custom-made for her) that she uses to capture scents, and her cabinet of around 60 wonderful and unusual smells bottled in small glass containers. The principle and instruments of the steam-distilling process are very old discoveries, but to untrained eyes like mine it looks as if I’m taking a peek at a bit of magic and alchemy. She allowed me to get a whiff of one of her recent works, a perfume designed for the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. “What’s in it?” I ask, unable to pin down the unusual tones hidden under the pleasant surface. She tells me: the combined smells of beer, coffee, peanuts, carpet, wood, Subway sandwiches…the essence of the Centre itself in a nutshell (or, a glass vial).Read More »