WE'RE EXCITED TO SEE THE IDEA BOMBING FAMILY GROW AND WITH A NEW WEBSITE ON ITS WAY, CAN'T WAIT TO FEATURE OUR EVER-EXPANDING NETWORK OF CHAPTERS. WHILE WE WAIT FOR THE UPGRADE, WHICH WILL FEATURE INDIVIDUAL PAGES FOR EACH CHAPTER, WE HAVE THE PLEASURE OF MAKING THEIR NEWS, OUR NEWS.
ENTER IDEA BOMBING MELBOURNE - OUR NEWEST CHAPTER AND LATEST ADDITION TO THE FAMILY. ONE OF THE IBMELB CREW, CAROLINE BRUCKNER, SHARES SOME INSIGHTS FROM THEIR FIRST IDEA BOMBING SESH AND THE TOP IDEABOMBS/THEMES DROPPED ON THE NIGHT.
ALSO DOWNLOAD THE FULL SET OF 'PLAYFUL' IDEABOMBS DROPPED ON THE NIGHT HERE.
After months of creative brainstorming, venue wrangling, and late-night pub sessions, the first ever Melbourne Idea Bombing was held at ArtPlay by the Yarra. We asked the question, 'How can we make Melbourne a more playful city?', and boy, did Melbourne ever deliver!
We called upon three experts to introduce the Idea Bombing audience to the social, cultural, physical and technology-driven elements that unite us through play. The future they described looks awesome too - one where our children learn through games, and urban spaces integrate with technology, where the places we work and study are actually something we gravitate towards – but they also delved into the potential of play to make our community more connected.
James Wilson, Principal Architect at Lyons, kicked us off with an engaging visual display that showed us how his team incorporated the energy and vibrancy of the city of Melbourne into the design of RMIT's iconicSwanston St Building. In a departure from the grey and brown universities of old, RMIT Swanston St features walls of red, green and yellow, which are dotted with tactile geometric patterns. It’s still considered a radical design because it provides so much informal space to students and because it also incorporates a dynamic, mutable form into its external structure. Featuring multiple ‘play spaces (such as basketball courts and BBQ areas), sweeping views of the city, ample natural light, state-of the art interactive zones, along with top green credentials, the result is a building that’s not only a stimulating place of learning but one that recognises that ‘leisure spaces’ actually encourage creativity and collaboration.
Next up, Helen Rowe from CoDesign Studio held us enthralled with her vision for 'Play Streets', a project that allows neighbourhoods to close the streets to traffic and offer a day of free, unstructured activity for kids and kidults alike. Through ‘Play Streets’ and other projects, Helen and her team work to ‘activate’ public spaces and empower local communities. Their low-cost, high-impact approach to neighbourhood enhancement engages individuals by encouraging them to interact with their surrounds and each other, resulting in fun places where locals like to hang out. She explained how the principles of 'tactical urbanism' can quickly transform a space into a place that people love.
Controversially, she then asked us all to think back to the most dangerous thing we did as a child to get us thinking about what made playing outdoors fun. Let's just say some of us were more ... adventurous than others.
Finally, Dr Steffen Walz, Founder and Director theGames, Entertainment and Experimental Lab(GEELab) at RMIT treated us to a sneak peak of his brand new strategic card game ‘Future Deck Australia’. He describes it as a serious and quirky take on inventing Australia’s future. An expert on gamification, Steffen demonstrated for the crowd how game-play principles can be used to shake up linear thinking and act as a catalyst for creativity.
As ideas incubator for industry, a few rounds of ‘Future Deck Australia’ certainly tested the Idea Bombing audience. We surfaced a handful of novel, globally-minded start-up ideas for business and government. Anyone up for developing an ‘augmented reality simulator for mining uranium under the deep ocean’? It's an understatement to say we were pretty wowed.
Then of course it was over to our Melbourne streetscape-inspired Idea Wall, and the audience, who embraced the theme so wholeheartedly that we collected a whopping 270+ idea bombs! Our Idea Wall ended up chock full of great ideas. They range from the practical and creative, to the downright hilarious. It was wonderful to have such an engaged crowd who actively worked through the issue of how to make Melbourne a more fun and enjoyable place to live, coming up with many viable solutions.
HERE ARE OUR TOP 20 IDEABOMBS FROM THE PLAYFUL CITY
- Flying foxes between buildings
- Interactive pedestrian crossings (hello Street Pong!)
- Turn Swanston St into a Yellow Brick Road with colourful footpaths that lead to hidden surprises
- Block party style ‘crafternoons’
- Free street-art workshops in city laneways
- Whoopee cushions built into tram seats
- Open up the MCG one day a week for a free public picnic
- Train carriages for people who want to chat to strangers
- Make a kid Mayor of Melbourne for one day
- Singing activated automated doors or elevators
- A downloadable app to promote play events around the city
- Spontaneous dance parties (on train carriages)
- More trees for climbing
- Pop-up art and play studios
- Office cats
- Endless hopscotch
- Technology-free days / Technology-free train carriages
- Bourke St dodge ball
- Teach games from other cultures (include immigrants/asylum seekers)
- Secret passage ways around the city
Play a bit more and download all the others here.
THE PLAYFUL CITY: KEY THEMES
- Make the commute to work more enjoyable. Suggestions include trampoline walkways, pets on trains, conductors who sing, dance parties on public transport, no-technology carriages, chatter carriages, and whoopee cushions on seats.
- Greater interaction with animals in daily life. Pets in the workplace came up many times.
- More organised social opportunities that don’t involve booze.
- More organised public games.
- More public art, especially ones you can to interact with in the streets.
- Please humanise regulatory authorities (the police, OH&S, parking officers need to chill out.)
- Actively removing ourselves from technology. Greater mindfulness.
- Acknowledge the need for leisure time during the work day. Things like sleep pods, animal interaction, non-work hours, team activities...
- Reclaim streets for community, not cars. More bikes, less street traffic in urban spaces.
- Encourage sustainability by applying gamification principles to everyday activities, eg. offer rewards for recycling.
- Bonding over shared meals. This includes getting your mates together for dinner parties, picnics, street picnics, etc.
- Share more stories with one another.
- Random acts of cheek. Things like clowns selling MYKI tickets at the station, flashmobs, etc.
- Surprises and secrets around the city - hidden doors, secret passageways, textured walls, lego in the cracks, street art.
- More community art-making opportunities, such as play-do or clay, free street art workshops, a paint bar.
- Better ways to manage the work-life balance, initiated by your employers. This includes organised or subsidised childcare or playgrounds near work.
- A more interactive environment, generally. You want to see obstacle courses around town, flying foxes between buildings, digital objects that respond to your touch or presence.
- A greener Melbourne that can better embrace outdoor activities
- Organised music events that promote community & participation
- You want to get active and see more cultural and community activities geared towards the physical, a deliberate move away from the digital.
- You want more opportunities to embrace creative expression.
- More whimsy! You want more bubbles , tea parties, dress ups, trampolines, memorial to imaginary friends, and old fashioned games like hopscotch.
Huge thanks to all our speakers, Moondog Brewery, Emma Baker and Kiernan Ironfield Photography, and everyone else who attended. It was a super fun, stimulating evening.
Stay tuned for more and find us on Facebook to keep updated with our speakers and future events.
The IdeaBombing Melbourne Crew...
Caroline Bruckner, Lachlan Guthrie, Louise Valmoria and Ash Buchanan.