Whilst working for the University of Hull, I founded the Earth Arcade. Although the project has remained at Hull after I left I am still involved as an advisor and member of the steering group. Through the Earth Arcade, the researchers of the Energy and Environment Institute are connected to the public to share their world-class research into environmental issues and the solutions to them.
I set the Earth Arcade up to be a flexible and immersive exhibition space. It was a response to having run exhibits at several science events and festivals and realising that, although a lot of thought and effort had been put into the tabletop demonstrators, little use is made of the actual space for the exhibit. There are many fields, such as marketing, behavioural psychology, and scenography, that understand the power of space and environment as a form of communication.
The Earth Arcade used learning from these fields to design the exhibit spaces. For example, during our 2019 exhibit at Hull’s Freedom Festival we used scenographic methods, inspired by a visit to the 2019 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, to allow participants interact and (re-)build the space, using methods like den building and interactive 360 soundscapes. The purpose was to remind people of their power to shape the world around them and inspire them to use that power to find solutions to the most pressing environmental issues.
I’m excited to see where the Earth Arcade steering group at the Energy and Environment Institute take the project forward on its next chapter.
SeriousGeoGames (or The SeriousGeoGames Lab) was a project I founded before the Earth Arcade. Originally, it was just a brand I created after the success of Humber in a Box to cover any future activities I was then wanting to do. Overtime, it evolved into a catch-all covering all my research and the research of my small research group.
SeriousGeoGames has long been the “home of the Earth Arcade” but in the future the roles will switch, with SeriousGeoGames having a smaller role in research emerging from the Earth Arcade.