Spark London Festival 2015

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CASA took part in the Spark London Festival at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park over the bank holiday weekend, showcasing work as part of two days celebrating UCL’s research in science, technology and engineering.

Perennial favourite Pigeon Sim was once again a big hit with young people, with queues snaking out of our tent – and new work in the form of the QEOP data table, demoing visualisations based on GPS, wifi and social media collected within the park; and new videos showing our initial pixelstick experiments, and an evolution of the QEOP through aerial photography.

It’s always slightly nerve-wracking when you demo new visualisations – certainly one advantage of the gathering gloom on the Monday was that they weren’t washed out by bright sunlight. Doing a demonstration in a field creates unique challenges – the bumpy ground meant that the projected maps didn’t quite line up with Steve Gray’s exquisitely cut table, and we almost had to evacuate the UCell team into our tent when encroaching rainfall threatened to swamp their fuel cell. Luckily sandbags and flooring intervened, although it meant we didn’t get to power our exhibits from their 21st-century power source.

Credit goes to Duncan Smith for pulling everything together, Steve Gray for the QEOP data table, and Kostas Cheliotis for his social media visualisation – and thanks to all our volunteers, and the Spark team for making it happen.

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