Twitter garden wins Gold at Chelsea

A unique digital garden created by the University of Lincoln has won Gold at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Fresh garden Digital Capabilities responds to live Twitter activity, enabling the public to directly influence how the garden appears at any one time.

Created by academics at the University of Lincoln, UK, and designers Harfleet & Harfleet, the garden has been awarded Gold in the Fresh Garden: Scape Design category.

The project is a cross-disciplinary collaboration between academics from the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, School of Psychology and School of Architecture who were all involved in the development of the installation.

Head of Psychology at the University of Lincoln, Professor Harriet Gross, said: “We are absolutely thrilled and the students involved are ecstatic. It is a real testament to what can be achieved when such a talented team comes together to work in collaboration.”

Dr Duncan Rowland, Reader in the School of Computer Science, added: “This is fantastic news for the University of Lincoln. The project has been terrific fun to work on and has brought my own research into cultural computing, together with other computer scientists, psychologists, architects and students to create this award-winning garden. I’m delighted it has received this recognition, a testimony to the skill of the garden designers and the cross-disciplinary collaborative spirit fostered at the University.”

The garden is divided diagonally by an autonomous-panelled screen which separates the planting of two distinct zones.

A tapestry of familiar plants and foliage then greets visitors, with the partially obscured exotic planting behind the partition providing a dramatic contrast. The panelled screen responds in real-time to the ‘buzz’ of excitement about RHS Chelsea Flower Show, as measured by activity on Twitter using the #rhschelsea tag, with the inner depths of the garden only being seen when public excitement is at its peaks.

Davina McCall and Jack Dee were just two of the celebrities spotted interacting with the garden during the first day of the show.

Shaun Lawson, Professor of Social Computing at the University’s School of Computer Science, said: “One of the things we’re trying to do through our research is to understand how digital media can be made to meaningfully intersect with the physical world. The garden is an opportunity to explore aspects of how we can interweave social media data with real space, as well as how it is possible to make sense of this data by creating thought-provoking visualisations. When people tweet, the screen activates by opening various panels and permitting selected views of the ‘concealed’ garden. The planting inside represents the exotic or unknown immaterial world of the internet, moderated and revealed by our desire for knowledge and interaction.”

The impressive structure was constructed by a team of staff and students from the School of Architecture led by Senior Lecturers Richard Wright and Barbara Griffin.

Commissioned to provide the overall design was award-winning design duo Harfleet & Harfleet. Brothers Tom and Paul Harfleet share an interest in modern architecture and design innovation. Their first collaboration won an RHS Gold Medal and ‘Best Conceptual Garden’ at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2010.

Designers Harfleet & Harfleet said: “The enthusiasm of staff and students at the University of Lincoln to realise this ambitious project has been inspiring. The whole process has been challenging and rewarding and has evolved into a beautiful conceptual garden that represents the innovation in design that we are fascinated in.”

Go to the project’s website at www.digitalcapabilities.com to find out more, follow the garden on Twitter @digcapabilities or tweet using #rhschelsea to get involved.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs until 25th May 2013.

The Annual Showcase Event – Well done everyone.

The Annual Showcase Event was successfully held on Friday, 3rd May 2013. This was the end of a week long showing the Undergraduate Projects work, with live and Interactive demos. Students, Staff and Visitors gathered in Comp Lab ‘C’ in the School of Computer Science, where the event was officially opened by the Head of the School, Dr David Cobham.

Local and National companies, like Rockstar Games, Artsgraphica, Software-Europe, and Google UK  participated in the event and the judging panel. The event included Posters around the lab and live interactive demos including; Websites, Mobile Apps, Automated Registry system (RFID, Raspberry Pi), Autonomous Robots, Computer Vision, Human Detection and many Games.

 

Showcase Openning by the Head of School
Showcase Openning by the Head of School
Demos of students' Games
Demos of students’ Games
Demos of students' Games
Demos of students’ Games
Robot football - Rovio scoring a goal!
Robot football – Rovio scoring a goal!
Robot football - Rovio scoring a goal!
Robot football – Rovio scoring a goal!
Detecting humans using kinect and Thermal camera
Detecting humans using kinect and Thermal camera
Detecting humans using kinect and Thermal camera
Detecting humans using kinect and Thermal camera
MyCampus App (Campus Navigation App) live demo
MyCampus App (Campus Navigation App) live demo
MyCampus App (Campus Navigation App) live demo
MyCampus App (Campus Navigation App) live demo
Panel memebers trying the MyCampus App (Campus Navigation App)
Panel memebers trying the MyCampus App (Campus Navigation App)
Auto. Registration System (CS6)
Auto. Registration System (CS6)
App to motivate behaviour....
App to motivate behaviour….
Monitoring passing cars/pedestrian, FG/BG.
Monitoring passing cars/pedestrian, FG/BG.
Kinect Full-body interaction game
Kinect Full-body interaction game
Face detection for automatic lock/login computer, when users leave/return back to their seat.
Face detection for automatic lock/login computer, when users leave/return back to their seat.
Panel discussing the winners
Panel discussing the winners

Students were very pleased to participate and enjoyed presenting and talking to all visitors (especially with the companies’ representatives).

The panel members were really pleased with the demonstrated projects and commented on the quality and benefits of those projects. Given that, the panel decided to award 6 prizes for the best 6 presented projects. Congratulations to all the Winners and well done to everyone.

 

Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Companies receiving their "Thank You" Certificates.
Companies receiving their “Thank You” Certificates.
Companies receiving their "Thank You" Certificates.
Companies receiving their “Thank You” Certificates.

Companies’ representatives and visitors praised the event and commented that this is the way forward, and students need to get used to this kind of event, presenting their work more and more to potential employers.

The School is always open for companies and potential employers to get in touch and participate. This could be the source for recruiting your next potential intern or placement student, if not new employee.

Thank you for all involved in the organisation and setup, especially the Technical and Admin teams and the students volunteered.

Well done everyone.

All the best
Amr

Garden grown by social media is all a Twitter at Chelsea

Twitter will be in control of a unique digital garden at the 100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show. 

 Fresh garden Digital Capabilities will respond to live Twitter activity, enabling the public to directly influence how the garden appears at any one time.

 Created by academics at the University of Lincoln, UK, working with award-winning designers Harfleet & Harfleet, the garden will be divided diagonally by an autonomous-panelled screen which separates the planting of two distinct zones.

 A tapestry of familiar plants and foliage will greet visitors, with the partially obscured exotic planting behind the partition providing a dramatic contrast. The panelled screen will respond in real-time to the ‘buzz’ of excitement about RHS Chelsea Flower Show, as measured by activity on Twitter using the #rhschelsea tag, with the inner depths of the garden only being seen when public excitement is at its peaks.

 The project is a cross-disciplinary collaboration between academics from the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, School of Psychology and School of Architecture who are all involved in the development of the installation.

 Shaun Lawson, Professor of Social Computing at the University’s School of Computer Science, said: “One of the things we’re trying to do through our research is to understand how digital media can be made to meaningfully intersect with the physical world. The garden is an opportunity to explore aspects of how we can interweave social media data with real space, as well as how it is possible to make sense of this data by creating thought-provoking visualisations. When people tweet, the screen will activate by opening various panels and permitting selected views of the ‘concealed’ garden. The planting inside represents the exotic or unknown immaterial world of the internet, moderated and revealed by our desire for knowledge and interaction.”

 Head of Psychology at the University of Lincoln, Professor Harriet Gross, said: “I am interested in why gardens can be so important to our psychological well-being. Gardens often provide a space where people can think about things away from their day-to-day routines. They can also be places for public celebration and to share with friends and family. To reflect the variety of roles gardens can play in emotional and psychological well-being, our exhibit will contrast two distinct types of garden: one is familiar, available and safe. The other is hidden and exotic. Most importantly, the experience of the garden will be determined by people’s responses to it.”

Commissioned to provide the overall design is award-winning design duo Harfleet & Harfleet. Brothers Tom and Paul Harfleet share an interest in modern architecture and design innovation. Their first collaboration won an RHS Gold Medal and ‘Best Conceptual Garden’ at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2010.

 Designers Harfleet & Harfleet said: “We’re thrilled to be presenting at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. ‘Digital Capabilities’ is our first garden at the Show, made even more special as it’s the centenary year. The enthusiasm of staff and students at the University of Lincoln to realise this ambitious project has been inspiring. The whole process has been challenging and rewarding and has evolved into what we think will be a beautiful conceptual garden that represents the innovation in design that we are fascinated in.”

 Go to the project’s website at www.digitalcapabilities.com to find out more, follow the garden on Twitter @digcapabilities or tweet using #rhschelsea to get involved.

 The RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes place between 21st and 25th May 2013.

Computer Science students’ project showcase

Robotics, gaming and website design will all be showcased as part of a week-long event by students from the School of Computer Science.

Students, staff and visitors are all welcome to the event, which will take place from Monday, 29th April to Friday, 3rd May.

Posters and video demos detailing the projects will be on display along with various interactive exhibitions and student-designed games that will be available to play between 11am and 2pm every day, during the week.

Live demos and presentations by students will also be available all day on Friday, 3rd May, while visitors from industry and businesses tour the showcase. A panel will evaluate the presented work and choose a number of winners by the close of the day.

One of the students taking part in the event is Sean Oxspring, 21, who is studying MComp Games Computing.

He will be showing off a selection of his games throughout the week, while also presenting the work of others who have participated in various ‘game jam’ events he has helped to run.

Sean said: “My time at the University of Lincoln has definitely made me more confident in both my speaking and programming skills. I can now wake up in the morning, decide that I want to make a game – and then make it without much worry. It’s been wonderful to go to games related conferences and talk with designers working at some of my favourite companies. I can’t wait to start my own company and do more of what I love.”

Sean, who has taught computing and games design in schools across the country while at Lincoln, hopes to set up his own games development company.

Peter Anderson, 23, who is also studying MComp Games Computing, will be presenting a physics-based version of the Breakout video game. He hopes to get a job in the games industry, creating games or tools for developers.

Peter said: “Lincoln is a great city; the university is really friendly, is a great place to learn, and there are plenty of opportunities for experience. By giving us the chance to work on additional projects and challenging us in our assignments our tutors are preparing us for the working world.”

Dr Amr Ahmed, senior lecturer and event organiser, added: “We believe it is important for students to present their projects and be exposed to industries and business early on. It also encourages them to build their portfolio, in preparation for better employability. Following the success and feedback from last year’s showcase event, I’m pleased to be organising it again and facilitating this opportunity for our students.”

The event will take place across the third floor of the MHT building on the University’s Brayford Campus.

The School is always open for companies and potential employers to get in touch and participate. This could be the source for recruiting your next potential intern or placement student, if not new employee.

For more information contact Dr Ahmed at aahmed@lincoln.ac.uk

University of Lincoln, UK