'The Inventive City' Culture Hack: combining technology and young peop

13 December 2012

We gathered at the Google Campus yesterday to discuss, explore and share how technology can help them to find innovative ways to give young people access to arts and culture in London

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A New Direction and creative technology agency Caper hosted a Culture Hack for heritage collections at the newly opened Google Campus (the pulsating robotic heart of London's 'Silicon Roundabout' enterprise zone).

The aim of the day was to bring learning and online colleagues from museums and archives together with a varied array of creative technologists, to explore emergent opportunities for tech know-how to be used to unlock London's hidden cultural treasures for the city's young people.

After watching this video consultation with pupils and teachers from Southfields Academy in Wandsworth, attendees were placed into mixed groups to work through an intense sequence of iterative sessions.

Firstly, they focused upon the needs of 11-14 year-olds to develop 'briefs' that they wanted to jointly address, such as; 'To find ways to encourage young people to engage with diverse experiences' and 'To empower and support young people to access to what's on their doorstep'.

Through the rest of the day, these objectives were carried through a series of ever-more rigorous group discussions, where concepts for digital 'products' to meet the challenges identified in innovative and engaging ways were devised and refined. In the final afternoon session, each group had the opportunity to pitch their ideas to (and receive feedback from) a select band of funders and community partners, including the British Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Content from the day is being collated and will be published on the A New Direction and Caper websites in the near future, as a platform for further discussion and collaboration between the cultural and technology sectors. In the meantime, here are some photos of the day.

(Photographs: Steve Woodward and Luis Dominguez)