Classroom of children and teachers sharing their artwork
Exploring the Familiar

Five days a week our children make the journey from home to school. For most of us, it’s a practical, everyday routine and we don’t pay much attention to the places, spaces and details we pass along the way. Working with visual artists Jo Coles and Sharon Mee and partnering with Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems, University of Brighton (in collaboration with Mnemoscene) and Brighton Museum children are encouraged to notice their surroundings in the every day in order to build their sense of community through Psychogeography.

Psychogeography is the intersection of psychology and geography; the art of walking and observing, playing around with what we see in front of us, the history and myths within our urban landscapes, revealing forgotten, discarded, or marginalised parts of their environment.

In 2019, Exploring the Familiar was piloted with St Andrews Primary School in Hove with a class of year 6 students. Students were challenged to reveal something about their route to school we may not have noticed, a fact we might not know, a myth we have never imagined. It required them to look up, down and all around, to look at the streets where they walk in a different way. Students became historians, journalists, archaeologists in reverse, creative observers of everyday life. Working with their teacher and artist, students created a 3D map installation for exhibition using psychogeography techniques. The resulting map celebrated individual interpretation of the shared community of school.

case study

exploring the familiar

View how children were asked to observe and absorb details of their every day journey to school in order to challenge unsettling feelings of transitioning and to develop a sense of identity and confidence.
A screen displaying augmented reality of a mapped out town
Exploring the Familiar

Digital Research

We work with partners from the Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems, University of Brighton (in collaboration with Mnemoscene) to create a digital experience to retell children’s narratives to reach a wider audience. Technologies including 3D scanning capture their objects and stories to create an Augmented Reality (AR) experience. This process investigates the potential of technologies and narratives to illuminate different viewpoints and interpretations of the local cultural landscape, while connecting children to a sense of community and place.

Heritage Connection

Teachers are introduced to the digital collections available from Brighton Museum, and shown how to search collections effectively as a resource for their project and wider curriculum. Students can then explore the collections to uncover potential content for their installation. 

Sharing and Celebrating

Once the student's map is completed this is publicly exhibited where children are invited to act as installation guides for the event. Workshops at the event allow visitors to start their own psychogeography journey. The Augmented Reality versions of their maps are launched and available to visitors, and online communities.

3D cardboard house made by year 6 students
Exploring the Familiar

What's next

For 2020, we plan to roll Exploring the Familiar out to five primary schools with the results informing a 3-5 year regional rollout and development in both primary and secondary schools.

If you're interested in getting involved and having Exploring the Familiar in your school please contact Project Manager, Bec Britain to find out more bec.britain@brightondome.org.