I attended the launch of the BFI Player this week in central London which was introduced by Chair, Greg Dyke. It’s a new digital platform to support both emerging and established British film-makers as well as provide new access to the national film archive. There were some interesting innovations in terms of navigation. The integration of some curation from the BFI’s critically Sight & Sound as well as the archive is a good move as it allows a deeper experience than services such as Netflix and there is scope for even more content cross-over here. BFI Player is only available online at the moment with no App, Smart TV or console support which is a shame but these should arrive in due course.
The business model is also an interesting with free as well as paid for content and it also draws inspiration from other services such as Curzon On Demand by offering the chance to view the latest British films for a price in your own home with access on the same day as their theatrical release.
In 2012, CultureLabel Co-founder Peter Tullin got to spend a little time helping the team Google bring alive their vision to create a new type of space for creative collaboration between the arts and tech world’s which was finally launched last week in Paris. The Google Cultural Institute as it will be know is a physical extension of the online platform and is located inside Google’s new Paris HQ. The footprint of the Google Cultural Institute incorporates a number of different spaces. Some showcase cultural content or provide a home for events for new conversations but most interestingly others are designed to enable collaboration between creatives and technologists.
The Serpentine Curator Hans Ulrich Obrist is one collaborator who is excited by the possibilities of new forms of creative expression and distribution. He recently co-founded 89Plus an initiative to support a group of artistic talents all born after 1989 with a loose remit of helping them flourish and break the mould. He will be selecting some of these creatives to take advantage of something called the Lab which is a playground of creative digital tools such as interactive screens and 3D scanners. Institutions will also be encouraged to use the space and Google has a team of engineers working on the project to support the process and help achieve aspirations of the users.
“The Lab is not a virtual museum, nor is it a gallery, or an exhibition space. It is a work space which serves as an invitation to those working in the cultural sector to come and find new solutions using new technologies” Anselm Baird-Smith, Google
The outcomes are very open-ended but this is the exciting bit. When you put creative people in a room together from different disciplines, with some great tools and resources around some potentially ground-breaking ideas then amazing things could be invented.
Last Monday we took a select group of 15 cultural delegates on a tour of some of the most innovative tech projects and startups in London’s Tech City and got to hear the stories of the founders and entrepreneurs behind them.
After breakfast at South Place Hotel we headed to Google Campus where we heard from three exciting cultural startups closing in on investment. At Inition we got a peek around the corner at what’s happening next in 3D printing and augmented reality. At BL-NK we heard from founding partners POKE and the V&A about their vision for the new culture and digital hub. After and incredible lunch at Ace Hotel we visited Songkick and Nexus who shared insights into their entrepreneurial approaches before finishing the day with drinks at the stunning Shoreditch House.
I was looking into where cultural institutions have creatively leveraged their collections the other day and it struck me how the London Transport Museum and Transport for London had been doing some really innovative stuff in the last few years.
They have produced award winning furniture based on the tube mochette seating pattern which is a really creative use of their core assets.
It’s London Design Festival this week and CultureLabel are working with the team there to scour the festival to find the best design talent in the city and come up with the definitive list of the Top 25 London design icons. Each of the winning entries will be given a prestigious Kitemark created by global design agency Pentagram and will sold on a special online shop we are creating for London Design Festival which will be a first for the organisation.
Our second post about innovations coming out of the staggeringly successful reopening of the Rijksmuseum. The Rijkstudio website allows you to take images from the museums collection and then remix them and apply the results onto a variety of different products from fashion products to Tattoo’s. The team behind the project create a Rijkstudio lab in De Bijenkorf department store so even more people could get hands on and create their own masterpiece from more than 125,000 digitised art works.
Some of the most forward thinking museums and galleries are opening up their collections to users and this is leading to some interesting commercial applications such as this.
We love the Pret a Diner concept. We love food and we love great art so it’s not hard to see why. This pop-up has been travelling the world
Pret a Diner describes itself as “a home from home, a haven for Cultural Enthusiasts, Urban Explorers, Music Lovers, Food Fanatics, Party Animals and People Collectors.” So far it has reached locations such as London, Berlin, Monaco, Basel and Zurich.
The team also recently collaborated with Lazarides in the Old Vic tunnels for Minotaur another dining experience in a multi-sensual incorporating art.
Virgin Atlantic teamed up with Ben Eine a British Artist to make those long-haul trips more bearable. It’s definitely worth the up grade for the art lover now.
Artists such as Damien Hirst are extending their work to new canvases as they have become become brands in their own right. Above he designed these Brit Awards recently and below he stamps his mark on London’s Olympic stadium.
Collections are also a rich resource to be mined in new ways. Fashio retailer Coast have recently partnered with the V&A to develop a range of Ball Gowns under the theme of British Glamour, inspired by the museum’s fashion collection.