onedotzero_cascade tower of london 2016

In 2016, The Tower of London set a brief to develop an audio app that would encourage 11-19 year olds to discover the wealth of incredible stories and content the castle has to offer.

onedotzero seized this unique opportunity to take its award winning educational programme ‘cascade’ in a new and exciting direction running a condensed, high energy version in direct response to the tower of london brief. We believed that the audience needed to be put at the heart of the ideation process, mentored by onedotzero and a chosen artist. This ensured the finished outcome was a youth first experience that responded to the key interests and concerns of the audience, with the process in turn introducing the audience to exciting new ideas and technologies. onedotzero utilised the ‘cascade’ formula to respond and produce results for a brief, utilizing the target audience to define their own experience.

For the Tower of London workshops onedotzero collaborated with Nick Ryan, a multi award winning artist and audio specialist to run bespoke workshops with four youth groups comprised of 11-19 year olds from a broad range of cultures and backgrounds – ‘Elam Academy’, ‘City Gateway’, ‘The Roundhouse’ and a select group from the onedotzero network.

This was a unique ‘cascade’ as although the sessions were individually condensed from one week down to one day, the overall project comprising of four groups spanned over three months, resulting in bursts of creative energy stretched over a longer period of time.

The workshops, were devised in order to understand the culture of the 11-19 year olds and uncover what would fully engage them in a Tower of London setting. It was important to gain insight from a large cross-section of the youth age range from the culturally naive to the more aware. The results were enlightening as it was revealed the majority had had very little exposure to audio visual experiences and had mainly been limited to simply using apps on their phones or tablets. In general there wasn’t a large appetite for another app based experience as they saw this as an over saturated idea and a barrier. Interestingly there was not a perceived difference between digital engagement/activities and the physical/non-digital world. It also was revealed that there was a significant change in opinion and ideas at the age of 14, which informed the resulting concepts.  

To begin the workshops, the groups were each introduced to relevant cutting edge technologies and engaged in rapid brainstorms to gather insight into the cultural landscape, digital lifestyle and behaviours of everyone involved. Groups were then split into small offshoots made up of 3-5 individuals who generated an ‘ideas recipe’ comprised of three core ingredients (inspiration, technology and content) in response to the experiential brief. Two creative technologists, Yuli Letov, a London-based music producer and Robert Thomas, an adaptive music composer and sound designer were brought on board so they could offer their expertise and critical feedback.

The resulting workshops produced twelve concepts that all directly answered the brief and involved various technology from VR, AR, binaural recording and game play. After discussions with The Tower of London, senior stakeholders and the youth groups themselves, the thoughts and ideas were then narrowed down to three final ideas with one being taken to the next level and developed into a full scope.

The collaborative project produced brilliant ideas with high levels of energy, engagement and entertainment throughout the entire creative process.

A massive thank you to all the participants for their hard work and to Nick Ryan, Yuli Letov, Robert Thomas and The Tower of London for making it possible.


“What I really like about this project is the fact that it is making creative technology accessible for young people”  Marie Horner, Broadcast + Digital programs producer, The Roundhouse

“It was great to see Alfie respond to positively to the workshop today, I have never seen him this engaged”
Klinton Gilbert, City Gateway tutor