Horizon Digital Economy Research has been working with Roma Patel, a scenographer and digital artist since 2013. Roma is an Alumni of the Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training – her research explores sensing technologies and how these could create new modes of narrative, multisensory experiences and play in theatre for young audiences.
Roma’s research has led to several visual arts projects, residencies and commissions including The Enchanted Forest, which engaged with over 17,000 children and adults at the Theatre Hullabaloo and the TakeOff Festival. We are delighted to now be working with Romas on our Co-Production Campaign project – Storytelling, Grow Your Own Adventure.
Roma recently co-founded a spin-off company ‘Makers of Imaginary Worlds’ (MOIW) with Rachel Ramchurn. MOIW explore mixed reality spaces that merge sensing and wearable technologies with traditional theatre craft, to create sensory playful performance installations for children and families. To date, MOIW has designed three interactive installations, supported by Arts Council England and in partnership with Lakeside Arts, the Mixed Reality Laboratory and the Cobot Maker Space – all based at the University of Nottingham.
In 2021 MOIW collaborated with researchers and utilised the Cobot Maker Space to explore the integration of robotic sculpture for interactive experiences – leading to the development of Thingamabobis. This work resulted in the UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub (TAS Hub), inviting Roma to become one of their Artists in Residence, which involves exploring the creative potential of aesthetic interactions and gestural languages between young audiences and robots.
MOIW will be showcasing NED and running workshops in the Near Now Gallery at Broadway Cinema between 5th and 14th of April. Robots from the Cobot Maker Space will also be in attendance on the 7th of April – a day where the general public can engage with Robin, a Service Robot, watch Spot, a Boston Dynamics robot dog perform some groovy dance moves and play with MiRo, a friendly pet robot that exhibits 6 senses for natural behaviour and interaction.