Dundee Contemporary Arts

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'Why are video games so much better designed than office software? Because people who design video games love to play video games. People who design office software look forward to doing something else on the weekend'.

- Ted Nelson

The DCA team started its R&D thinking with this quote. It embedded technologists within the organisation, giving them freedom to work to improve experiences for both staff and visitors by ‘gamifying’ business processes.

Creative and highly participative workshops introduced staff to ideas and the practice of digital media and gaming, encouraging them to identify opportunities to introduce ‘play’ within the organisation. Two projects are under development as a result of the Digital R&D Fund – the donations box and the loyalty card.

Rethinking the principles of the donations box and working with a third party, DCA is prototyping a new version to be introduced to the facility in the next few weeks. This ‘Artcade’ will combine art and entertainment in an engaging and interactive way.

Loyalty card holders will be encouraged to scan their cards each time they interact with a different aspect of DCA, nurturing a personalised tree animation which will grow over time and depend on the nature of their engagement. Collaboration with a multinational technology company has also been possible, allowing the prototype scanning mechanism to be housed in a state of the art display. Testing of this prototype began in at the end of 2013.

Dundee Contemporary Arts is a world-class centre for the development and exhibition of contemporary art and culture. DCA promotes the development and exhibition of contemporary art and culture through providing opportunities for artists to create, and for audiences to engage with an active, varied and high-quality cultural life for the people of Dundee, Scotland and beyond.

Established in 1999, DCA comprises galleries for the presentation of contemporary art, two cinemas, a large print studio with both analogue and digital resources, popular education and social spaces plus a university research facility.