Lunchtime Talk
Fri 9 Mar 2018 13:00

New design tools, for a new Robotic Industry

David McGoran has led Rusty Squid for 6 years, testing & refining a unique ecosystem of tools & platforms to pioneer a new creative robotic industry. Join us as we hear about his surprise successes & spectacular failures.


co-founder and artistic director of Rusty Squid

David McGoran

David is a co-founder and artistic director of Rusty Squid

VENUE CHANGE: CINEMA THREE, WATERSHED (not in the Studio as usual)
Over the last 6 years, David has been leading Rusty Squid: A studio for experimental robotic art and design, predominantly working within the contemporary arts.

Their small team of Robotic engineers, experience designers and contemporary artists have been hijacking robotic technology and applying it to the creative industries. 

“Sometimes we feel we are witnessing the birth of an entirely new creative industry.”

Robotics is hard:  Managing the integration of kinetic and sensing technology with complex behaviour and intelligent systems is challenging enough in itself. Attempting to also ground the work in clear design thinking and holding it accountable to an artistic vision is extremely ambitious.

Through spectacular failures, surprising successes and heard learnt lessons the Squids have had to go back to first principles and take a serious look at the tools and processes we were using.

“We now accept that if we wish to pioneer a fundamentally new industry we must change how we fundamentally work. To do this we need fundamentally new tools.”

Over the course of more than 25 projects, Rusty Squid has been testing and evolving a unique ecosystem of tools and platforms. These not only more effectively integrate their team of engineers, designers and artists, but they liberate the team’s creative potential while working efficiently to tight deadlines and budgets.

“We suspect that sometime in the next 20 years a company will emerge on a similar scale to PIXAR or Disney that uses robotic technology as its creative medium. This may not only be one of the largest industries of this century, but it will be a civilisation defining moment in history.

 It will be the Robotic Studios that invest in, test and refine a new set of tools and design process that will flourish this century.”

This Lunchtime Talk is part of Open Studio Friday, which takes place at the Studio every week.

Do you want to find out what is going on at the Pervasive Media Studio? Are you interested in meeting our residents, talking about a specific project or curious about pervasive media? Why not pack a sandwich and join us for one of our Lunchtime Talks and Open Studio Friday. Lunchtime Talks are informal presentations by Studio residents and associates. They normally take place at 1pm on Friday, are free and open to everybody who’s interested in what we do. After the Talk, we also invite you to stay with us for the afternoon to continue the conversation or work on your own projects. We provide chairs, tables, wireless and a great space. You bring what you need to work with (laptop/mobile). Our open afternoons close at 5pm. Let us know if you’d like a tour of the space and we'll be happy to show you around just before the talk. Send an email to book your place on a tour.

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Past Events

If you are interested in previous events at the Studio, take a look at our events archive.