In comes I…

Welcome, or welcome not. Time and circumstances move on. There’s going to be another Rag Morris Mummers play appearing later in the summer, featuring another Bristolian hero, of which more later. But in the meantime I’m going to be starting to use this blog as a window into some of the other stuff I’ve been doing in the rest of my time; to be honest, the majority, when I haven’t been writing mummers plays.

I’ve been living and working as an interactive software designer in Bristol for 20 years and worked for At-Bristol for 16 years – starting two years before the visitor attraction first opened in 2000. During that time I worked for the IT and Exhibitions teams for both the current Science Centre and the former Wildscreen-At-Bristol interactive wildlife exhibition that closed in 2007. I helped to develop the IT infrastructure for the exhibition and created over 100 interactive exhibits and experiences, hosted in the exhibition itself, in touring exhibitions and online.

Museum selfie taken using the At-Bristol Weather Forecast exhibit

Museum selfie taken using the At-Bristol Weather Forecast exhibit

My work for At-Bristol has recently included developing 20 interactive exhibits for the “All About Us” human biology exhibition, funded by the Wellcome Trust, and 8 exhibits for the “Our World” exhibition, funded by the SITA Trust. These exhibits were written using Flash, Director and Visual Basic and feature integration with diverse hardware elements including video cameras,  webcams, high speed cameras, a thermal imaging camera, heart rate monitor, CO2 level monitor and various serial devices including Arduinos. Many of these exhibits also integrate with the At-Bristol “Explore More” website, allowing visitors with a barcoded wristband to upload videos and other elements from their visit to the web so they can see them again when they get home.

Previous work includes development of a number of interactive websites for At-Bristol using ASP, PHP, Flash and Shockwave, including Puzzlemania and Alcohol and you; work on touring exhibitions LoveSport, Inside DNA and Great Apes which have visited over a dozen museums and science centres across the United Kingdom; developing the interactive video delivery platform for the Wildwalk-At-Bristol exhibition; and supplying exhibits to other science centres including the London Science Museum and Experimentarium in Denmark. More recent work includes developing new exhibits in C++ and experimenting with Windows Kinect.

Due to restructuring of the exhibitions team At-Bristol are no longer developing exhibit software in-house and I’m now contemplating starting up my own business using my software development skills to tell innovative stories and create novel interactive experiences. So this is the start of the next part of my story. I’m not quite sure which characters might appear in this one yet. However, at least for the moment, I hope to be able to exercise some kind of control over the content of the script.

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