RNLI calls on young people and Ultralab to explore image and brand perception

On 19 January 2001 the very creative SEEVEAZ Summer School researchers came together at Burnham-on-Crouch Lifeboat Station to assist with Ultralab’s joint project with the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) to come up with ideas how the lifeboat service could be made ‘cool’ in the eyes of young people.


Ultralab used the research findings to embark on the ‘lifeboats.tv’ project in conjunction with the education department of the RNLI.


The Summer School researchers came up with a variety of ideas which led to the launch of Lifeboats.TV, the biggest video based website on the Internet, and home of the ‘Virtual Lifeboat Station’. 467 movies were created and made available in various formats.


Lifeboats.TV ran for three years and is now offline, research complete.


Stephen Heppell (Ultralab)
Matthew Eaves (Ultralab)
James Vaughan (RNLI)
Anne Millman (RNLI)

The below films will take some time to load, please be patient:

 Watch the RNLI project movie, with early Matthew Eaves and Colin Elsey footage.: Play Now | Play in Popup
 Watch 180 people the movie – made by Matthew Eaves this film includes nearly everyone who was a part of the Lifeboats.TV project.: Play Now | Play in Popup
 Filmed and made in Burnham this film was created to initiate the project vision.: Play Now | Play in Popup
 Also by George, a dramatic cut using RNLI archive footage: Cut 21 Movie. It was made from a lot of archive training video footage, the objective to demonstrate to the RNLI that existing footage could be recycled.: Play Now | Play in Popup

Transformation Digital Creativity Project concludes at the Millenium Dome


SEEVEAZ (South East of England Virtual Education Action Zone) approached Ultralab to ‘do something creative’ with children during the month of August 2000. The ‘action zones’ were set up as part of a government initiative to support schools within regions who had not fully adopted technology within their teaching and learning. SEEVEAZ became the only ‘virtual’ action zone in the country and worked closely with Ultralab throughout its five year life-span (starting in 2000).
SEEVEAZ initially challenged Ultralab with young people from its regional schools which were considered ‘gifted and talented’ but were also ‘not performing to their potential.
The objective of the first summer school was to give a ‘touch challenge’ which would try and test the young people involved in the project to ‘raise their game’ when returning to academic lessons after the summer break.
Ultralab Director, Stephen Heppell challenged the young people with a project called ‘Transformation’. The young people were given still cameras and computers and set the task (in groups) to ‘tell the story of transformation from one state to another in a series of still images’.
The completed pieces of work were exhibited at the Millenium Dome, where Ultralab worked with Tesco to design ‘The Learning Zone’.


One of the seven movies, ‘A Century of People’ is based on the ageing process in humans. The movie starts with a pregnant woman, then a newborn baby, then a one year old right through to a one hundred year old person. The movie points out the differences between the ages that you would not normally notice. There are a hundred photographs, one for every age.


The movies produced by the children from the SEEVEAZ schools in Essex and Kent were so exceptional and led to the 2001 project ‘Emotions’, which budget was allocated to for the purchase of equipment schoolwide.
Lots of lessons were learnt from the initial pilot project which went on to being and formulate the Ultralab formula to running an effective digital creativity project on a global scale.
Some of the movies are here on digitalcreativity.org, click below to watch them:

icon for podpress Century of People : This project is based on the ageing process in humans. It starts with a pregnant woman going on to a newborn baby then on to a one year old up to a hundred year old. It points out the differences between the ages that you would not normally notice.: Play Now | Play in Popup
icon for podpress Tempus Fugit : Our transformation takes you through the life of a person in a series of still photographs with text, from birth to death. As time goes by (shown by the scene in the background changes) we show that a person would transform, by using different actors walking across the foreground. We used similar clothes, however throughout the entire piece to show that some things always stay the same.: Play Now | Play in Popup
icon for podpress Time to Die : The project is based upon Weapons of warfare and shows a good mix of weapons and battle scenes. It starts from the simple flint dagger to the powerful mechanical weaponary of the modern day.: Play Now | Play in Popup
icon for podpress Papernautics : Papernautics is about a piece of paper transforming into different objects and going on a journey.: Play Now | Play in Popup
icon for podpress Time and Tide : A series of digital images which portray the transformation of a sand castle decaying with time.: Play Now | Play in Popup