Dighty Vs D:AiR

D:AiR lunch

Dighty Connect (go here to find out what ‘Dighty‘ is) are an environmental group who, amongst other things, have given themselves the challenge of gathering Dighty stories and sharing them with the wider community. They organise guided tours, produce public theatre and poetry readings; they have published pamphlets and books, CDs and DVDs. All of these are available at request and are distributed as best a small organisation like Dighty Connect can.

But what if there could be a presence, on the banks of the Dighty, that could distribute the same text, audio and video, and was always there whenever you wanted them to be? Digital Dighty aims to do precisely that through the medium of QR Codes, strategically positioned along the Dighty, primed with the most recent and relevant Dighty content.

Digital Dighty will be a permanent installation sharing location specific information and stories.

QReate.co.uk (Rick Curran and myself) are working in collaboration with Dighty Connect to bring this idea to life and last week a select few got to see what we’ve come up with for the first time. Some content may have been created at the Dighty, some may have been conceived at the Dighty, but all of it has been inspired by the Dighty.

Last week D:AiR (Dundee Artists in Residence) held an event lead by Dr Rebecca Wade who literally led us a few miles along the Burn and talked us through some of the environmental issues facing the water itself and the environment that surrounds it. During the afternoon I was able to briefly talk about the ideas behind Digital Dighty and demonstrate the product using specially design QR Trees. Because the D:AiR event was situated away from the site that this initial phase of Digital Dighty had been designed around I had to abandon the trail and instead hung the QR Codes from a nearby tree, which created quite a nice ‘chilled’ atmosphere for the project as the QR trees swayed in the breeze.

At the moment we have audio and video but the system is designed to accommodate as many codes and as much content as we like through a really simple CMS site so we expect to add poetry, illustrations, old photographs and anything and all things Dighty before long.

It’s been a while since I’ve explained one of these projects to a group but they all seemed to get it and be interested in the potential… A great group or am I just getting better at explaining it? Unfortunately there wasn’t time for me to hang around as people scanned and watched/listened to content…

Anyway, more thorough user testing will be taking place next week (Wednesday 27th if you’re interested) and we will accommodate the feedback as best we can.

It’s great to get Dighty Digital out into the open. It’s been something that I’ve been talking about for a year and was originally going to be part of my Masters project but it was too big to get done in that time scale and having the extra time has meant that Rick has done a great job with the new system and I couldn’t be happier with it. Before long we could have a section of the CMS that clients could self manage which broadens opportunities for them in how they keep the content fresh.

If you have any queries or suggestions as to other spaces that could benefit from such a project then I’m all ears, please get in touch.
On the otherhand, if you get chance to try out the trail please let me know what you think through the site here or through the trail website when you’re on your way round… It’ll be great to hear from you.

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Digital Dighty

Dighty Burn is a stretch of water that runs right through the City of Dundee, running from its source in the Sidlaws through to it’s mouth at Tay Estuary in Monifieth.

To say that Dighty has a history is a massive understatement. It has witnessed the ever changing face of Scotland’s fourth largest City, seen the rise and fall of the jute mills, entertained countless children through several wars and now, with the benefit of applications like Google Earth it’s clear to see how it’s course has even shaped the way Dundonians navigate their city.

Dighty Connect are an environmental group who ‘look out’ for the Dighty. They clean it out, they organise guided tours along it’s banks, perform street theatre and document it’s continuing existence.

With no home for some of the digital content I had pitched the idea of a permanent QR trail to direct people to relevant content while they are in the very location that inspired it’s creation.

The project has been many months in the making but steady progress has been made and very soon we’ll be looking for volunteers to test and feedback on what we have – if you are interested please leave a comment below and we’ll get in touch.

Here for the first time the project logo is revealed!

This particular bunch of photos were taken late last week as I met with Dighty Connect staff to discuss the initial QR site to be tested. Remember, if you’re local (ish) and want to get involved with testing then please let us know below! (UPDATE: You don’t have to be a QR Code specialist to take part, just keen! :)) For more information on QR Codes go here and for more Dighty info go here!

Happy New Year..!

Slightly late start to the New Year perhaps but there has been a lot going on!

Just about a year ago I started blogging on MysteryBoxes. That blog primarily led you through the research and processes of my Masters Degree (@DJCAD) from which I graduated in November.  This site has taken the key projects and information from that blog and presents it (hopefully) in a more legible structure.

MysteryBoxes will remain live but will not be update anymore – this is the place to be.

So, have a look around and look out for projects rolling out over the next couple of weeks including a the return of BMEDay, a QR Code history trail project that I’m designing with a group of Primary School children and the latest information on the Dighty Burn!

Can’t wait to get you up-to-date! :)