The first few weeks of my V&A residency

For those new to this blog, I’m Sophia George and I will be working in the Museum until April next year developing a game design inspired by the British Galleries, which displays art and design from 1500-1900. After my residency finishes, I will be working at the University of Abertay in Dundee to create the game. This residency is in partnership between the V&A, V&A at Dundee and the University of Abertay Dundee, and organised in collaboration with The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE).

Sophia working

Over the past week or so, I have found myself wandering through the British Galleries, taking notes on objects, watching the short documentaries in the gallery theatre and generally trying to absorb as much information as I can. I had a great opportunity to look around with the curators too, telling me about the most popular items, how the gallery came about and its aspirations and goals.

I am keen to do a few case studies on my website focusing on artists and ‘trendsetters’ of those eras, such as artist and textile designer William Morris, whose Strawberry Thief design has really caught my attention.

Strawberry thief

I have decided to design and make a prototype game based on the pattern for a few different reasons. It would serve as a great warm up for the rest of the residency, getting my brain working and forcing me to think how just one piece can be turned into a game. I feel like I could spend weeks or month doing pure research, but I think I need to just get to work! Also, many visitors and staff members are unsure what a game designer would do in a museum in regards to responding to a specific collection, therefore this would show how a game could be made from one item. Finally, I think that making a game based on wallpaper is quite unusual and it will certainly be very challenging!

Sophia's sketch

So far, I have done a few experiments in a games engine, and should hopefully have more to show soon.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter to see more updates about what I’m doing, as well as my website, and make sure you visit me during my open studios to see how I’m getting on.

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