I’m now 4 months into my (8 month) Resident Entrepreneur project and I wanted to share a little on how it’s going. Frustratingly, I can’t share too much because I’m still getting my head around the intellectual property involved.
However, I can share a little on what Creative Informatics is about and some of the general things I’ve been up to.
“Creative Informatics is an ambitious research and development programme based in Edinburgh, which aims to bring the city’s world-class creative industries and tech sector together, providing funding and development opportunities that enable creative individuals and organisations to explore how data can be used to drive ground-breaking new products, businesses and experiences.”
They have five funding programmes. I secured Resident Entrepreneur funding of £12K to develop a web-based tool enabling consumers to produce personalised quilt patterns using data.
Since June, I’ve been setting up the infrastructure around the website and social media, taking the Monadh quilt to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham and using that experience to do some research on quilting with data.
I say I’ve been doing this in the background but actually all of this takes a great deal of time when taking seriously GDPR, data ethics and a desire to reflect on the accessibility of what I’m creating.
I’m working with a fabulous developer – David Hewitson from A Big Egg - who’s as excited as I am about working with data in the quilting industry. We’ve spent a bit of time exploring potential data sources, exploring possibilities and overcoming some of challenges we’ve encountered.
Working with a developer in the quilting space is a little like working in the middle of a Venn diagram – haven’t used that phrase for about 30 years! Essentially, I’ll make assumptions about what’s possible when writing an algorithm while the developer makes assumptions about how quilts are constructed. The developer doesn’t need to waste time learning how to make quilts and I don’t have the time to learn how to code. So, in a short space of time we’ve had to develop ways to identify our assumptions about the others’ process so that we can collectively solve the challenges we face in the middle ground we both occupy. No one said this was going to be easy!
That said, we’ve recently turned a corner and things are moving forward swiftly now, which is hugely exciting. I really can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on.
I feel so hugely fortunate to have had secured Resident Entrepreneur funding to develop my ideas around quilting with data. Not only has it given me some essential investment to test my ideas but beyond that the support, encouragement and resources to tackle the challenges, design playfully and enjoy the whole process.
So, I’m a resident entrepreneur now, a creative technologist, creativepreneur, a data designer, a multi. Call me what you like (I really don’t mind), I’m just doing what I’m doing and focusing on that, one piece at a time.
A Big Egg
Festival of Quilts