Digital Digbeth for BBC’s Digicities at Fazeley Studios

on 16 June 2017
Applause IT in Birmingham Digital Digbeth Day

We want to send a huge thank you to everyone involved with Digicities Digital Digbeth at Fazeley Studios. You looked after us, inspired plenty of Thursday Thought time and most importantly gave us a chance to get creative- something that can all too easily elude those not in specific ‘creative’ industries, or who do not identify as ‘creatives’.

Applause IT at Fazeley Studios Birmingham

As IT specialists, we are all too familiar with the fast pace of emerging technologies for businesses. At Digital Digbeth we explored how technology can not only give new opportunities to the arts community but inspire new content innovations with new technologies such as Google Tilt brush, and even Birmingham’s own world-record breaking 3D printing scanner at backface studios.

Key takeaways from Digital Digbeth:

1) Good ideas break barriers

The world is kinder to content that can provide a genuine ‘good’ to the world. Have an idea that needs particular buy-in from your organisation, involves partnering with big organisations, or investing time and money in trying out something innovative? If you can convince of the genuine ‘good’ it will provide the world, the barriers that can make or your break your idea can come swiftly down.

Ian Ravenscroft from BBC Three Creative Team working with Google Tilt Brush

Ian Ravenscroft’s talked of his most recent project anchored on the idea of three individuals with mental health conditions, visually showing people what it was like to ‘step in their own world’. As the project was mapped out, he was faced with numerous barriers: creating an innovative mixed-media product with Google’s VR Tilt brush (a lot of cameras and some elastic bands), working with vulnerable storytellers, and the legalities thrown up from the collaboration and partners: Google, Youtube and BBC Three to make the project succeed. Without the intrinsic good behind the project, these barriers might have been enough to kill it, or at least delay or soften the concept. Everyone could see the benefit of using the new technology to gain insight into something as important as mental health. The attitude, the excitement, the desire to see a ‘good idea’ come to fruition is what will make a ‘good idea’ succeed against the odds.

Check your ideas for their inherent ‘goodness’, are they serving you or the wider community?

2) Fun is Fun is Fun

Think it’s not your place to add creativity or innovation to your team? Let yourself explore a little day to day creativity. This can be as simple as setting your homepage to a creative space to get ideas flowing or picking up a Sharpie and making your own branded AR character! Like ours inspired by CBeebies! That’s right, our team of fully-grown humans sat around colouring in printables from Cbeebies, we may have been inspired by our own children, nieces, and nephews, but why should there be an age restriction on fun? If we want to explore how the technology works behind new products, we might as well have a little fun doing it.

Getting Creative at Digital Digbeth

This sentiment was also brought across during Jon and Alice’s live periscope tour of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. The tour worked because of the joy and enthusiasm that came across from the Jon & Alice as they showed us around the new exhibition. Trying out new ideas can be daunting for a lot of individuals and businesses, but letting go of the fear (there’s not a lot scarier than a live public broadcast!), and allowing yourself a little time for fun, in the spirit of trial and error is the only way push forward especially in terms of innovative content and social sharing

Jon live on Periscope for #iwantiwan! exhibition at Birmingham Museum & Arts Gallery

3) Birmingham is Great!

Panel host Hardeep Singh Kohli, said that if he were 20 years younger, he would be living in Birmingham, and with the eclectic mix of Digital Digbeth faces it was easy to see why. Speaking with fellow attendees after Digital Digbeth at Fazeley Studios and moving around the corner to Silicon Canal’s summer BBQ at the Custard Factory, you couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement and pride in being a part of the UK’s second largest city. The sunshine didn’t quite make it to the BBQ, but on the walk home, we couldn’t help admitting that Birmingham is great.

Thanks again to all of those involved in the fantastic events for #Digicities in Birmingham, we hope to see you all soon (and can't wait to get our own 3D action figures printed!).

Backface Studios 96 SLR camera making a 3d printed model



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