Monday, March 18, 2013
Text + Tech = productive fun
mentioned before, I’m involved with REAP at the University of Waterloo. It’s a terrific program for the students and community partners who work together on various projects.
This past weekend I was fortunate to be a part of the Text + Tech event, a joint initiative between REAP and Pat the Dog Playwright Centre that saw technologists and theatre folks come together to help the latter better understand how emerging interactive display technologies might be incorporated into theatre pieces. It was hosted at Felt Lab, and at Quarry Integrated Communications.
It was a fascinating experience, with some unexpected insights.
Both groups were surprised by how often the question of whether something was possible was answered with yes, but with different perspectives. Theatre folks were surprised that something was possible, while technologists were surprised that the questions were so easy.
My favourite activity was when the whole group sat around a table and listened while each playwright outlined a piece they are working on, and asked how a display technology might be used to address a specific challenge. The discussions were fantastic. The process of collaborative problem solving was pretty much the same as what I experience in software product development. While details were different, we were all able to work together to discover potential solutions.
Everyone was happy to work together — there was no big gap between the arts and tech groups. Of course, as someone with a foot in both groups, that felt like business as usual for me.