Happenstance Open House Lunchtime Seminar, 23 May 2012, Lighthouse
Happenstance Open House Lunchtime Seminar, 23 May 2012, Lighthouse

Happenstance Open House - Lunchtime Seminar


09 June 2015

Our resident technologists, and Offbott, gave star performances at our first Happenstance Open House event. By Miriam Randall.

Happenstance Open House Lunchtime Seminar, 23 May 2012, Lighthouse
Happenstance Open House Lunchtime Seminar, 23 May 2012, Lighthouse

Over the past two months, resident technologists James Bridle and Natalia Buckley have been making big waves at Lighthouse, introducing us to innovative new ways of working, as part of the Happenstance project. Thanks to their influence, we have changed the way we work and communicate, gained some impressive new skills, and been exposed to radical new concepts and methodologies – and there’s still another month to go!

Last week we hosted the first of two Happenstance Open House events, to showcase James and Natalia’s phenomenal work so far. We invited guests to drop in and meet our residents, the team, and project partners Caper and NESTA, and find out how it’s all been going. With Happenstance generating so much interest from people working in the arts and technology, we were delighted to be joined by guests from both sectors. James and Natalia both gave fascinating talks, sharing their experience of the project, and much more, giving very generous insights into their working processes.

One of the highlights of the talk was the introduction of Offbott, the project diary tool that’s been created especially for us, and has become a much-loved part of the team. It’s a simple but clever device that gets each team member to stop working for a moment or two, and record what they are doing. As a small team with a big workload, being able to capture honest remarks, including all the highs and lows, has been a revelation. Natalia also spoke about introducing Agile methodologies, banning emails, and encouraging more talking. Friday Code Club was also discussed, Natalia’s hugely enjoyable coding workshops that have demystified the art of coding for the team. The team agreed that, thanks to these changes, we’re becoming a more connected, agile and forward thinking group.

James went on to present a brilliant and stimulating talk that asked us to imagine the possibility of "engineering the future in order to finally reach it” and claiming that “opinions are non-contemporary”. He also spoke about his passion for making visible the craft of code, something he will put into practice soon with his upcoming workshop This is a Working Shop. We can’t wait to see him transform the Lighthouse foyer into a workshop for a week. The full talk, which can be read below, included a dazzling array of quotes, sparking much discussion on the day, and prompting Russell Davies to write about it here

Read more from James Bridle, and the full talk Opinions are Non Contemporary

Read more from Natalia Buckley in a few thoughts on happenstance so far

The next, and final, Evening Open House will be at 6.30pm on Tuesday 19 June, at Lighthouse. Please come along to meet James, Natalia, and the team, to find out how things progress in the final month of the project.


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