React Hub Sandbox
From Remote controlled taxidermy to augmented music instruments, REACT have announced the six new collaborations taking part in their Objects Sandbox.
REACT have run two Sandbox schemes a year for the last few years. Each REACT Sandbox is themed around an emerging issues of interest to the creative economy, and where they feel that research in the arts and humanities can drive innovation. Their newest Sandbox is no different as they have funded six teams made up of academics, creatives and product design entrepreneurs to develop a prototype of an Internet-connected object over the next three months.
Each team have been awarded £50,000 to explore the potential of the “Internet of Things”. Individuals involved include geographers, ethnomusicologists, award winning product designers, coders, makers, multidisciplinary creative agencies, composers, musicians and more.
The prediction is that, by 2020, 50 billion things will be connected to the Internet. As a result, REACT feel that it is important that we explore new questions around material culture, and the shape of the experiences and interactions we have with our physical and virtual worlds.
Objects Sandbox is REACT’s latest theme. It was promoted to researchers, artists and technologists as “a unique and exciting opportunity to explore the next chapter in the story of both objects and the Internet, through the Internet of Things”.
The focus of this theme is on the interactions and experiences that exist between an individual and [internet] connected, physical objects. The focus of each of the funded projects is on user-centred design, user experiences and designed objects. REACT want their groups to move away from designs that are dictated by the technology and create objects that intergrate with people and a wider context. Crucially, they want the Technology to be discrete.
As REACT Executive producer Clare Reddington describes it, “The Internet of Things is growing rapidly, but a lot of the work in this area has been for the technology and services associated with it. We are interested in working with brilliant academics and creatives to explore how people will interact with connected objects – what will make them useful, magical or beautiful? It’s a brilliant opportunity to break free from the constraints of screen-based content and explore a new language of design that will allow us to consume and share stories in new and physical ways.”
React Object Sandbox Projects
These are the six funded projects:
A stone that senses and reduces stress by generating music from heart rate and breath, produced by University of Bath’s Paul Leonard and Chris Clarke, composer Joseph Hyde, and entertainment and healthcare startup Adaptive Media.
An internet-connected, personalised curatorial device that brings life to museum taxidermy, developed by University of Bristol’s Merle Patchett and Andrew Flack, with the multi-disciplinary, technology and creation studio Play Nicely.
Jewellery to guide cult TV and film fans to locations from their favourite show made by Cardiff University’s Naomi Dunstan and Ross Garner, and Technologist Tarim of Media Playgrounds.
Breathing technological life into an ancient Turkish instrument at the hands of Ethnomusicologist John O’Connell, Sonic Art Scholar Alexandros Kontogeorgakopoulos, and User Experience Designer Anthony Mace.
Enabling people in different locations to share stories through audio and touch, InTouch is being developed by University of Bristol’s Victoria Bates and Kirsten Cater, along with award-winning Product Design Company Kinneir Dufort.
Sharing the profound stories embodied in historical objects related to the Transatlantic Slave Trade, this collaboration is between University of Bristol archaeologists Alex Bentley and Mark Horton, and Design Week top 100 agency Uniform.