Category: Blog

Announcing This happened – Utrecht #20

The next This happened – Utrecht event is a special one: it is our 20th event! It will be held on monday evening at the HKU Akademietheater.

We have three awesome speakers and will announce a fourth shortly.

  • Kars Alfrink the founder of This Happened – Utrecht returns to the stage to talk about Ripple Effect a game to train Shell employees about safety. Ripple Effect emphasizes the collective nature of risk management and connects Shell staff and contractors globally from office to frontline.
  • Lilian Henze talks about improving the packaging of InternetPlusBellen DIY starter kit, which saved KPN millions on support calls
  • Jan Willem Huisman and Hayo Wagenaar on Meesters van de Macht CD-ROM where children learn to apply the laws of nature in order to rescue a cat from certain doom.

More details about the event can be found on our event page.

You can get your tickets right now via our trusty yled registration system payable via PayPal or credit card for €4,- per person. You are welcome to buy more than one ticket, if you want to bring your friends.

We hope to see you there!

Ianus, Evelyn and Tijmen

Announcing This happened Hamburg #5

Keep the date:  Our 5th edition of This happened Hamburg will be held on friday evening, May 23rd 2014.

The event will once again take place in the Saal of the Kulturhaus III&70 right in the heart of Hamburg’s Schanzenviertel:

Kulturhaus III&70
Schulterblatt 73
20357 Hamburg
View on google maps

Events page with complete speakers list and ticketing will be online soon – tickets will be free again thanks to our sponsors.
We hope to see you there!

Frank, Markus, Michael and Simon

Announcing This happened – Utrecht #19

This happened – Utrecht is back! Our 19th edition will be held on monday evening, April 7, 2014 during and in collaboration with the adventurous festival of Tweetakt-Kaap at the good old HKU Akademietheater.

The speakers:

  • Marjolijn Ruyg talks about DDS 3.0: the transition of the now 20 year old De Digitale Stad from a terminal app to a collaborative website
  • Perceptor talks about Crowdpilot: an app that allows you to crowdsource your social interactions by letting other people listen in to your conversations
  • Roderick Gadellaa of Stichting talks about Oantinken: putting memories into a wall of bottles
  • Thomas Clever of Clever Franke talks about the Consumer Barometer they created for Google. This data visualisation tool offers businesses insight into online consumer behaviour.

More details about the event can be found on the event page.

You can get your tickets right now via our trusty yled registration system payable via PayPal or credit card for €4,- per person. You are welcome to buy more than one ticket, if you want to bring your friends.

We hope to see you there!

Ianus, Evelyn and Tijmen

Announcing Rotterdam #3

After a special This happened IXD edition it’s back to WORM for the This happened Rotterdam #3. On Monday March the 10th we are proud to present the following killer projects for you to enjoy and discuss:

Jildw Albeda (Kiss the Frog) will talk about “The captain’s logbook”, a magical interactive ships log crafted from paper and pixels for the Dutch Maritime museum.

Marnix de Nijs will talk about “Run motherfucker Run”, an aggressive interactive installation whereby anyone in good physical condition may try his or her luck in a city of empty streets, deserted intersections, ominous alleyways and unexpected obstacles.

Joris van Gelder (Ministerie van Nieuwe Dingen) will talk about his Cocktail Robot that combines the many facets of cocktails making into a single device with a magical user experience.

And to round of the evening we have a mystery speaker. We can’t say to much about it right now but the evening could involve conversations about animal-robot interaction.

More info:

In collaboration with Designplatform Rotterdam and hosted by Worm.

Tickets will be €6,- if ordered online and €7,- at the door (first come, first served).
Boomgaardsstraat 71
2012 XA Rotterdam

logo designplatform rotterdamworm

Announcing London #16


Hello All,

We are very much looking forward to seeing you all on Friday 14th March 2014 with our 4 speakers to look at the failures, tips and solutions that come with hands on making. You can buy your tickets from 28th February @1pm HERE




Joe Smith – @joesmithdesign

Co-founder of Makerversity

Joe Headshot

Makerversity is a work space for start-up making and manufacturing businesses. They provide access to a range of fabrication and prototyping tools, spaces, event and learning facilities. Makerversity exist to support emerging practice, learning and employability opportunities for young people and kick-start the Third Industrial Revolution in the heart of London.

Joe will be explaining how he and his team created their amazing new workspace and what he learnt along the way.

makerversity work


Romain Meunier – @rom1london

Freelance maker and tinker

Romain Headshot

French-born, London-based Romain Meunier is an award-winner designer and artist. Meunier employs a variety of digital and analogue technologies to create playful installations that lend themselves to audience interaction. His work sits in between a virtual realm and the physical world, bringing together data flows and human senses through a personal blend of humour, cultural references and social interaction.

He is also particularly interested in moments when the public interacts with his works in unexpected ways.

Romain will be taking us through how he made his most recent installation, “Mon Violon d’Ingres”, that is currently displayed at the Reception of LCC. But also sharing what he learnt moving from student projects to professionally commissioned work.

Romain's work


Valentin Spiess – @iartag

CEO of iart and engineer on the Mega Faces pavilion at the Russian Sochi games

Valentine Headshot

Valentin Spiess is an electrical engineer and working in the field of new media since 1993. In 2001 he founded the company iart as an engineering office for planning, expertise and implementation of media projects. Together with a small interdisciplinary team, he realised in the same year the media of the Museum for Communication in Bern, followed by the media display of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The field of activity included hardware and software development, media design, planning and implementation.

As an engineer who worked on the Kinetic facade at the Sochi games, designed by Asif Khan author and creator, Valentin has lots of insights and stories to tell about the making and unveiling of this prestigious art piece.

iart kinetic facade


Di Mainstone – @DiMainstone

Artist, researcher and creator of The Human Harp Project

Di Headshot

Di Mainstone creates body-centric sculptures, designed to initiate movement and storytelling. Many of these wearable artefacts are inspired by technology. Some of them release sound when handled. Often, they can be modified to create new silhouettes, environments and functionalities. All of them tell a story.

Di’s body-centric devices have been performed most notably at The V&A, The Barbican, The National Portrait Gallery, Eyebeam NYC and the Swedish National Touring Theatre. Each happening is unique, revealing openings for audience and performer encounters. Di’s work can also be seen in films, which she writes and directs.

Di will be reflecting on The Human Harp project thus far and all that she has overcome; taking her own nuggets of advice with her as this ongoing project never ceases to evolve.

Di artwork


Announcing This happened – Utrecht #18

Contrary to what you may have written on your calendars, the next Utrecht edition of This Happened will be on November 25. During this event, you can enjoy four talks about interaction design projects.

The speakers are:

  • Niels ‘t Hooft about De Verdwijners, who has decided to approach the writing of this book as a design process.
  • Norah Gauw and Pien Oijevaar about Nott won’t sleep, an interactive toy which helps toddlers in their bedtime ritual.
  • Mapije de Wit about Home Adventure System, a way to turn your own house into a real life adventure game system.
  • Design office ONL about Parametric Climbing Walls, a system that allows you to design mountains.

More details about the event can be found here.

Tickets will become available on the 11th of November at 12 noon. You can register and buy your tickets via PayPal or credit card for €4,- per person. You are welcome to buy more than one ticket, if you want to bring your friends.

We hope to see you there!

Ianus, Evelyn and Tijmen

Announcing London #15

Hi This Happened-ers!

Announcing our next event for Friday 20th December.

We will have 4 speakers in the usual format, 10 minutes pecha kucha talks and 10 minutes Q&A. Our line up is:

Tomomi Sayuda




You can buy tickets 2 weeks before the event as usual at 1pm :)

Thanks, see you soon!

Kate, Anthony and Patrick
This Happened London Team

Announcing Rotterdam #2

After a lovely and packed first edition of This happened in Rotterdam, we are extremely excited to announce an action-packed second event in the evening of Thursday, September 26, 2013. The event will again take place in WORM in collaboration with Designplatform Rotterdam.

What do we mean with action-packed lineup, you may ask? Well let me introduce them:

A car you can drive  on a regular highway that can instantly transform into a real flying gyrocopter! Robert Barnhoorn – director of Spark Design & Innovation – will talk about the development, the struggles, the bureaucracy of a dream: the PAL-V, a flying car or roadable aircraft.

A suitcase containing 3d printed, laser cut and other open source materials that makes you turn any object into a drone! Jasper van Loenen will talk about Drone it Yourself (DIY), his graduation project at the Piet Zwart Institute. Imagine taking his suitcase outside, connect  four motors and a control unit with custom clamps to any object you see fit and send it up in the air.

A solar powered waiting point for teens waiting for each other to cycle to school! To communicate the advantages of a cycle road that generates solar energy, Emma Heitbrink gave some of that energy back in the morning to high school students to provide them with a special custom experience as they wait for each other before driving to school.

A concert hall that recombines parts of an Airbus and materials from Tropicana to host great events! The audience gets a nesting doll/droste effect/déjà vu experience, when Césare Peeren explains how the room you are in was actually made by superusing existing materials.

That’s action-packed. We hope to see you at the Boomgaardstraat 71 two weeks from now: Thursday, September 26 at 20:00. Registration and more information is at:


Beat back to school blues with our autumn Bristol event

Interactive fragrance and digital brilliance in theatrical historical splendour:

Autumn is just around the corner, so how better to beat the back to school feeling than with some This Happened Bristol fun? We are back on September 26th in another amazing new venue, the Empire Theatre in Old Market.

This Happened Bristol, 6.30pm, Thursday, 26 September 2013, Empire Theatre, Tickets £5 plus fee. Book now.

We will post more details in the next few days but with two incredible speakers confirmed so far, we would suggest snapping up some tickets quick:

Dan Efergan, Creative Director of Digital at Aardman Animations: In early 2010 Aardman, Fallon & The Tate set about on an ambitious project to inspire the nation’s kids into helping them create a short animated film.  Tate Movie Project utilised a plethora of platforms to make a truly symbiotic campaign, intertwining a huge digital community, online tools, live events all into an ongoing real production. It was beautiful and mental and wonderful and chaotic.  Dan tells how they turned the many into one.

Lizzie Ostrom, aka Odette De Toilette, has a passion for all things perfume. Her mission is to create wonderful experiences around fragrance and the sense of smell. She has spoken at The Wellcome Collection, The International Fragrance Association, The British Society of Perfumers, Stylus, The Future Laboratory, The Natural History Museum, The Body Shop, Coty, Salon London, Harrogate International Festivals, the Tate. For This Happened Bristol she will share a recent piece of work translating between art and fragrance, with a bit of interactive, nose-based fun.

As ever, This Happened Bristol does not make a profit. All ticket funding goes to reimbursing speakers for their travel. You can book your tickets over at eventbrite now.


This Happened London X Protein X LDF 2013

Hi All,

Keep 19th and 20th September in your diaries!

This Happened London meets Protein to curate two afternoons of Round Table discussions as part of the London Design Festival 2013 exploring the overlap between science and art within interaction design.

Hosted by the V&A it precedes the Digital Weekend, each discussion group having 4 table speakers and a guest moderator.

Names and times to be confirmed soon.

Thank you everyone for your contributions and help to make this happen!

Kate, Anthony and Patrick

This Happened London



V&A Logo

Protein Logo

Announcing This Happened Utrecht #17

Won’t you join us on the 8th of september! The This Happened – Utrecht team is proud to bring you four awesome speakers who will show you the making of of their wicked projects.

The Speakers

Marrije Schaake is a well known spider in Utrecht’s digital web. She will talk about a project that once a year explodes with use: The service allows you to exchange presents during Sinterklaas or Christmas.

Rick Companje has had a busy year: his Doodle 3D project, which turns childrens drawings into 3D printed objects, took off on How did he design the app? Are children an obvious target audience for tablets apps?

Mieke Meijer will tell us about an interesting collaboration with Peugeot, in which an unexpected material was used in a futuristic conceptcar’s interior design: old newspapers.

Finally, Manuel Kerssemakers from Abbeygames will tell us about the making of Reus, an innovative god-game involving four giant… giants.

As always each speaker will have 10 minutes to present the making of of their project, followed by 10 minutes for questions from the audience.

You can read more about the speakers and their projects on the event page. Tickets will become available there on the 26th of august at 14:00h.

We hope to see you there!

Evelyn, Ianus & Tijmen

Announcing Hamburg #4

We’re busy working on final details of the line up and really looking forward to see everyone on September 6th 2013! Check out the event page for all information and booking.

Announcing Utrecht #16

Another titillating event is coming your way on the 24th of June! The This Happened – Utrecht team is proud to bring you four awesome speakers who will show you the making of of their wicked projects.

Lukas van Driel of Q42 will tell us about hue, an internet-connected personal lighting system they developed together with Philips. Jennemie Stoelhorst will talk about the classroom game Slag om Dondervoort in which you relive the 80-year war. Next up is SETUP’s Heinze Havinga, who organised a very successful programming contest which resulted in 38 beautiful re-creations of Mondrian’s famous Victory Boogie Woogie painting. Last but not least Anna Witteman of IceMobile will tell us all you ever wanted to know about Appie, the famous-in-Holland smartphone app which helps you remember your groceries.. and so much more.

As always each speaker will have 10 minutes to present the making of of their project, followed by 10 minutes for questions from the audience.

You can read more about the speakers and their projects on the event page, where you will also find the link to register for the event, starting Monday, 10th of June at 12:00. Places are extremely limited (we have the smaller room) so be there on time.

We hope to see you there!

Evelyn, Ianus & Tijmen


This happened London is back

Hi All,

We are pleased to announce This Happened London has started back up! It will remain a free event thanks to the V&A’s continued support.

This Happened started in London in 2007 by Chris O’SheaJoel Gethin Lewis and Andreas Müller. They wanted to create their ideal event, looking at process and how interaction projects actually get made. The London event has become very popular, with tickets being booked up within seconds. We are very happy that the format has spread to other cities such as Edinburgh, Utrecht, Limerick & Hong Kong.

From 2011 the London event was organised by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Russell Davies and Ben Hammersley. They stepped down in 2012 due to work commitments.

The next This Happened London will be on Friday 21st of June 2013.

Doors opening at 6:30pm. Talks kicking off at 7pm prompt, with drinks from 9pm afterwards in the Sackler Centre. Put it in your diaries, tickets will go on sale 2 weeks before.

Our lovely new organisers are…

This Happened London organisers 2013

Kate Pincott, an Interaction and Visual Designer and  director of Interaction start up Createcreate.


Patrick Hoelscher , a Film director, DP, editor and co-founder of Lightgeist.


Anthony Zboralski, a computer hacker and artistic tinkerer.

We will announce the speakers shortly!

This Happened Bristol May 2013 – a little bit of magic

Hello all,

After a bit of a break to re-group, This Happened Bristol is back, bringing a bit of magic and sparkle to spring.

Our fifth event is on the 28th May at the beautiful Mauretania Bar and Lounge, the doors open at 6.30pm. We have a limited number of tickets so please do book early. Tickets are £5 plus fee.

As always, the event will bring together three great speakers focusing on the stories behind interaction design. Our confirmed speakers are:

Keiron Kirkland: Making magic
If you want to know how tricks are done, Kieron will explain, among other things, why asking a magician “how did you do that?” is the least useful question you could possibly ask.

He’ll explore what goes on in the mind of a magician when inventing a trick, how it goes way behind technique and is possibly one of the oldest processes of interaction design out there. It’ll include everything from playing with grand technological narratives to picking out the alpha male of a group.

Oh and he might find time to do some mind blowing magic as well. Just to prove he’s not a charlatan.

Michelle Palmer: Flaming Lotus
Michelle Palmer is part of Flaming Lotus, an eclectic group of Artists, welders, computer programmers, biotech researchers and cafe barristas. They produce some of the most striking of the pieces out at Burning Man and around the rest of the world. Michelle will be talking to us about making Serpent Mother, a 168ft long interactive stainless steel serpent with 41 flame effects along the spine which are entirely controlled by the audience. First shown at Burning Man in 2006, she has been since shown  in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Robodock technology festival in Amsterdam.  She is testament to what is possible when collaboration happens.

Ben Templeton: Magic Tate Ball

Tate challenged Thought Den to democratise art for the smartphone masses. Taking inspiration from the iconic Magic 8 Ball, they created a digital toy that uses GPS location, time of day, date, weather and ambient noise to select an artwork from the Tate collection relevant to that moment of your life. Available for both iPhone and Nokia Ovi, Magic Tate Ball is yours to shake, what artwork will this moment make?

The Venue

As ever, we rely on the generosity of friendly venues to give us a home. So thanks to the Mauretania for their support. Drinks will be available throughout the evening, so please demonstrate your gratitude at the bar.

Book your tickets at Eventbrite:

best wishes,

Tom Burton, Tom Mitchell and Clare Reddington

This Happened Bristol 2013

We are busy planning the events for this year and will be doing three events on the following dates; Thursday the 23rd May, Thursday 26th September and another Christmas Special in the first two weeks of December. Talks will be following the same format as before and we are already talking to some great potential speakers and lining up some interesting venues.
This year though we would like to open up the suggestions for speakers. If you have someone in mind or even a subject you would like to see someone talk about then drop us a line at; and of course if you have any feedback or helpful suggestions then we are open ears.
Hope to see you all at the next event, keep your eyes peeled for the next announcement.

Announcing Rotterdam #1

This is really happening… After Utrecht and Amsterdam, we are now bringing This happened to Rotterdam! Curated by Piem WirtzPieter Diepenmaat and Ianus Keller, in collaboration with the Designplatform Rotterdam and Worm, we will kick off our talks about the making of… in the city best known for making ideas happen. We hope to see you all on Thursday, April 11 at the Boomgaardstraat 71.

We just finished our lineup with a nice mix of makers. Perceptor (also known for  Untime) will talk about the development of the, Dutch Design Award nominated, MENDO website. Kristi Kuusk will talk about her research project with textile and augmented reality in Bedtime StoriesPinar Temiz will talk about her sound installation [I am] Floating in a room. Finally, Mattijs Kneppers will return to talk about ShowSync, an innovative lighting and video concept for live shows.

Isn’t that just awesome? Registration and more information about the speakers and their projects is at:

If you need more excuses to travel to Rotterdam (aside from visiting Hand Made at Boijmans, getting some Gaultier and Pastoe at Kunsthal), the event nicely coincides with the Internet of Things Days from April 9th-12th.

Announcing Amsterdam #5: 18 March 2013

We have another great lineup for the 5th Amsterdam This Happened, which will take place on Monday March 18th, 2013.:

Monobanda – designers of interactive experiences for surprising locations – will talk about “Light on Wood“, a light installation on top of a centuries old boat in the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. The installation responds to visitors with stories of light and sound.

Dieter vandoren
Integration.04 is a live performance by Dieter Vandoren. His instrument projects light and sound structures in a fog-filled space, immersing both him and the audience in it. He manipulates the ephemeral audiovisual shapes as if they were tangible materials, taking cues from the interaction between the human body and an acoustical instrument. The abstract digital processes are thus projected into physical, experiential space. Playing – and witnessing – it becomes a strong embodied experience.

This Happened Amsterdam #5 will feature a special live performance of Integration.04!

Happiness (Brussels)
To promote EOS magazine, a Belgian magazine specialized in science, ecology and technology, Happiness Brussels came up with a campaign that bundles these three domains in an interactive way. We decided to make a tree talk, in Brussels, and let the whole world know what it has to say. You can follow the Talking Tree on Twitter, Facebook, and many more.

Nacho (for Wieden+Kennedy / Coca Cola)
Nacho will talk about what he learned in the making process of Coca-Cola Sitelets. A digital project developed in collaboration with Random for Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam.

Happiness Islands

Find a reservation link at the event page, or at the website of the Brakke Grond



Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond
Nes 45
1012 KD Amsterdam
The Netherlands

This event is organized in collaboration with Flemish Arts Centre ‘De Brakke Grond’.

Announcing Utrecht #15

For the next This Happened in Utrecht We will be given a look behind the scenes of 4 awesome projects, namely:

Leonard Verhoef (@leonardverhoef) talks about the Dutch Railways ticket vending machine (aka NS Kaartautomaat).

Onno Faber (@ogtfaber) talks about the Ding Dong App, which is getting very popular.

Joris van Tubergen talks about the Kamermaker, a new container-sized 3D printer.

Lilian Bosch and Hanne Marckmann from Team Sapling, a group of fashion designers, interaction designers and game artists, will talk about UNI2, a interactive installation dealing with textile re-use.

Please join us for the first edition of the new year!

Check out the event page for more details.

Announcing Amsterdam #4

We are happy to announce that the line up for our next event in collaboration with the Brakke Grond in Amsterdam is complete with Ief Spincemaille speaking about Lightmap. The fourth edition on Monday December 17, will present a mix of Dutch and Flemish interaction design projects.

The other speakers are:
Sara Kolster about Promised Land
Mike Lee about Lemurs Chemistry
Sandy Claes en Daan Wampers about Exploded Film

Please join us for the last edition this year.

Pertinent data can be found on the event page.

Utrecht goes to Hamburg

With a new team we just finished the 14th edition of This happened – Utrecht with a very good vibe. You’ve got to change to stay the same! The speakers were great and varied, the audience was lovely and inquisitive and the nice weather provided for drinks on the terrace until midnight. This happened – Utrecht #15 is set for January 28, but we will announce it here when we have some confirmed speakers.

This friday our whole team will take a short trip to meet our colleagues and see the talks at This happened – Hamburg #3.

Announcing Utrecht #14

Great succes! We’ve just finalised the speakers for the 14th This Happened in Utrecht, and we’re super excited. On the 10th of september you can learn more about the ‘making of’ of these fantastic projects:

It was all over the news: Bart Jansen turned his cat, Orville, into a quadcopter. He’ll explain the process behind this artpiece. Philip Ross developed the Fonckel light, a lamp that likes to be touched. Diana Wildschut co-created the Knopjesmuseum (museum of buttons) in Amersfoort, a museum with a twist. And Marina Toeters combines sensors, new fabrics, and haute couture.

You can read more about the speakers and their projects on the event page, where you can also find the link to register for the event on monday, August 27 at 12 noon.

We hope to see you there!

Evelyn, Ianus & Tijmen

Announcing Hamburg #3

We’re busy working on final details of the line up and really looking forward to see everyone in September 14th 2012! Check out the event page for all information and booking.

Announcing Amsterdam #2

The first This happened in Amsterdam was a great succes so we are happy to announce that we will continue our collaboration with Brakke Grond. The second edition on June 11, will present a mix of Dutch and Flemish interaction design projects. Please join us for what will surely be a special evening.

Speakers line-up:

Lieven Menschaert and Ludivine Lechat (BE) on Valence, Joannes Vandermeulen (BE) on bpost, Ella Keijzer (NL) on Fietslabyrint and Arjan Scherpenisse en Eelco Wagenaar on PING.

Pertinent data can be found on the event page.

Utrecht #13 lineup complete

We’ve just added the final speakers to our lineup for Utrecht #13. Carolien Teunisse and Bram Snijders will talk about RE:, a fascinating projection mapping project. The other speakers are Bob Gussenhoven on Arcrane & Sloopvogels, Christian Boer on Typeface Dyslexie and Adriaan de Jongh on Fingle. We’re fully booked but you could still try your luck via the waiting list, or just show up at the venue and hope to sneak in. As mentioned earlier, this is our last Utrecht event and its hosted by the wonderful Tweetakt, so it’ll be kind of special. Hope to see you there.

Announcing the 13th and final Utrecht edition

Right on the heels of a wonderful first Amsterdam edition, we’re pleased to announce the next This happened – Utrecht. Our thirteenth edition takes place on Friday, March 30.

This is a special edition for us for several reasons:

  • One is that we are kindly hosted by Tweetakt Festival, for whom Kars has curated a number of games that are on display at the festival pavilion, minutes walk from our venue. Several of this edition’s talks will be about those.
  • The other reason is that we have decided to stop organizing This happened in Utrecht. So this will be our final edition. It’s been a wonderful ride, we hope you’ll join us to close it off in style. (Stay tuned for news on the future of This happened in Amsterdam.)

Adriaan de Jongh on Fingle as our first confirmed speaker, more will be announced soon. Check the event page for further details.

First event in Bristol

Well we got there in the end our first event is on and we are all excited, we have some great speakers and a superb venue. We think this could be the start of something special.

This Happened Bristol is a series of events focusing on the stories behind interaction design. This first event is on the 20th of March at the Milk Thistle, the doors open at 18.30pm. We have a limited number of tickets so please do book early;



The event will bring together 4 speakers:  robotics researcher Adam Spiers, Sam Hoey of architectural/art practice Jason Bruges, Music technologist Sarah Nicholls and Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton of the Pony and Trap.

It is about interaction design, with a focus on work that uses a new approach or explores a new process. It is about the process of design & development, from the very beginning of a project to the end.

Presenters can only talk about one project that has already happened, there will be no portfolio showing.

Adam Spiers

Robotic flowers in the dark

‘The Question’ was an interactive and immersive pitch-black theatre experience designed to provide a similar, unusual reality for blind and sighted audiences. As part of this, I was asked to design an intuitive personal navigation device that would encourage audience exploration and provide reassurance, while only communicating only through the sense of touch.

Sam Hoey

Mimosa – Mimicking Plant Behaviour

How Jason Bruges Studio brought technology to life in this interactive installation.

Originally commissioned for Superstudio Milan 2010, Mimosa is a captivating interactive installation featuring Philips Lumiblade OLEDs.  The piece was inspired by the Mimosa family of plants, which respond kinetically as a result of being touched.

The studio used the slim form and warm light qualities of the OLEDs to create a responsive surface of delicate light petals.  Groups of 5 OLEDs form mechatronic flowers which open and close, dim and glow in response to the viewers movement above the surface.

The presentation will chart the project process from initial briefing and conception through prototyping, testing and development to the installation in Milan and subsequent developments…

Sarah Nicolls

Interacting with the piano – ways to expand and re-form the performance environment

Sarah Nicolls is a classically-trained pianist with years of performing experience as a soloist in contemporary music.  Gradually moving into electronics and collaborative composition, she began in 2005 to seek out systems with which to expand the pianists’ performance environment.  In this talk she will discuss two projects undertaken during this time: a piece created using body-worn sensors that detect muscle tension and her Inside-Out piano, built to answer a major structural limitation of the traditional piano.  Giving the perspective of the performer, she hopes to reveal the motivation, discoveries and remaining questions in each case.

Josh Eggleton

Coming soon….



Get your tickets (they are only £5):

If you are wondering where your money is going don’t worry we aren’t off to Antigua, it helps us cover the costs of things like travel for the lovely people who come along to speak to you for free and other expenses. We never make a profit it only ever goes back in to putting on more great stuff for you to come to.

The Milk Thistle are kindly providing the venue for free. Please thank them by buying a drink. We recommend the cocktails.

Keep in Touch

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The Milk Thistle
Quay Head House, Colston Avenue, Bristol BS1 1EB

Announcing Amsterdam #1

After running over ten events in Utrecht, we are now bringing This happened to Amsterdam. In collaboration with Brakke Grond, our first edition will present a mix of Dutch and Flemish interaction design projects. Please join us for what will surely be a special evening.

Speakers confirmed so far: Tim Knapen (BE) on Godmode and Pieke Bergmans & LUSTlab (NL) on Res Sapiens. More speakers to be announced soon.

Pertinent data can be found on the event page.

Announcing Hamburg #2

We’re busy working on final details of the line up and really looking to see everyone in March 2012 at a great new location! Check out the event page for all information and booking.

Videos for Utrecht #10 up

We’re slowly but surely working to get our backlog of talk videos online. Number ten was kind of special for us, not only because it was, you know, our tenth edition, but also because we were lucky enough to have This happened founder Chris O’Shea over to present Hand From Above. The other talks were by Arne Boon & Mathijs Konings, Matthias Oostrik and Yuri Suzuki (who previously talked about Sound Chaser at London #5. Most of the work discussed that night was simultaneously shown at the playful expo of the 2011 Tweetakt festival, who were also kind enough to sponsor this edition.

Utrecht #10 speaker dinner

Hanging out with Bernie DeKoven

In preparation for This happened – Utrecht #12 at the Playgrounds Festival in Tilburg we had a very nice serendipitous encounter with fun theorist and author Bernie DeKoven on Google+ hangout. I asked him if he was willing to say something to our audience (keeping up our tradition of guest appearances) and he more than willingly accepted with a personal message and a short version of his keynote presentation he gave at the 2011 DIGRA Think Design Play. Unfortunately we were unable to fully show it at the event itself, but we did promise to put it online for later enjoyment. So here’s the screen recording of the hangout:

Bernie DeKoven talks about playing well together on Vimeo

Getting ready for Utrecht #12

Sonia Collari completes #12 lineup

We are busy with the final preparations for Friday and can announce that the lineup for the upcoming edition at Playgrounds Festival is complete. Our fourth speaker Sonia Cillari talks about Sensitive to Pleasure, a performative electric-field sensing and sound environment.

Get a spot on our guest list

The event is open to all attendees of Playgrounds, which is already sold out. We still have 20 spots on our guest list that we can give away to our followers. Please note that a guest list spot does not provide you with access to the rest of the festival.

The registration is now open via this link.

Looking forward to seeing you all in Tilburg!

Announcing Utrecht #12

We’ve put up details for our next Utrecht event. We’re taking This happened on the road with this one, all the way to Tilburg for the excellent Playgrounds Festival. We’re still putting the finishing touches on the line-up but have three great speakers confirmed so far. Have a look.

New website

Today is the launch of the new website for This happened. Whilst it may not look so different from the previous site, there have been various visual tweeks, but all of the work has gone on behind the scenes. The last website was made up of static files, but the new website has a content management system. Every city now has their own login to be able to edit content and create events. There is also a new blog, where each city can keep us up to date with any news.

More features will be added to the site soon, such as browsing talks by tag or searches. In the meantime, don’t forget to subscribe & let us know what you think in the comments.

Report on London #9

This report was written by Camilla Grey of Moving Brands, originally posted on their blog here. Many thanks!

Last night, MB’s Design Director (and original wearer of the Three Wolf Moon t-shirt) Campbell Orme spoke at London’s latest This Happened event in Whitechapel. Also speaking was James Wheare, creator of TwitShift – a bot which allows you to follow yourself on Twitter from a year ago. James admitted that the service was a unique form of navel gazing, but argued that Twitter is fairly self-absorbed anyway. He explained that users were able to see how far they’d come since last year, and recognize patterns in their own behavior and movements. I particularly liked the idea of people @replying to themselves and even unfollowing themselves. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, “I wouldn’t want to be part of any Twitter feed that includes me as a member”.

Campbell was up next, talking us through the process which led to the creation of a unique animation style even Jeremy Paxman couldn’t get his head around. Splicing animating, 3D characters then swiping the images through space on an iPad and recording them on a long-exposure resulted in an ephemeral stop-motion animation. The project, executed by Campbell while he was at BERG with the team there and Timo Arnall, aimed to encapsulate Dentsu’s concept of Making Future Magic. Of the learning curve surrounding the project, Campbell observed that “Sometimes we learned something on a Monday, which we’d use on a Tuesday. And sometimes we’d learn something on a Thursday we wish we’d known on the Tuesday”. Such is the fate of anyone striving to break boundaries through creativity, experimenting and, as Campbell termed it, “weirdy tech”.

The final speaker of the evening was Tom Taylor. Most widely known as CTO of The Newspaper Club, Tom’s talk was about his learnings and insights from failed photo community game, Noticings. His story about the dramatic growth and demise of interest – both from his users and himself – resonated strongly for me with regards to the Moving Brands’ “Brand For London pitch”. Tom’s surprise that “if you invite the Internet, they will come” mirrored the incredible response we experienced two Summers ago. As did the quick descent into feedback monitoring and troubleshooting, which goes hand in hand with any form of community organization. Tom shared four key learnings, ones which we too could have been mindful of,

1. Work out how to deal with everyone turning up

2. Work out how to keep experimenting and having fun

3. Not get new jobs in the middle of it

4. Turn things off properly

A huge part of being creative is to never avoid the opportunity to try things. As each speaker proved, giving things a go, even if they fail, is the only route to innovation.

New organisers of This happened London

This happened started in London in 2007 by Chris O’Shea, Joel Gethin Lewis and Andreas Müller. We wanted to start our ideal event that would cater to our interest as designers and practitioners, looking at process, how interaction projects actually get made. The London event has become very popular, with tickets being booked up within seconds. We are very happy that the format has spread to other cities such as Edinburgh, Utrecht, Limerick & Hong Kong.

Unfortunately we organised the events in our spare time, so as things started to get bigger, we found it difficult to concentrate on the event and put effort into the growth and global community of This happened at the same time. So as of 2011, the three founder will resign from organising the This happened London events.

From here forwards we will put our energy into managing the ‘foundation’ of This happened, its future directions, the online community and assisting others in starting the event in their cities. Hopefully this focus will allow This happened to grow into something much larger, more open and across the world.

This means that the London event is now organised by these lovely people…

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Russell Davies and Ben Hammersley. Welcome! We are proud to have you on-board and excited to come to your events in the future.

In February we all had a breakfast together at the Shepherdess Cafe to hand over the reins and our contacts. The new organisers are busy with their plans for the next event, so keep your eyes here.

Please note that London has its own Twitter account now, so follow @thishappenedlon for updates. The @this_happened account will be used for global news.