Tim Cowlishaw

Designer, Researcher, Technologist

Cards Against Television (2017)

Project with BBC R&D

A scruffily hand drawn logo that reads “Cards against Television”

One of my first projects with BBC R&D as part of the Tellybox project, overseen by my incredible friend and colleague Libby Miller (who basically taught me everything I know).

A hand holding three brightly coloured playing cards in front of a TV screen – the cards say things like “A documentary” “About music” “less than half an hour”

Tellybox” was a speculative prototyping project investigating the ways in which people choose television programmes while watching together with others, and the social role that TV plays in their lives. We used the game mechanics of a co-operative card game to investigate the sources of tension and conflict when choosing TV programmes with others, and identify means of resolving them – before extending the game to allow it to be used to actually make programme choices, using RFID tags on the cards and a prototype set-top-box running on a Raspberry Pi.

The same three cards in front of an RFID reader and raspberry pi on a table

We presented this work at the V&A Digital Design Weekend 2016, and at TVX 2017. With further development from the rest of the team, this eventually morphed into the 5-2-1 Tellybox prototype on BBC Taster.