Reflecting on a Sandbox- A few points from a producer's perspective

And so the end is near... as final preparations are being made for the REACT Showcase: Heritage on 28th September I thought this would be a good time

And so the end is near... as final preparations are being made for the REACT Showcase: Heritage on 28th September I thought this would be a good time to step aside and reflect from a producer's perspective on what has been an inspiring and invigorating three months of REACTing, collaborating, iterating and sharing. I think for me, the greatest part of Heritage Sandbox is the strong feeling of pride in the achievements and leaps everyone has made within such a relatively short space of time, but here are a few points for consideration. Heritage Road Sign

  • Compelling Content

It doesn’t matter how whizz bang, sleek or technical the final product or service is, it’s become clear that it’s the really the content which drives this work forward. Simple interactions can be the trigger and are key to opening up debate around the research, but it is the academic rigour of the research which has always been present. You might say this is obvious point, but I think it’s become more and more apparent as each project has developed. Having a belief in the content and knowing that both the research and technical developments do have a place, significance and impact in the world. Also the fact that this is omnipresent and in each distinct project, has meant that they all have a strong base to work from and fall back to before working out which strategies you might use to deploy and contextualise the project.

Sydney Gardens, Holburne Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum

  • Convergence

This was not always so transparent at inception but as the cohort of projects have developed their ideas in dialogue, it has become really clear how each team has shared their knowledge, skills and experience. Ways of working have definitely not been siloed and patterns have formed enabling connections and work flow to criss cross amongst the cohort and it’s clear to see how the network within the group will continue to collaborate and work together following the Sandbox.

  • Curiosity

Looking beyond what you’re safe with and sometimes not knowing what the outcome will be… Taking that leap of faith has enabled freer thinking, which fed into the design process. A genuine sense of curiosity has pervaded all 6 projects.

  • Simple Interactions

The ingenuity of the idea can be really clear from its simplicity and an understanding for it’s potential and place in the market and that sometimes the blueprints for a very basic idea can be mapped across various sectors and places. Two good examples of this came through firstly with the ‘Ivory Bangle Lady Project’ as Imagemakers have seen the potential for twitter and SMS projection triggered trails and treasure hunts to work effectively in other heritage venues. Also the potential for Interactive Places’ augmented reality mirrors, which even before becoming a reality were gaining interested from companies who deal with the retail and marketing environment.City Strata Cinema Screen Grab

  • Resilience and ‘just doing’

Now I know why it's called REACT! It takes a certain resilience to keep going and not giving up. It has been inspiring to see that all six projects faced specific challenges associated with each location and venue, but all kept going to overcome these challenges and kept doing and making, staying positive and loyal to each vision.