Open Labs in collaboration with the Design Pod at LJMU’s Art and Design Academy (ADA), hosted preFAB; an informal evening of creative collaboration.
The event attracted a group of creative enthusiasts, designers, tinkerers and makers from the Merseyside area, who were interested in gaining exposure to the ADA fabrication equipment with potential opportunities arising throughout the evening to use laser cutters and 3D printers.
During the course of the evening, each team had access to both the fabrication equipment at the ADA and assistance from the Design Pod staff to help them flesh out their ideas. The event was also a great opportunity for participants to meet, work and mingle with like-minded creative people.
IIsa Parry of Rethinkingthings commented, “preFAB offered me the opportunity to meet new contacts, as well as participate in an unusual creative evening. It was also great to understand what ADA@LJMU offer in terms of facilities and services. I’m now really looking forward to FAB Camp in January.”
The evening’s activity was centred around a brief provided by the Design Pod team, based on the traditional Christmas cracker. The parameters and guidelines given were largely to reinvent the cracker for the 21st century. Each design had to include, in whatever imaginative way they chose, the following 4 elements of a traditional cracker;
- Sound (an element of noise)
- Gift (presenting the essence of sharing & giving)
- Motto (a piece of text)
- Hat (or something to wear)
Andrew Hooper, Design Co-ordinator at the Design Pod, said, “Working in small teams, the delegates were pitted against the clock to re-design the Christmas ‘cracker’. The challenge and promise of ‘prizes’ fuelled their competitive streaks as the teams produced a rough working prototype for demonstration and presentation back to the other participants.”
The ideas that emerged ranged from a ‘kerplunk’ type game where people would bring their own prizes/forefeits and place them on a bread stick tree; A gingerbread tree structure made out gingersnap biscuits. The idea being that you ate the remains. Sustainability and minimising waste being a key theme in this team’s project.
Others included a long snap branch idea that was an elongated cracker that could reach across the dining table. This could also be reused a number of times, giving you the opportunity to share it with more than one other party guest. Inside the snap were mottos, memories and photos that you would upload when you bought the product online.
There was also a pyramid shaped customisable heirloom game idea; but the winning team produced an iphone application/device called Crack.r which shared random bits of information from your phone with people around the dinner table. For example the surprise might be a photo being uploaded to your Facebook page or perhaps a really bad track from your music collection would be transferred. This was really well thought out and mapped to each of the brief elements.
Jason Taylor (Operations Manager at Open Labs) said, “preFAB is one of a series of activities focused on making local companies aware of emerging technology and market opportunities. Events such as this are an ideal platform to raise awareness and encourage collaborations between the University and the Creative Industries. A further more in depth event, FAB Camp Liverpool, is planned for January of next year.”