Fellows pitch for booster funding
A component of the UnBox 2013 fellowships that made them a bit different and unique was the potential for acquiring additional funding for the fellows to continue their projects. This made the month-long engagement leading up to the festival the initial, proof-of-concept phase in which the top-level ideas were created. In essence, the projects were outlines that the additional funding would allow to be fleshed out.
For example, the UnPlay team planned out the concept for a full-length game and worked within the time constraints to develop a few boards or levels that help visually convey this concept; the UnMap fellows used the site in Sirhind to show how the mapping exercise could be extended to other historically significant locations along the Grand Trunk Road; the UnTill folks mocked up a game as an avenue for conveying information about farming techniques; the UnBuild crew focused on mapping Mapusa Market to show how technology can help foster sustainability by recording people’s engagement with a culturally important site; and the UnVeil trio illustrated but a few governmental procedures in their animations and videos.
The fellowships embody UnBox’s maxim of exploring action at the intersections in the most tangible way. In many regards, these projects are experiments in social engineering, with the question of “what would happen if…?” being chief amongst the motivations behind creating and supporting them. After all, putting teams of complete strangers from different professional fields, home countries, and even generations and asking them to conceive of, create, and present a project in one month’s time is no small undertaking.
The 2013 Fellows did not disappoint. Each of them contributed to thoughtful and innovative projects. That alone is quite an accomplishment considering the almost absurd time constraints. That they were also able to create tangible products that clearly expressed the purpose of their efforts makes it an even more incredible experience.
The booster funding pitch was made to a jury of their peers from the UK and India on the final day of UnBox. This year’s jury consisted of: Dr Julian Stringer, University of Nottingham; Professor Craig Richardson, University of Northumbria; Clare Brass, SEED Foundation and the Royal College of Art; John Thackara, founder of Doors of Perception; Adrien Couton, Associate Partner – Dalberg Global Development Advisors; MP Ranjan, Professor and Design Chair – CEPT University, Design Thinker, and Author of the Design for India blog.
The anxiety and nervousness that each person felt was palpable, and a testament to the seriousness in which they treated their projects. You could also see the wave of relief wash over them as each of the 5 fellowships was given the go-ahead for the next round of applications for funding and create a full pitch to move their ideas into fruition.
The fellows have all finished this latest round and have submitted their fully-formed ideas for final evaluation. This is the last hurdle before their UnBox dreams become a reality. We wish all our amazing fellows the very best as they await the results of the pitch!