A Selection of ShedCode Projects

Home Front Story Explorer

What is the Story Explorer?

Home Front is an epic radio drama series set in Britain during World War One and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. The Home Front Story Explorer allows you to trace individual storylines, listen or catch up via key events, follow characters and find the moments you love across three seasons, sixteen storylines and over twenty-one hours of listening. It is like an interactive box set companion, immersing you in the fictional universe. Built around interlinked characters, storylines and moments, driven by data and represented with illustrations, text and audio.

What did ShedCode do?

ShedCode was invited to work with BBC Research & Development on building the Home Front Story Explorer prototype. The BBC Team provided the User Experience resources whilst ShedCode worked on importing the data from spreadsheets, hosting and the application build with Brassbot. The application went through a number of iterations, including creating a responsive version for mobile and tablet users.

More information

You can read more about the project on the BBC R&D website and on the BBC Internet Blog.

The Happenstance Project - Technologist In Residence

What was Happenstance?

Happenstance was a technologist-in-residence programme that ran as a successful pilot in 2012.

As part of the NESTAArts Council England and AHRC ‘Digital R&D Fund for the Arts’, Happenstance created six residencies at three of the UK’s most vibrant and exciting arts organisations: Site Gallery in Sheffield, Lighthouse in Brighton and Spike Island in Bristol; placing pairs of technologists on 12-week residencies for a period of collaborative working and co-creation.

What did ShedCode do?

James Jefferies, ShedCode's creative technologist, was one of the residents at Site Gallery in Sheffield and following his residency, ShedCode's direction was changed from working on financial & enterprise systems, to working on smaller prototypes and products for Arts & Culture.

My residency was at Site Gallery, Sheffield and I enjoyed using my communication skills to de-mystify technology & to learn, first hand, how technical approaches can benefit arts organisations, including building digital prototypes for audience participation.

James Jefferies

More Information

You can read more about the project on the Happenstance website. One of the most enjoyable parts of the project was building Cathy & Heathcliff, the internet enabled thermal printers. Here is their story.

Cathy & Heathcliff - internet enabled thermal printers

Who are Cathy & Heathcliff?

As part of the Happenstance Project, my fellow resident Leila Johnston (of Hack Circus, Shift Run Stop & Final Bullet) was able to aquire a couple of thermal printers along with early versions of the arduinos and code from James Adam (of exciting.io). They were soon named Cathy & Heathcliff and once we had the working, we were then able to use them for a variety of little projects.

What did James Jefferies do?

The printers came with some simple code so that you could print messages to them via a web interface if they were plugged in to a network. We wanted to expand them so they could print tweets whilst being mobile, powered by batteries and a 3G mobile data dongle.

We wrote the code to handle this and also added the functionality so that you could send them text messages via your mobile phone, which they would then tweet and print. We used a combination of 'If this then that', 'Twilio' and some home baked code to get everything working properly.

One of the printers was used by Site as a comments book for a while, visitors could text the printers with their message, and the message would appear on the printer down in reception.

The most exciting use of the printers though was as part of Bill Drummond's "Ragworts" exhibition - young students who were following the instructions of one of Bill's scores would get on random busses and then would send text messages of their experiences to the printers, which would then print them off back at the gallery.

More Information

The story of how the original printers came about is by James Adam - without his hard work, we wouldn't have been able to build our prototypes. The story of Cathy & Heathcliff is here and Bill's exhibition on the Site Gallery archive.

Map The Museum - Responsive Design

What is Map the Museum?

Map the Museum is an application built as a quick 'hack' by Caper for the collection of the Royal Pavilion & Museums in Brighton & Hove. The application has a set of items from the collection, with some information and usually a photograph. The user can select a location on the map to help understand how or why an item is linked to Brighton & Hove.

What did ShedCode do?

ShedCode was approached to update the application, firstly as the infrastructure was outdated and insecure, secondly as we wanted to provide mobile functionality. We perfomed the updates, including moving all of the assets to new hosting, under the control of the Museums, whilst also updating the design to allow a better user experience on mobile devices.

London Philharmonic Orchestra - Archive Explorer

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What is the LPO Archive Explorer?

The Archive Search is designed to make the searching of the London Philharmonic Orchestra's historic performance archives. Users can use search terms for an event, like a Venue, a year, a Conductor or even the name of a Soloist.

What did ShedCode do?

The Digital Projects Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra commisioned ShedCode to explore what could be done with the performance data, stored within their internal systems database.