︎︎ Dr KitKat


Accessing cultural experiences in isolation
King’s College London
Keio University Tokyo

Digital anthropologist
What does cultural engagement look like for hard-to-reach 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. This included the launch of a digital tea party with physical tea from Japan alongside an artwork which I had 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