When I first devised Invisible Buildings, the thought was to follow much the same line as Time Team – find some evidence of a building and dig it up! Hence our first project was hunt the Roman Villa. And why not, it fitted in with the, as then, part of Key Stooge 1. With the arrival of our “game designer” component we have had the power to create new games, or variations of games, rather more easily. Hence we were able to turn out a prototype for a Lewes Priory game and more recently Victorian Explorers (played for 15 days at 3 English Heritage properties). Furthermore we have been surprised by how we can create exciting and varied narratives whilst essentially playing the same games.
It was whilst we were visiting one of the EH properties, Wrest Park, I was told by one of the children that there had been “real archaeology, we learnt it at school” taking place in the park. Then, talking to one of the curators when we visited the house, we learnt the “real archaeology” led to the (re)discovery of an Italian garden. I am now thinking that this would make a really good Invisible Buildings project. It has the basis for being a game that could really be played by the whole family as it would combine the excitement of digging up, with the more adult activity of gardening. It would also be easy to prototype as we have rediscovered gardens in our local Brunswick Square in Hove. It also fits in with our commitment to make “learning local” (e.g. see here).
I’m off to do some more research and will report back if and when we get this one off the ground. Invisible Buildings, Invisible Footpaths, now, Invisible Gardens – hey, I’m becoming the Invisible Man