April 2008

Playful Revolutions Presentation

by Andy Polaine on April 27, 2008

After my Flash on the Beach talk last year I promised to put the recordings online of my talk and the others that I had listened to. I completely didn’t manage to get around to it, but a friend just asked me if any of my presentations about play were online, so here it is to download as an MP3 (30.5MB) or you can listen to it in the player below:

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Sweet English Suburbia in Hamburg

by Andy Polaine on April 24, 2008

'English' Shop in Hamburg

I quite often teach COFA Online’s course, Graphics and Contemporary Society, which I find more interesting now that I’m here in Germany. A lot of the discussion amongst the students, who are in Australia, is about the differences between Asian and Western cultures (though those are sweeping terms in themselves), because there’s a large Asian population in Australia and Australia is really in the Asia-Pacific region.

So it’s always weird to have your own culture reflected back to you, like this shop I discovered in Hamburg called Sweet Suburbia replete with Marmite, Digestive biscuits, Suffolk Herbs, Walkers crisps, Jelly Tots (I grabbed a packet each of those last two), and everything else you’d find in a village corner shop in England mixed with some clothing and souvenirs.

Obviously everything cost more that it would in England (although, I’m not so sure about some corner shop prices these days), but it was just odd to see other customers looking so curious about our everyday things. It was a bit odd for me too because I’m pretty much used to living in Germany now.

It was nice to see, though, and a reminder that in a globalised age where any high street in any major city in the world looks pretty much like another, the small details still set cultures apart.

If you’re an Englander and living in Germany, you can stock up using Sweet Suburbia’s online shop. No Nestle condensed milk on there though, so my bannoffee pie will have to wait.

[tags]UK, British, shop, suburbia, hamburg[/tags]

Collabor8 – Creative Waves 2008

April 23, 2008

The Omnium Project will be running another global online creative collaboration project under the Creative Waves banner from 28th April – 20 June, this time convened by Ian McArthur and Rick Bennett. This time the project, called Collabor8, will see design students and lecturers from Australia and China join forces for eight weeks, with project […]

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MacUpdate Promo Bundle includes Parallels

April 22, 2008

After the disaster I had with MacHeist I decided to go for the new MacUpdate Promo Bundle, mainly because of Sound Studio and Parallels. The last MacUpdate Promo worked well for me – none of the billing hassles of MacHeist, nor the arrogance of John Casasanta. There are a couple of lame apps in there […]

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I Want You To Want Me by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar

April 18, 2008

Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar, who created one of my all time favourite interactive pieces, We Feel Fine, have a new piece called I Want You To Want Me commissioned for MoMA’s Design and The Elastic Mind show. I Want You To Want Me explores the world of online dating, scraping data from thousands of […]

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Podcast interview with Jason Bruges

April 17, 2008

My latest Core77 Broadcast interview with Jason Bruges from Jason Bruges Studio is now online. In a slightly echoing room in Jason’s studio, accompanied by the usual sirens and car alarms of London’s Shoreditch, he talks about his roots in architecture, the journey to interactive surfaces, sustainability and his thoughts about giving this emerging area […]

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Playpen Broke. Now Fixed. Sorry.

April 17, 2008

Apparently Playpen has been broken since yesterday and I didn’t notice (I was on a train from Hamburg most of yesterday). The robot running it got all lonely in his little grey cell. Something went screwy with the WP-Cache plug-in and it was spewing error pages. If you’re reading this, it’s fixed now. At some […]

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Programming for children

April 12, 2008

Following on from my post and Nigel’s comments about Clicktoy, I just found Scratch, which is a simple multimedia authoring environment for children. It looks like it outputs to java applets as a playback format. The team is led by Mitch Resnick at MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten, which would frankly be my dream academic post. Scratch […]

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Public Bench Camera Play

April 12, 2008

Jay tied a disposable camera to a public bench with a note asking people to play. Amazingly it didn’t get nicked and the whole roll was shot by the end of the day. Give people a chance play and they will. And they play nicely. (Via Photojojo). [tags]photos, public[/tags]

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Maze Frenzy

April 9, 2008

Some little games, like Line Rider are simple and instantly addictive. Quite a few of my students have tried to build something like Maze Frenzy in the past, but this one is great. Just click on the dot and move the mouse. I wasted at least four minutes of my time playing it. Not bad. […]

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