Take a look at some of our favourite projects.
Home Front Story Explorer
Working with the BBC Research & Development team, ShedCode developed an interactive Story Explorer application for the epic Radio 4 drama Home Front.
What is Home Front?
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.
ShedCode and the BBC then worked iteratively to develop the prototype resulting in an interactive application available to listeners on desktop, mobile, and tablet devices. The application interlinks characters, storylines, and key moments throughout the show. Driven by data and presented as illustrations, text, and audio, the Home Front Story Explorer is a truly captivating audio box set companion.
The Happenstance Project - Technologist In Residence
As a technologist-in-residence at the Site Gallery in Sheffield, ShedCode’s James Jefferies worked to bring digital solutions into arts organisations as part of the Happenstance Project.
What is Happenstance?
Happenstance is a technologist-in-residence programme that ran as a successful pilot in 2012.
How do you bring arts and culture organisations into the digital world?
As part of the NESTA, Arts Council England and AHRC ‘Digital R&D Fund for the Arts’, Happenstance wanted to create 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. The aim of the programme was to place pairs of technologists on 12 week residencies for a period of collaborative working and co-creation.
James Jefferies, ShedCode's creative technologist, was one of the residents at Site Gallery in Sheffield. Following his 12 week residency, ShedCode's direction was changed from working on financial & enterprise systems, to working on smaller prototypes and products for the arts & culture industry.
My residency was at Site Gallery in Sheffield. I thoroughly 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
During the time at the Site Gallery, James’ flagship project with his fellow resident, Leila Johnston, was designing and building internet enabled thermal printers, fondly named Cathy & Heathcliff.
Want to find out more?
Cathy & Heathcliff - internet enabled thermal printers
During his residency at the Site Gallery in Sheffield, James Jefferies worked on bringing two internet enabled thermal printers to life and put them to work in the gallery.
Who are Cathy & Heathcliff?
As part of the Happenstance Project, fellow resident Leila Johnston (of Hack Circus, Shift Run Stop & Final Bullet) acquired a couple of thermal printers along with early versions of a prototyping platform and code from James Adam (of exciting.io).
After getting the printers up and running, we changed their names from 4j8k6i5x5q7a7b5y & 4j8k6i5x5q7a7b5y to Cathy & Heathcliff, and so began their journey at the Site Gallery.
Cathy & Heathcliff came to us with some pre-existing simple code. This code meant that we could print messages via a web interface but only if they were plugged into a network. We wanted to expand their capabilities so they could print tweets whilst being mobile, powered solely by batteries and a 3G mobile data dongle.
We developed the code to enable remote printing and added extra functionality so that we could send Cathy & Heathcliff text messages which they would then tweet and print. We used a combination of IFTTT, Twilio and some home-baked code to get everything working seamlessly.
The Life of Cathy & Heathcliff
During their life at the Site Gallery, Cathy & Heathcliff were involved in plenty of little projects.
Cathy was used as a comments book for a while. Visitors could text Cathy their message and the message would be printed downstairs at reception.
Perhaps the most exciting use for Cathy & Heathcliff was as part of Bill Drummond's Ragworts exhibition. Young students would follow instructions set by Bill. They might be asked to get on a bus, any bus, and to take note of everything they see and hear on their journey. The students would then be able to text their observations to Cathy & Heathcliff to be printed at the gallery.
Want to find out more?
If you’d like to find out a little bit more about the life of Cathy & Heathcliff, you can read their whole story on James Jefferies’ blog.
4j8k6i5x5q7a7b5y & 4j8k6i5x5q7a7b5y came to us through James Adam. Without his hard work, we wouldn't have been able to build our prototypes, and Cathy & Heathcliff would never have been developed.
Map The Museum - Responsive Design
ShedCode gave the Map the Museum application a new lease of life through updating its infrastructure, security, and user experience through 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.
Although the application was mostly fit for purpose, the infrastructure was outdated and insecure. The application wasn’t mobile friendly and the Royal Pavilion & Museums in Brighton & Hove wanted users to be able to access the map from any device.
ShedCode began by performing the necessary updates to upgrade the infrastructure and security of the application. This included moving all of the assets to new hosting as well as updating the design to allow a better user experience on mobile devices.
ShedCode’s input resulted in an improved application that is secure and fully responsive with a significantly improved user experience
London Philharmonic Orchestra - Archive Explorer
When faced with the challenge of 85 years worth of data, ShedCode created an interactive Archive Explorer to enable London Philharmonic Orchestra fans to search their performance database.
Who are the London Philharmonic Orchestra?
The London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) are are known as one of the finest orchestras on the international stage. They are the Resident Orchestra at both SouthBank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall and Glyndebourne Opera.
The LPO had access to 85 years of performance data stored in their internal systems database. With access to information regarding dates, venues, conductors, and soloists, the LPO knew that something incredible could be done with this data. The problem was, they weren’t quite sure what could (or should) be done.
After analysing the LPO’s database and considering what kind of product would be both useful and exciting for LPO fans, ShedCode designed and built the LPO Archive Explorer.
The Archive Explorer is designed to make the searching of the London Philharmonic Orchestra's historic performance archives an interactive and informative experience. Users can use search terms to find out anything they might like to know about a particular event, from the date to the conductor and even the name of the featured soloist.
Want to find out more?
The LPO Archive Explorer will be launching soon. When it’s live, you’ll be able to search the LPO archives for yourself