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Vince’s Journey: A reflection on his Glass-House internship & The State of Play workshop

Posted on 9 September 2022

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Vince shares his journey on the TAP programme internship that he has spent with The Glass-House over the summer and his collaboration on the further development of our gaming workshop model, which we tested at the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield.

Vince and Enrico Capturing the various playable worlds the participants where creating

As summer comes to a close, I look back on my internship with The Glass-House. Enrico and I joined through the University of Sheffield’s Transforming and Activating Places (TAP) programme, which introduced us to the importance of placemaking. During the internship, I helped to design and deliver a workshop about the State of Play at the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield. The workshop used Roblox Studio as a design tool to engage young minds to work together to co-design their places. 

Before starting the internship, I was equal parts nervous and excited. Those nerves quickly subsided while working with such a welcoming and collaborative team.

I worked closely with The Glass-House team to prepare a workshop that explored how the State of Play had changed. Throughout the process, I had several opportunities to learn new things every day in a supportive and collaborative environment. From the beginning, I was reassured that ideas were welcome, and the process was about testing and experimenting. 

Miro board workspace, Vince and Enrico worked on during their internship.

I did much of the internship at home through online interactions, which at times was challenging, but ultimately enhanced my self-discipline and time management. Frequent online meetings and touch bases played an integral part in sharing ideas in an informal space where we could bounce ideas off each other. I realised the importance of different perspectives that work together towards a common goal. Each meeting and critical friend session helped to paint a clearer picture of what we needed to do. Each view was a building block that contributed to our workshop plan. Being able to join the meetings with the National Videogame Museum was an insightful look into how different organisations work together to form a partnership.

Working in collaboration with Enrico was a valuable experience; we helped each other and progressed through the internship together. Enrico and I were able to stretch our co-design muscles when we created the Roblox Environment. Using the skills we learned together, we created a built environment as the canvas for the children to build in. It was interesting thinking about how cities are laid out and considering how each component interacts with each other. In our world, we were able to create 4 different environments for building to occur, within a park, on a beach, next to a forest, and on top of a roof. 

During the workshop, it was refreshing to be in a space where creativity and problem solving collided, with the children finding ways to create their ideas in Roblox Studio. Despite the limited time, the children could pick up the skills quickly and turn individual shapes into builds.

 A pyramid being created using wedge objects to make it hollow

An aspect that I am proud of was my suggestion to use Google Earth to explore different play spaces around the world. While researching places, I enjoyed learning about the built environment and finding places where play and everyday life cross, such as the Konditaget Lüders in Denmark. The virtual tour proved to be quite impactful to the children, with some of them referencing certain aspects into their own builds. I think the use of tech in education has only just started and I am interested to see how it progresses. Future iterations of this workshop may be able to utilise Virtual Reality as a means of exploring different environments.

A screenshot of the virtual tour using Google Earth showing the Konditaget Lüders

The team build task was an opportunity for the children and adults to collaborate and create a place together. It was interesting to see how their plans were then created in Roblox. The sharing session allowed us to have a peek at their processes and rationale for creating their builds.

What I learned from planning and delivering this workshop is that a degree of flexibility is needed throughout all stages, and contingencies need to be prepared for to maintain the flow. Looking back at the workshop, I should not have rushed through the virtual tour to try to adhere to workshop timings. I learnt that a successful workshop is one that involves and engages everyone.

Overall, this internship has been an experience that I will cherish and look back on fondly. As I progress through my professional career, I will be able to use the skills and techniques learnt from this internship to help. The opportunity to deliver the virtual tour has helped me to gain confidence in public speaking. I will also carry forward the mindset that the experience has helped me to curate, one which is not afraid to experiment and make mistakes to find solutions.

We shared Enrico’s blog and journey through this internship programme last week, you can find a link here. To read a little more about The State of Play Workshop, please follow this link here.