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Interactive digital commission – City of Wonder 2025

Call for a Creative Lead to develop and deliver an interactive digital commission from the National Science and Media Museum and Bradford 2025, UK City of Culture.

We are looking for a creative studio, experienced designer, digital artist or collective, to lead the creative development and installation of an internationally significant interactive digital experience in Gallery One (310sqm) of the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford. This £550,000 new commission opportunity, called City of Wonder, will explore sound and vision technologies that have changed how we experience our physical and virtual worlds. Audiences will be invited to play with and be inspired by the wonder of the digital world.

The experiential environment will take inspiration from the museum's collections and subject matter and could draw from the raw data of Born in Bradford—the largest research project of its kind in the world—to engage our visitors in a memorable way. Drawing on Bradford's vibrant, youthful and diverse energy, the commission will bring an interactive digital experience to the heart of the city and celebrate Bradford 2025's key themes of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths).

About the commission

We want to completely transform Gallery One into a visually striking environment that sparks curiosity and imagination in our audiences. 

Distortions in Spacetime MSF

The Creative Lead will hold the relationship with the museum, managing the creative development and delivery of the project in collaboration with the museums project team and co-commissioning partner, Bradford 2025. The Creative Lead will draw on a team of specialists, including but not limited to designers, experience makers, artists, historians, educators, media-makers, technologists, writers and poets who are passionate about encouraging a mindful connection to the world around us. You may also wish to invite participation from local communities.  

Our external consultants, Mediale, will remain with the project through the selection process.

Objectives

The commissioned Creative Lead is asked to respond to the following objectives:  

  • To create an imaginative, interactive, visually striking, experiential environment using City of Wonder as a jumping-off point
  • Wow audiences and connect with them emotionally and sensorially through a strong narrative
  • Explore the innovation of science and image technology and how it inspires wonder
  • Explore the power of the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) theme
  • Investigate the rich inspiration potential and possible application of the Born in Bradford data in relation to this commission
  • Encourage curiosity, playfulness and social exchanges 
  • Ensure the experience is active and not passive through interactive opportunities and an engaging story
  • Connect with the City of Bradford’s diverse and intergenerational audiences (29% under 20).
  • Provide multiple people with the opportunity to participate. SMG would like the work to reach as many visitors as possible and the Creative Lead should consider how many people, they think it could reach per hour
  • Design, build, install and commission the experience, working in collaboration with the museum team and providing off-site technical support throughout the exhibition
  • To develop something that gains international coverage for Bradford during its Year of Culture.

We have kept the topic of the brief deliberately open in order that the creative response is limited only by your imagination. The challenge is to develop something that gains international coverage for Bradford and the museum by pushing boundaries and doing so within 310 sqm. 

The museum is looking to present something we could never have thought of ourselves, but that is intimately connected to our collections and subject matter. It should be rooted in City of Culture 2025, and something that audiences will remember for years to come. But most of all, we want this experience to inspire wonder.

Timetable

  • Friday 1 December 2023 – Tender launched
  • Friday 16 February 2024 – Tender closes
  • 26–29 February 2024 – Interviews
  • Friday 1 March – Inform successful Creative Lead
  • 11 March – 1 April – Contract negotiations
  • Tues 2 April – Project commences
  • April–June 2024 – Concept design
  • July–October 2024 – Developed design
  • October–December 2024 – Technical design
  • January–February 2025 – Prototyping/off-site build
  • April 2025 – Open to public
  • January 2026 – Closes at NSMM and deinstall

Budget

The budget for the Interactive Digital Commission is £550,000.

This fee includes all project-related costs and is exclusive of VAT.

How to apply

The full tender can be found on the In-Tend website at the link below. Here you will find a lot more detail and a much fuller explanation of the commission.  

Guide to using our tender portal (PDF)

Reponses will require:

  • A visual and/or narrative concept
  • Operational approach to delivery, including a breakdown of proposed team 

Apply via In-Tend here

The deadline for all submissions is 5pm (GMT) Friday 16 February 2024.

Access

Download an Easy Read version of this information.

Please note that we are not able to talk directly to interested parties. All questions must go through the In-Tend system via the link above. 

If you have access needs for using the In-Tend system, please contact our Procurement Manager Sarmad Al-Asadi at sarmad.al-asadi@sciencemuseum.ac.uk.

information sessions

In order to provide as much clarity as possible we will be holding webinars on 25 January, 31 January and 6 February 2024. Here we will give additional information relating to:

  • The Science Museum Group 
  • The City of Culture 
  • The Born in Bradford study
  • The logistics of the gallery space
  • The collections and subject matter of the museum
  • Q&A about the project 

If you are interested in attending these sessions, more information will be published through the In-Tend system in the new year.

If you have any additional requirements to access these sessions, please contact our Procurement Manager Sarmad Al-Asadi at sarmad.al-asadi@sciencemuseum.ac.uk to register this.

We have been doing some background work on this project with our external consultants, Mediale, who will remain with the project through the selection process.