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ACCESSING CULTURAL EXPERIENCES & COVID-19
king’s college london & keio university tokyo
may 2020 - march 2021


how can cultural producers provide genuinely inclusive, remote experiences with/for isolated and vulnerable publics in times of social distancing? as theatres, museums and galleries closed their doors in london and in tokyo due to covid-19, the accessing cultural experiences (ACE) project brought together a rapid-response team of researchers and designers at king’s college london and keio university tokyo including kat braybrooke to explore the possibilities of cultural access in digital environments to fight loneliness and isolation. our aim was to design & facilitate a six-part virtual design sprint for digital spaces, utilising the rapid development approaches of open source projects.

two groups of participants based in london and tokyo joined us from a wide range of cultural & community organisations including national gallery x, v&a, british museum, tate, royal opera house, age UK & spiral japan - and from july to october 2020, we worked across a range of digital platforms to develop innovative and practical concepts for remotely deliverable cultural experiences.

the project resulted in 12 workable prototypes that used existing, everyday & repurposed technologies to address the diverse needs and accessibility concerns of a range of hard-to-reach publics, who joined us as panelists and advisors. together, the prototypes represent examples of how a shared desire for empathy, intimacy, connection and creativity can unite project organisers, participants and publics alike - reinforcing the value of tackling isolation in times of crisis through creative approaches that invite communities to the table as collaborators.

participant testimonials

“full, rich, urgent and a very useful space to think together in response to the current context.”
“a much needed and inspiring gathering and exchange at a time of isolation.”
“it’s been really inspiring, both in terms of content and format. thank you for the opportunity.”
“very insightful and thought provoking for my contribution to the cultural sector moving forward.”