We (Marinka, Evert and I) wrapped up the Move It project on friday with great success. I spent the day in a theater watching 24 concept videos of new street sports. The one that scored the highest was also my favorite; a team sport that involves bouncing a ball off the sides of an alley, includes the referee as a bouncing surface and allows the audience to participate by batting balls that leave the play area back into field. It’s called Bounce Ball, check out the video on Vimeo.
This week I’m spending most of my time acting as mentor on another project at the Utrecht School of the Arts (at the theatre faculty, to be exact). First-year students from all courses there (acting, writing, stage design, etc.) have one week to put together a program that will be open to the public on friday. The project is titled Mount Everest and revolves around the theme of people going to extremes and transgressing limits (as mountaineers often do).
It’s nice spending this much time in the theatre faculty, since this is the new venue for the 2010 series of This happened – Utrecht events. I’m getting good vibes from the physical space, I think it’s a great fit for our thing. I’ve met with Ianus and Alexander to make further plans for the next edition (which is planned for 22 february). Most of the program is taken care of so we’re on schedule for making the usual announcements and sending out invitations to the guest list.
I’ve also met with Karel to discuss project Unagi. This is a small game design event — an experiment really — that was born from the many discussions Karel and I tend to have over our regular dinners. The goal of Unagi is to create a place where Dutch game designers can meet, and where we can get a feel for what the state of the art of the discipline is. It also involves food.
I’m also slowly but surely getting up to speed with project Tako. Hopefully this week I’ll manage to plan most of the meetings that I’ll be having with the people behind some of the city of Utrecht’s major cultural events.
Last but not least, tomorrow I’ll be assessing the group project I’ve been mentoring at the Utrecht School of the Arts’ graduate school for art and technology since september. Also, on friday, the group will present their work to Jussi Holopainen of Nokia Research Center, who is the project’s commissioner. The project is titled EcoWay, and revolves around the design for a playful experience for companies that want to encourage their employees to commute in a greener manner. Here’s a photo of the group with their prototype. Look closely and you’ll notice it includes a herbarium with proper live plants.
This will be a bittersweet ending to a challenging but rewarding teaching experience. What most stands out for me with this project is how a proper team was formed from what started out as a collective of individuals thanks to a hands-on, thinking-by-doing approach.