︎︎ Dr KitKat


Accessing culture in isolation?
King’s College London x Keio University Tokyo
How can cultural institutions offer inclusive digital experiences with/for isolated and vulnerable publics in times of crisis? As theatres, museums and galleries closed their doors in London and Tokyo due to Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020, I joined a team of researchers and designers in leading the Accessing Cultural Experiences (ACE) project, a Covid-19 rapid response initiative run by King's College London and Keio University Tokyo. We facilitated a six-part virtual design sprint across a range of platforms that invited cultural producers, publics and students in London and Tokyo to explore the possibilities of cultural access in digital environments to fight loneliness. We organised a digital tea party celebration with physical tea from Japan, and the programme culminated in an artwork which I designed to reflect the participant experience of working alone in isolation, yet together. Participating organisations included National Gallery X, V&A, British Museum, Tate, Royal Opera House, Age UK and Spiral Japan, and the project resulted in 12 workable prototypes that used existing, everyday and repurposed technologies to address diverse needs and contexts, in collaboration with harder-to-reach publics.

More details on the project can be found in this publication: Braybrooke, K. & Janes, S. & Sato, C. 2021, ‘Care-full design sprints, online? Addressing gaps in cultural access and inclusion during Covid-19 with vulnerable communities in London and Tokyo’, In C&T ’21: 10th International Conference on Communities & Technologies, Seattle [& free download].

i want to dance for the renewal of the world.” - robin well kimmerer