Weave, Abertay's cultural and creative engagement programme, engaged with over 10,000 people in 2018.
In January Dan and Susie joined Weave to work with team leader Clare in building a collective vision for a vibrant new cultural outreach programme at Abertay. Hitting the ground running, the new team delivered Weave’s very first Platform talk from games developer Florian Veltman. Florian, designer at Us Two Games (creators of the incredible Monument Valley), talked about his approach to narrative games and how collaboration has changed the way he works.
February’s visiting speaker was curator Sarah Brin who delivered a brilliant talk on the importance of staying curious and how to use game technology to facilitate engagement with culture.
In March, Weave welcomed games CEO Brie Code who gave a captivating talk on making video games for people who don’t like video games. Brie also chaired a workshop on what our stress responses can tell us and how they could influence future game makers.
In April, the Weave team got messy working with Abertay PhD candidate Mona Bozdog creating positive picket signs at Douglas Community Centre and Hot Chocolate Trust. The team then put down their paintbrushes to make custom Midi controllers with Luci Holland, Niall Moody and Yann Seznec at the April Platform: The Festival of Improbable Instruments.
May was a busy month. Weave helped deliver Mona Bozdog’s PhD project Generation ZX(X), a celebration of the women of Dundee’s TIMEX factory and their impact on the present games development scene. Taking place between Camperdown and the site of the former TIMEX factory itself, the project featured a series of recorded interviews, games to play, a film to watch and a choir.
No sooner had the team recovered, then they were straight back into action preparing to deliver Abertay’s Digital Graduate Show. Across three floors and with a myriad of special events as well as the main showcase, it was a superb showcase of Abertay’s fourth year students’ work.
Over the summer, Weave collaborated with the Abertay Games Development Society on the fantastic Midsummer Jam, providing their own contribution in the form of a physical game of skill involving a fabulous fish costume.
In August, Weave got back to the business of showcasing the amazing work of Abertay students with the Black Light Games team showing off their incredible firefighter training simulator Firepoint at the Dundee Flower and Food Festival Cultural Expo.
September saw the opening of the V&A Dundee with Weave running a series of student-led workshops as part of the opening weekend celebrations. With thousands of visitors across the day, the Weave team were kept busy!
The V&A opening was followed by Weave’s biggest Platform talk to date. Legendary science fiction artist John Harris delighted a full house at Chamber East with a talk on his creative process and how creative ideas shape the future.
October’s Platform featured a chance to try Shpeel – an interactive installation exploring how games technology can help us talk about our mental health – followed by a terrific panel discussion from Biome Collective members Malath Abbas and Tom Demajo, as well as Abertay academics Kate Smith and Joseph Delappe, and chaired by Creative Dundee’s Gillian Easson.
November’s NEoN Digital Arts Festival, of which Abertay is a partner organisation, raised questions about the nature of our lifespans, both physical and digital. As part of the festival, our final Platform of the year was our most technologically ambitious to date, involving a multi-screen linkup with Pixar’s lead technical director Michael Frederickson, live from California. The talk was a resounding success, with Michael giving a fascinating talk about how to create a sense of awe in animation, and the greater impact this experience can have on our everyday lives.
It’s been a whirlwind year of mad creativity and inspiring discussions. After a bit of a festive break, the Weave team will swing back into action for what promises to be another amazing year!