Between 2012 and 2016, REACT supported 53 collaborative projects to make brilliant things. Each project has been a collaboration between an an academic and a company or individual working in the creative sector.
Our support included funding, as well as access to producers who support the creative development of projects, and time and space for teams explore ideas. We encourage a spirit of openness, generosity, experimentation and care in our projects. This is a vital part of creating an environment for innovation.
We believe that creating a shared space for cross-disciplinary collaboration, where people can work together in new ways, is a fundamental way to create a vibrant cultural ecosystem that can explore, play, and imagine new solutions to a range of challenges.
Our primary support mechanism has been the Sandbox. Sandbox is a three month scheme that offers participants regular catch up, showcase and feedback events in which to develop collaborative projects. It provides access to a panel of leading industry advisors, a community of peers and to a number of other resources. We think of it as space in which to work, imagine and experiment outside of your normal working environment, and, crucially, learn from your other peers in the Sandbox.
The process itself was developed in 2008 by iShed, part of Watershed. The inaugural Media Sandbox supported six companies from across the South West to develop early stage digital media ideas, and went on to support further Media and Theatre Sandboxes before the REACT collaboration began. Watershed have now open-sourced the Sandbox method under a creative commons licence. You can download the Watershed Sandbox: A How to Guide here.
REACT have supported five Sandboxes. Each one had a theme, which was chosen in consultation with our teams of advisors. The themes represent key areas where digital technologies were proving disruptive to mainstream industry, such as the heritage sector, and the publishing industry.
We refined the Sandbox process over time, exploring how best to create a space to support our community of projects. By Play Sandbox, we even had a group of fourteen 7 to 12 year olds helping us select projects, make funding decisions and assisting projects in the development of their prototypes.
You can visit our Sandbox microsites below. These sites were active while our teams were part of the Sandboxes and are now archived. They featured blog updates and a variety of other materials, much of which can now be found on this website.