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Digital/Physical Play
with Mother London & Sennep

At Winchester School of Art, we instigated a collaboration, with digital innovators Sennep, designed to examine the relationship between digital communication and physical interaction. Outcomes from the project were showcased at Mother London in an event featuring a showcase of student films, interactive exhibits and a panel discussion chaired by leading academic, Dr Seth Giddings.

In 2012, the V&A launched a groundbreaking exhibition featuring the best in digital creativity - ‘Decode: Digital Sensations’. In many ways, this show was a watershed moment for the development of digital and interactive innovation in the UK and Europe. One of the installations featured in the exhibition was ‘Dandelion’, a collaboration between London based digital studio, Sennep and Danish interactive agency, Yoke. This exhibit combined playfully surreal interaction with mesmerising animation to engage young and old alike. Matt Rice, the co-founder of Sennep, has been a friend and collaborator for many years and in the summer of 2016, we hatched a plan that would enable my students to explore some of the ideas that Dandelion exemplified.


As a result, third years from BA (Hons) Graphic Arts were invited to create proposals for digital experiences that engaged through both digital and physical interaction, this was directed by the Sennep Design team who chaired a series of workshops at Winchester School of Art.  Once prototypes were created student teams then had the opportunity to present their ideas at Sennep’s studios in Whitechapel. These pitches were then developed into a series of speculative films. Looking for a space to showcase the project we approached internationally acclaimed culture creators, Mother, via ‘our man on the inside’, WSA alumni, George Lavender. George was part of the team that created the visual identity for their exhibition space ‘Downstairs at Mother’ (DAM) and, with him to gently twist arms, they very kindly agreed to host a screening of the films alongside the original Dandelion installation. 


Digital/ Physical: PLAY! was unveiled on the 4th May 2017, and provided a valuable opportunity to challenge the boundaries that exist between formal education and professional practice. This unique collaborative event was preceded by a discussion bringing academics and industry practitioners together to examine and question the evolving nature of visual communication and the importance of playful, immersive interaction. The students were then given the opportunity to present their work alongside leading practitioners right in the middle of the world they would inhabit after graduation.

View Mother London Article
View Vanissa Wanick Article

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