Tag Archives: birmingham

29 Sep

My Route – touchtable design

My Route was a heritage project based in Birmingham. I was commissioned to design a touch table that would show the changing history of the Stratford Road, one of the key routes in the city, from the 1940s to today. You can find out more about the whole project in this short film

After several months of research and trialling, I began developing a map that would allow users to see the businesses along the road in 10 years intervals. Using the Kelly’s Directories, phone books, Yellow Pages and other research, I created a giant spreadsheet showing the business name, type and category.

Working with digital agency Substrakt, and touch table developer John Sear, we created an interactive touch table that was placed in a local community centre and a library for several weeks for the public to use.

The touch table shows a selection of the businesses, with audio, image and video content.

Users interact with the touch table by moving the coloured “decade” lenses over the road, and icons appear when there is content available. Touching the icon reveals the content.

 

My Route touchtable 2 copy IMG_3171

 

06 Jan

Will this app solve the Jewellery Quarter parking woes?

JQ Parker screengrabIt’s no secret that parking in the Jewellery Quarter can be troublesome.

18 months ago the council introduced a new parking permit system giving residents and local businesses access to more spaces.

However, this really doesn’t encourage visitors to the area, who will inevitably spend a frustrating Saturday afternoon trying to locate a space.

Now the US iPhone and Android app Parker has landed in the UK  – and is trialing it’s service in the JQ.

Using data from sensors in the road, the app can report on whether the parking bay is in use – allowing drivers to zone in on roads with spaces.

Sounds simple doesn’t it?

There are plans to roll this out into areas of Birmingham city centre if it is successful.

26 Feb

Birmingham Social Media Cafe #bsmc 26th Feb

I’ve missed the last few Birmingham Social Media Cafes. This has been a mix of oversleeping (once) and being slightly put off by being cornered by estate agents wanting advice on using Twitter at past meetups.

This week, however, I decided to go along, get stuck in and learn the art of polite mingling!

It was a very different social media cafe, and a great one too! Paul Bradshaw (@paulbradshaw) brought along a load of his BA Online Journalism students who didn’t take long to get stuck into things. Bear with guys, it gets easier, trust me!

It was hosted by @dandavies, representing the Meshed Media, and kindly supplying the coffee!!

Also there, 2 women from West Midlands Police marketing department, keen to find out more about social media and how it can help them connect with the public.(I tapped them up for potential live blogging and events coverage, fingers crossed something comes of it!)

I also had a great Apple-themed chat with @jigar_patel  – now I started it by gushing about my new Iphone, but he’s inspired me to purchase some kind of MacIbookpro type thing … maybe in the summer!

Also had a good old chat with Jennifer from the Social Media MA!

Great – for me, BSMC has got it’s mojo back!

25 Feb

CSI Experience comes to Birmingham

As a fan of the TV show I jumped at the chance to have a sneak preview around a new CSI Experience exhibition at Bullring Birmingham.

It’s taken over the old space left vacant by the departure of Borders Books, so there is certainly a lot of space!

To be honest, I was expecting a museum style tour of the show, the science behind it and the characters. In fact, it’s way way better than that. The exhibition lets YOU become a CSI investigator. There are 3 crime scenes, which you study, take notes and then go into various labs to try to solve the crime … and there are things you might miss to be meticulous!

Oh, and if you solve the crime you get a certificate to prove you are genuine geek! (which, it appears I am)

This is a really interesting exhibition, and a lot of fun … check out the pictures and a video interview below!

Slideshow

Created with flickr slideshow.

Video Intevew

04 Feb

Election Question Time Special in Birmingham: live blogging tonight from 7pm

As part of a series of pre-election session around the UK, Birmingham will tonight host a Question Time special at the City Inn.

On the panel:

Andrew Mitchell – Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
Jacqui Smith – MP for Redditch and former Home Secretary
John Hemming – MP for Birmingham Yardley
Mark Reeves – Former Editor of the Birmingham Post
Iain Dale (Chair)

29 Jan

Grafitti + Twitter = Tweefiti

As part of a new Birmingham arts project, this weekend that will see one of the city’s grafitti artists spraypaint inspirational messages send in on Twitter.

The theme is “life feels better”, and Aerosol Arabic will be outside Bullring shopping centre on Saturday and Sunday creating a unique piece of art from tweets sent into the @lifefeelsbetter account, which will also appear on a Twitterfall.

It’s a nice idea, and a nice push for Twitter. However, do enough people use Twitter yet? We all know Facebook is the behemoth of the social networking world (350 million users and counting), but have enough people adopted its more minimalist rival? It’s big news in the media/tech world, but every one else? A lot of my friends join Twitter, then leave again saying “I don’t understand it” or the classic “it’s not as much fun as Facebook”.

It’s a great idea, however, and it will be interesting to see the response it gets

The Bullring Arts Project launched on 25th January 2010 and Brummies are being encouraged to send in their pictures, artwork, writing or music to http://www.lifefeelsbetter.co.uk

[mappress]

All content (c) Caroline Beavon 2020