Today I have a special guest post from Zoe Philpott and the creators of Ada.Ada.Ada. What’s that, you ask? Read on!
To coincide with the bicentenary of Ada Lovelace’s birth, Philpott Design have created Ada.Ada.Ada. Combining interactive storytelling, wearable technology and an immersive setting to celebrate Ada as mathematician, collaborator on Babbage’s Analytical Engine, author of the world’s first computer program, and inspiration to both women and men in STEM fields today.
Ada Lovelace is the only legitimate child of the infamous Lord Byron. Instead of becoming a poet, Ada became a ‘poetic scientist’ and was dubbed the “enchantress of numbers” by her dear friend Charles Babbage (inventor of the first mechanical ‘Turing complete’ computer) in response to her mathematical prowess combined with vivacious socialising.
Ada wrote the world’s first program intended to be run on a computing machine. It was Ada’s creative perspective on mathematics that allowed her to recognise the potential of computers in the future. Ada’s unique vision was the inspiration for countless scientists after her.
“The Analytical Engine weaves algebraic patterns, just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.” – Ada Lovelace.
In response to Babbage’s extensive drawings of the first general-purpose computer – the ‘Analytical Engine’ – she envisaged a world in which computers would become the tool of human imagination. It was within this analysis that she incorporated the first bonafide computer programme. She published her ground-breaking notes in 1843, before her contribution was written out of history!
The innovative one woman show Ada.Ada.Ada. is the brainchild of award winning writer/director/performer Zoe Philpott. She says: “I was walking around central London – seeing all the statues of men and thought to myself – where are all the women? we are 50% of humanity, yet rarely appear in history. So decided it was time to address this imbalance. And where better to start than with Ada Lovelace.”
Zoe is an interactive storyteller with over 15 years in performance and technology. She founded “Moral Support” multimedia theatre company to “cross boundaries in storytelling” collaborating with artists, astrophysicists and computer scientists. Their award winning “Faith Hope & Charity” appeared at The National Theatre, London. She created virtual theatre for education using gaming technology with Immersive Education, winning a BETT for Twelfth Night and a BAFTA nomination for a physics creative learning tool called “Krucible”. She choreographed 4m high industrial robots for Ford, and created a crowd controlled driving game for Ford in India. Last year she directed an immersive theatre production with leading immersive theatre company Punchdrunk for women’s empowerment charity Girl Effect, and she worked with Google and The White House to engage girls with computer programming via 56 christmas trees and 50,000 addressable LED lights. You can follow Zoe here @zophilpott.
Zoe Philpott says “Ada needs to be a household name. Yet she is scarcely a footnote – this must change. We need your help to write Ada Lovelace back into history.”
Ada.Ada.Ada. will not only be updating history by telling Ada’s story, as an audience member, you will become part of the analytical engine and you will enter Ada’s mathematical mind through her LED dress!
We don’t want to give too much away but our technologist @CharlesYarnold is currently experimenting with 4.5k addressable leads and 2.5 kilograms of Lithium-Polymer batteries to bring the dress to life! Check out these pre-production photos:
This is a crowdfunded project with Phundee who not too long ago were a start up, based at Campus London, a space run by Google for entrepreneurs. The only way we can make any of this happen is if we reach our funding target. As of this posting we are 53% there already! If you would like to see the finished spectacular 550-LED programmable Victorian dress that will be Ada’s costume which will be controlled by ‘Ada’ live as she interacts with the audience, using conductive pads on the fingers of her evening gloves…We need your support, And if you want to see it up close and personal, we also need your support, to ensure we are able to tour the show across a number of regions in both the UK and internationally. Of course we will give you something in return. A mini 3D printed difference engine? An Ada Lovelace tattoo? or even your own production of the show at your house or event? And there is more, you choose, at: https://www.phundee.com/reward/campaign/ada-ada-ada-1.
Gavin Starks, CEO, Open Data Institute, says “Zoe is an exceptional, engaging story teller, enticing her audiences to enter different worlds.”
Elizabeth Barber, Client Director of Rada in Business, says: “In this wonderfully interactive and engaging performance, Zoe Philpott bridges past and present to highlight the significance of Ada Lovelace’s achievements and their impact on today’s technology.”
Tony Miller, Director, CRM, EMEA for Disney, says “I was blown away by the Ada experience – a fresh take on history and the impact it has on the world we live in, and take for granted, today. An inviting and intimate production that encourages audience participation is a must see for any event, be it for team building, client entertaining, or a company celebration. From start to finish it keeps you entertained knowing you’re learning something new. A must see.”
Micah here again. As this post is going up, there’s only 7 days left in the crowdfunding campaign. Hurry over and visit. That 3d-printed difference engine looks mighty tempting…
Special thanks to Holly Seager, the social media coordinator for Philpott Design, and helped make this happen.
I’m working on bringing more Ada-related content to these pages. If you like this, share it, or give a shout-out in the comments. For Ada-inspired fiction, check out Time Travel Geek-out, free. And register to win a free Ada Lovelace book.