If you're old enough, you may remember Tim Hunkin from The Rudiments of Wisdom cartoons in the Observer.
I had the wonderful experience last night of hearing him talk about his work - in particular, the amusement arcade he's installed at Southwold Pier in Suffolk. As soon as I have time, I'm off down there with the kids. There's an expressive photo booth that does things to provoke an expression. There's the Lifelong Learning class where you learn how to cross a busy 4 lane road with a Zimmer frame. You have to pick your age first. 80 (easy), 90 (hard) and 100 (extreme). You get a diploma if you make it across. Hunkin said that "all you need is to occupy enough of the brain" and the whole thing becomes really immersive. People don't need a lot to happen to "believe".
Every experience is designed to elicit a smile, a giggle, a belly laugh. Driven by really simple yet "lateral" ideas, the design of each arcade is well and truly focused on the audience's experience. I suspect, Hunkin's driving force is his own experience. The thrill of creation. "Basically I like spending time in my shed making things," he admitted. His passion, humour and creativity shape everyrhing he does.
Hunkin reminds me of my dad*. A maker of "handmade" things, inquisitive and with a sense of humour.
The Mobility Masterclass - you have to attempt to cross a 4 lane road with a zimmer frame.
First you have to choose your level: 100 is "Extreme"
If you fail - and get run over - the police arrive. The police and ambulance arrive. Your zimmer gets the white paint treatment.
The blueprint for the Dog Walker machine.
The Bathyscape video with illegal immigrants. And the blueprint for the Art Apocalypse
*More on that later. My dad has an exhibition at The Independent Photographers Gallery in Battle, East Sussex, starting tomorrow.