The Rooftop Project
Various Sessions: 'Research Through Design' Oct 2014 - ongoing
Location: 24NQ, Manchester
Funded by the ESPRC, Becca has chosen to focus her research on the codesign of social space, and as an active campaigner for green spaces in the city centre of Manchester, has jumped on the opportunity to realise the potential of a highly experimental social space, a rooftop in the centre of Manchester's Northern Quarter.
The Rooftop Project allows the use of the social space to emerge as the year unfolds and Becca sees The Curiosity Bureau as an integral support network and approach that can realise such a collaborative project. In partnership with Sterling Development, Broompark Management, The Sheila Bird Group and the tenants of 24NQ, The Rooftop Project is known as 'a mass collaborative effort'.
To learn more about doing action research and how The Rooftop Project was integral to methodologically reframing research through design, you can read Becca's doctoral thesis here.
Who Rules the City?
Design Facilitation: Oct 2014
Location: Bergen, Norway
Held in Bergen at the Litteraturhuset and City Hall, and organised by the Nordic Urban Design Association this session provided an opportunity to explore the cultural richness and diversity of Europe and begin a deeper and shared discourse into social and technological challenges of 'the city'.
Starting from the shared belief that a self-building city increases connectivity and the social and cultural capital of its inhabitants the call for action was that of a holistic vision from urban planners and strategists. In this session the professionals came together from Bergen, Stockholm, Bucharest and Amsterdam to explore ways of building sustainable communities.
ANTI's Associate Strategic Director and Fellow of The Curiosity Bureau, Tom Morgan facilitated the session, and it was through applying meta-design facilitation tools and techniques that Tom was able to open up thinking and explore multiple connections between people, introducing the unfamiliar in the familiar.
Planning Day: A New Leaf
Design Facilitation: Jan 2015 - ongoing
Becca and Beth co-facilitated a Planning Day for A New Leaf - a community-led charity that brings together those who live and work in Manchester City Centre and who share in a curiosity for spaces and places in the city that provide people with a sense of calm, relaxation and escapism.
With the rise in the numbers of car parks in Manchester's City Centre there is a need for more people to actively campaign for the city to nurture and create space for hedges, growboxes, parks, outdoor seating, street art, trees and orchards.
The Curiosity Bureau partners and the network supports A New Leaf by providing what time we have to pursue the realisation of new green spaces, or indeed to preserve those green spaces that currently exist.
Design Strategy: Oct 2014 - ongoing
In a quest for a better understanding of the new ways to represent the work of a designer this led to a serendipitous encounter with Somewhere.com. Somewhere is a social network that aims to challenge how professionals represented themselves and what they do - their ambition is reflected in their tagline, “Where we’re going we don’t need CV’s”.
Gabija’s position at Somewhere was to strengthen the purpose of the social network, by making some incremental changes as well as building some new tools.
When working with a digital platform Gabija applies a user-centered experience design approach - through having a tactile experience all the digital content can be treated as elements that can be physically moved and played with, making the process more easily seen by all those involved.
Wicked Problem? Let's Play.
Workshop: Oct 2014
Location: HighWire, Lancaster University
Becca was invited to facilitate a short but sweet workshop (dur. 2hrs) at HighWire's Doctoral Training Centre at Lancaster University.
Using the the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, kits from the London Fusion Project (which Tom and Becca facilitated back in 2013) the kits became a useful alternative for year one and year two doctoral researchers at HighWire to break down the projects they had identified and the challenges they were faced with.
The nature of the project was to tackle a Global Challenge, a 'wicked problem'. This brings with it multiple layers of complexity and a highly iterative process, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® provided light relief but also a useful way of seeing the project, its elements, the individuals involved, the team and the priorities.
A Masters in Creative Leadership
Educational Programming & Facilitation: Oct 2014
Location: Regent's University, London
Founding Partner and now Fellow of The Curiosity Bureau, Tom Morgan worked closely with Dr Anton Baumohl to design a unique post-graduate programme that would transcend disciplinary boundaries and provide people space to truly challenge the concepts of creativity and leadership.
Anton is Programme Director of the Masters based at Regent's University and is overwhelmed at how people journey through the programme and the way it deepens their inquisitveness in humanity and leadership.
Alongside delivering and managing the programme, Anton's ontological inquiry into leadership deepens, and more details of this will be published soon via The Curiosity Bureau website.
The British Library: Imagining 2020
Workshop: Oct 2014
Location: British Library
A first for Bracket and The Curiosity Bureau, Founder of Bracket Alison Coward invited The Curiosity Bureau's Becca and Associate Gabija to work in partnership and whilst Alison was away on business, The Bureau facilitated two days of workshops on behalf of Bracket.
The workshops were designed to facilitate ideas and conversatons with a range of people who are regular users of The British Library. Following a presentation by Ex Libris, who shared their plans for the library and its technology in 2020, The Bureau provided a forum for discussion and between people about how they currently use the library, and its technology. This then led into an imagination session where participants could imagine a British Library in 2020.
A comprehensive debrief document was then provided back to Bracket, and Alison continues to manage the relationship with The British Library.
Event: Sept 2014
Location: Air BnB Apartment, North London
After NOISE, FLAVOUR began life as 'TASTE', the second in a series of
The Curiosity of Others events, The Bureau's Associate Alex Taralezhkov worked closely with Anton and Tom and combined curiosities for food and further developed his project of curiosity with the Associates Academy.
An intimate dinner for 8, the event took place in a curious Air BnB apartment by Broadway Market, North London and invited participants to explore what flavour is, and why it is so important to us.
The Curiosity Bureau's Associate, the London based epicurious designer Aleksandar Taralezhkov, curated FLAVOUR and there is always opportunity for this project of curiosity to evolve, if you are interested in partnering to develop the design of this session do contact Alex directly.
We:Think - Decision Making
Workshop: Oct 2013
Location: The Cube, London
We encouraged three groups of Busaba managers to step inside their own minds and think about their own decision-making. We designed bespoke exercises that explored how they attend to demanding situations and how their decisions are made with incomplete information. The workshops enabled participants to become familiar with their own patterns of thinking, when decisions had to be made, and how they could avoid the trap of unconsciously relying on past decisions when the situation required something new.
"Thank you. It has really helped having time and space to think and talk about what we do and how we do it"
Read more here: Decisions, Decisions, 1st September 2013
NOISE: Introducing the Unfamiliar in the Familiar
Event: May 2013
Location: British Museum & Cockpit Arts, London
The first in what hopes to be a series of events designed by The Bureau called: The Curiosity of Others - NOISE was designed for participants to challenge the seemingly impossible in an intimate and highly engaging afternoon for senior executives to engage with cultural artefacts through the lens of others’ curiosity.
The event was co-facilitated by curious folk including a: Laser Physicist, a Stand-up Comic, Forensic Pathologist, Head of Costume, Disruptive Designer and Contemporary Dancer.
NOISE is an ongoing interest of The Curiosity Bureau, if you are interested do contact us to discuss the format and our reflections document which we compiled and circulated to participants following the event.
You can read more about NOISE here: How Do We Manage Noise
Building Growth Through the Power of Play
Workshop: July-Sept 2013
Location: The Work Foundation
As part of the London Fusion Project The Curiosity Bureau was commissioned by The Work Foundation and Imagination at Lancaster University to support their provision of a tailored programme of in-depth collaborative support for London based creative and digital SMEs.
During two one-day sessions, participants explored the vast terrain of connections between themselves, as cross-disciplinary SMEs, to develop real-time co-designed strategies for creative and digital SME business development.
Through the use of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, and design facilitation tools, participants found possibility and strategic collaborations with other professionals. Through this exciting interplay of evaluation and reflection participants were able to define what strategic business growth means to them and how to put theory into practice.
Event: July 2013
Location: Larmer Tree Festival, Dorset
Designed specifically for adults, this workshop attracted 70 curious festival-goers (18years+) to be creative with an odd sock, some stuffing, thread and buttons. Provided with the choice of four different approaches the goal was the same - create a sock character - but the process was different. The fourth option encouraged participants to play with possibility.
The Bureau found that by giving participants permission, and a semi-structured, open, interactive learning environment it triggered motivation and belief in their own creative abilities.
Read more here: Who gives a stuff about Tactile Curiosity? 31st July, 2013
We:Think - Lead & Inspire
Workshop: May 2013
Location: Southwark Cathedral
During the one day launch of the We:Think employee development programme, The Curiosity Bureau designed an afternoon session for 50 employees across Busaba Eathai and Naamyaa.
Through a mix of high energy interactive play and focused breakout conversations The Curiosity Bureau identified and captured shared outcomes providing a reflection document that proposed and identified areas of interest of the participants and their personal and professional development.
"Having the time and space to just think together is vital for making progress and ensuring we are on a path which keeps our team, as well as the guests that we serve, feeling fulfilled and a part of something unique and inspiring."
Influencer Conference Event
Event: October 2012
Location: The Exchange, London
Designed and facilitated by The Curiosity Bureau this event took place at the foot of The Shard in a forward thinking lifestyle workspace,
The Exchange (now The Rooftop Cafe) was a joint venture between James Sellar and Sam Aldenton. In early October 2012 The Bureau gathered a group of 25 professionals from a variety of backgrounds – digital programming, entrepreneurial start-ups, copywriting, project management, textile designing, senior management, existential psychotherapy and design - to discuss the value of inquisitiveness, serendipity and disruption in their professional practices. The afternoon built a framework for the participants to query what curiosity means to them and offered time for participants to become unfamiliar with the familiar.
“Brilliant. Invigorating. Provocative. Necessary.”
"My colleagues came back full of inspiration and enthusiasm so you are obviously doing something right!"