Friday 12 November 2010

Jellymongers, x-rated cakes, an agile agency and a dollop of Tuttle

This week I've been dipping in and out of Internet Week Europe and generally mixing it up around London on the look out for innovation and inspiration.

Here are a few highlights...

The Brilliant Design Lecture came along to digital agency Poke and introduced 3 creative people who talked about their work and what inspired them. What I loved about this show was that the creatives weren't traditional or web/app designers, they were all pretty out there in terms of their work and the way they approached creativity.

Sam Bompas is a man with a vision, he wants to make all your jelly dreams come true! He co-founded Bompas and Parr to fill the void in the world of Jellymongery and the business has gone from strength to strength turning Jelly into an avant-garde artform and they've had a whole load of fun in the process. Check out their site to see some of the crazy projects that they've worked on such as alcoholic weather systems and the Artisinal Chewing Gum Factory. What really impressed me was their ability to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.

Also appearing was the legendary Tim Hunkin who's work includes the giant Pink Floyd inflatable pigs. He talked about his highly eccentric and entertaining machines that he built for his Under The Pier Show. I'm actually surprised no one has created online machines like this. Maybe they have?

Miss Cakehead also talked about Cake Britain and also her 18+ cake shop. I'll let you look this up yourself, but be prepared to be shocked by just how far you can take an innocent little cake.

The Made by Many relaunch party took place in their lovely new warehouse offices and there was more than one person there! Actually it was full of fascinating people and the champagne flowed till 4am allegedly. Although I'm a huge fan of location independent working I think they have picked a great space to call home and I can imagine some exciting work coming out of there very soon. I'm not that interested in the world of agencies these days, personally I'd rather put my time into creating my own stuff than creating it on behalf of big brands. But even so Made by Many are interesting in that they approach communications from a platform development rather than campaign point of view. I think agencies like AKQA and R/GA were the pioneers in this area, but Made by Many are taking it even further by focusing purely on Agile product development and shunning traditional online advertising work. Founder Tim Malbon explains their approach...

Tim Malbon from Made by Many from The IPA on Vimeo.

I mainly agree with all of the things he said and have felt that if agencies are to survive or thrive they need to think more like startups. My only question would be if you're already thinking like a startup why wouldn't you be a startup instead of an agency? Anyway, they have a heap of smart people working there, it's an interesting approach and I will be keeping an eye on their progress.

Lastly this week's Tuttle Club was officially part of Internet Week Europe's calendar of events. The Tuttle Club defies explanation. It was created by Lloyd Davis as a prototype Social Media Cafe, a way of bringing a diverse group of individuals together in the real world who had been connecting with each other in the world of social networks. For me Tuttle is a breath of fresh air. For years I've attended 'networking' events where your value is often judged on what you do, where you work and even how much budget you control! At Tuttle you sometimes get asked the usual Big Questions, but it's more likely you won't. Tuttle is full of people who do interesting things and are very interested in meeting other interesting people, no matter what they do! It's all very random, no agenda, no introductions, just coffee and conversation. All I would say that if you are in London and can spare a couple of hours on a Friday morning then Tuttle is the perfect way to get your brain cells firing and put you in the mood to get creative.

So the message for the weekend, go out, connect, be inspired, get excited, make strange things, have fun.

As usual all comments are more than welcome, but remember to be like Fonzy and stay cool. Healthy and respectful debate is encouraged but any comments that are insulting or abusive will have to be removed from now on sorry. I hate rules but sometimes they are necessary folks.

Peace love and cake,


  1. Thanks for sharing Michael, I really love design!
    Today I will go outside and connect.
    Great, Niels

  2. Hey Niels, cheers dude hope you've been having a great weekend.