Money No Object at the V&A Digital Design Drop-in

Every month on a Saturday, in the V&A Sculpture Gallery, Irini organises a Digital Design Drop-in session, where the public can meet digital artists and designers who explore the intersections of art, design, craft and technology. It is advertised as an opportunity to see new cutting-edge projects and chat with artists about their work, and on 30th August 2014, it was the turn of Money No Object to be on show.

After an early start from Bristol, Seb Madgwick, Laura Kriefman, Phill Tew, Jonathan Rowley and I all arrived at the museum to test out our tech in situ for the first time, and to set up our equipment in the stunning and busy Sculpture Gallery. I felt really nervous about sharing the project so publicly for the first time, and just hoped that people would find the work interesting.

Fortunately, all the equipment and technology worked, and soon there were family groups and individuals crowding around the table to shake hands, give me a hug or a high-five, and to watch Laura tap-dancing donations onto the info graphic, shown on a big plasma screen which was connected to my laptop.


Generally, the high-five and the handshake were the most popular, until we encouraged people to have a go at the tap-dancing too. The hug tended to be offered in sympathy when visitors realised that not many people had chosen to give me a hugged donation!


This snapshot of the info graphic was taken at the beginning of the drop-in session, but by the end we had raised an average of £1000 per hour in fictional donations to the V&A, while the museum remains free to visit. The interactions have been set at a £1 donation per gesture and I am currently in discussion with MasterCard to see if they might be able to match the fictional transactions with real sponsorship for the Digital Design Weekend. Let’s hope they will handshake hands on the idea, as enthusiastically as these great donors did: