Ships, stars, maps, navigation, pirates, explorers…


In April, we’re running a 3 day technology ideas lab at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, to look at applications for the next phase of The Great Map.

The Great Map is many things: as a social and civic space, a learning and creative space and somewhere to play and run around.

We’ll be taking advantage of the Easter holidays, carrying out some live user testing with our target audience – families – whilst working on the prototypes.

We’re learning about stories and objects from museum: real life pirate maps, paintings by J.M.W Turner and Nelson’s jacket; there are a lot of intriguing artifacts from which we can take inspiration from, and building on all the work and learning that has gone into The Great Map to date.

We’re also tapping into the many knowledgeable people at the museum – curators, learning teams,  front of house staff, interpretation, etc – with whom we’ll be having conversations in order to shape the outcomes.

We’ve recruited a team of inspiring creatives and technologists to take part in the lab : internet of things expert Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, illustrator Abi Hiskey, artist and technologist Ben Eaton from Invisible Flock, software and hardware developer Gareth Foote, map illustrator Gareth Wood, creative technologist Henry Cooke, graphic and interaction designer Helen Maier, interaction designer Joel Gethin Lewis of Hellicar&Lewis, wearable tech and electronics expert Katrin Baumgarten, UX and interaction designer Pollie Barden, creative technologist and curator Melissa Coleman, ex-Tate Kids editor and now Hopster director Sharna Jackson, Raspberry Pi artist-in-residence Rachel Rayns, creative technologist Tom Armitage and Viviane Schwarz, maker of interactive children’s books.

January 2012

January is Month 8 for Caper.

The period before Christmas was filled with Culture Hack development, including the launch of Culture Hack East, Culture Hack North in Leeds and a Culture Hack taster at the Museum Computer Network conference in Atlanta. We’re now devising the next stage of Culture Hack, which will be back with a new format in 2012.

We’re very pleased to have launched Happenstance, our ACE/NESTA/AHRC funded R&D project, which puts technology at the heart of arts organisations. We’re looking for six bright, creative technologists and producers to fill spaces in three of the UK’s most vibrant arts organisations: Lighthouse, Site Gallery and Spike Island. It’s an amazing opportunity, and we’re thrilled to be working with the Centre for Cultural Policy at the University of Warwick, who will be mapping the impact of the residencies. Applications are open until 30 January, so spread the word.

Katy is developing a digital communications strategy for an inner-London NHS foundation trust, including a key piece of research around reputation management; and managing content distribution of a UK premiere for a major radio broadcaster.

Rachel is acting as an external acting as an external advisor for the BBC/Arts Council England initiative The Space, along with Matt Locke (Storythings), Anthony Lilley (Magic Lantern) and Paul Gerhardt (Archives for Creativity); developing a map-based open-data prototype for Brighton Museum and Art Gallery; and helping our friends at Coney develop a digital strategy.

We have a number of other projects in process:

Forthcoming Women in a Room events, including plotting something that just might change the world of conferences with She Says, Web Heroines and Girls’ Club.

Programming the next round of Makers’ Guild events at the V&A (to be announced soon), with Natasha Carolan and Fiddian Warman.

Developing the next phase of Coding for Kids with Rewired State.

Advising other UK digital programmes, such as Culture Code (delivered by CodeWorks in the North East of England), and developing the international development of our own projects.

We have also, finally, created and launched our website. Finding the time, and the words, to describe what we do has been a challenge, especially as we’ve growing and developing every month since we started Caper at the end of May 2011 – for which thanks to Dean Vipond, who created the Caper logo and brand identity, for design inspiration, and to Rebekah Ford, Emily Webber and Alex Sexton for technical expertise.