Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

A 2014 recap

Each year we review our Objec­tives and Key Results for that year and adjust them for the fol­low­ing one to pro­vide guid­ance for our stu­dio. The goals sum­ma­rized are to be the best known and respect­ed play­ful design stu­dio that works with the best peo­ple in the field to deliv­er val­ue for our con­sult­ing clients and pur­sue rel­e­vant projects of our own.

Projects

We start­ed and con­clud­ed many self-ini­ti­at­ed projects last year which was one of our key results for 2014. We can call the year a tremen­dous cre­ative suc­cess. The projects we have shipped are all in some way front-run­ners of the wider indus­try and a great show­case of what our stu­dio mod­el is capa­ble of.

What was new this year is that many of our own projects are becom­ing their own enti­ties with their own web­sites, brand­ing and rhythm. This makes it eas­i­er to talk about them as things in their own right.

Standing

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We com­plet­ed and launched Stand­ing to crit­i­cal acclaim and we then updat­ed the app with an attrac­tive visu­al design. Play­ful activism is a very impor­tant theme in our work and Stand­ing serves as an exam­ple of our think­ing and prac­tice on this top­ic. We think that Stand­ing will remain rel­e­vant for the fore­see­able future and we’ll refer back to it reg­u­lar­ly.

Camparc

We con­ceived and cre­at­ed Cam­parc for STRP on an open brief and we are extreme­ly hap­py with the result. Cam­parc is a very inter­est­ing and deep toy, that facil­i­tates play as a per­for­mance and includes live video, a recent inter­est of ours. We will devel­op Cam­parc fur­ther this year into a stand­alone trav­el­ing attrac­tion.

Bycatch

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We start­ed con­cep­tion and design of Bycatch last year as our first col­lab­o­ra­tion with Sub­alekha Udayasankar. This quick­ly turned into an exam­ple of how we think games for seri­ous issues should be designed as well as a viable self-pub­lished card game. We will be sell­ing the game this year and talk­ing a lot about Bycatch.

Cuppings

This is an odd one out but we still run Cup­pings out of a per­son­al inter­est for cof­fee and because it is a great exam­ple of uncom­pro­mis­ing app design. Sales of Cup­pings have been stronger last quar­ter than they have been ever before so it looks like this lit­tle app has a bright future ahead of it.

Communication

One of the most impor­tant parts of our work is com­mu­ni­cat­ing the val­ue of our process and the­o­ry. We haven’t been bad at this last year but we need to be even bet­ter this year. The biggest prob­lem is that a lot of things about play­ful design which are obvi­ous to us aren’t even appar­ent to our peers, let alone the wider pub­lic.

Most impor­tant­ly this year we have changed our core propo­si­tion on the front page of the web­site to very clear­ly state the work we do for clients—“Strategy”, “Inven­tion” & “Prototyping”—and we split our­selves into a con­sul­tan­cy and a stu­dio. The con­sul­tan­cy helps organ­i­sa­tions do things with games and play, the stu­dio cre­ates play­ful prod­ucts.

We were fea­tured in Vrij Ned­er­land, De Cor­re­spon­dent, Bright, De Gids, Detektor.fm, Mare, Achter het Scherm, Kill Screen, Board Game Geek, Prod­uct Hunt.

We did things at LIFT, Behav­iour Design Ams­ter­dam, Studi­um Gen­erale Lei­den, Rezone, This Hap­pened Utrecht, Media­mat­ic, IT Uni­ver­si­ty of Copen­hagen, De Vuurlin­ie, Hein­rich Böll Stiftung, JOIN, STRP Scene, Vecht­club XL, ASEM, IMPAKT, ThingsCon Ams­ter­dam, Tegen­licht, Lab for City, Talk and Play, Cre­ative Morn­ings Utrecht.

People

One way to term our approach would be an anti-agency with Kars resid­ing in Utrecht and me in Berlin. We have a list of reg­u­lar col­lab­o­ra­tors for many projects and the con­nec­tions to be able to get the best peo­ple for any job.

We also have an asso­ciate pro­gram con­sist­ing of Ianus Keller, Joris Dor­mans and Sebas­t­ian Deter­d­ing which has proven very use­ful. Asso­ciates are peo­ple who we have worked togeth­er with in a part­ner­ship type agree­ment and with whom we want to keep doing this. We have deployed each of our asso­ciates on work this year and we look for­ward to doing more.

Logistics

The Utrecht studio—our de fac­to headquarters—moved to Vecht­club XL. We are immense­ly pleased with the local facil­i­ties and net­work we have there in an irre­sistible indus­tri­al-chique loca­tion just out­side of the city.

The Berlin stu­dio KANT closed down its loca­tion of the past years as sub­tenants of Panorama3000. We are wait­ing for our next stu­dio in the new­ly built addi­tion to the Auf­bauhaus Kreuzberg. The new loca­tion will have all of the ben­e­fits of Berlin with­out its tran­sience.

Looking Ahead

We think Hub­bub has an unique per­spec­tive on design­ing for the ludic cen­tu­ry in which we find our­selves. We think we have honed this per­spec­tive over the past years by think­ing-through-mak­ing and we look for­ward to shar­ing it with you in the com­ing year.

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