Bonfire Dog is a narrative design, interpretation and digital consultancy, working with:
Our projects interpret heritage collections and landscapes, advocate for governmental policy change, develop new audiences and new understandings of complex social issues, create innovative artistic interventions, and research and implement new approaches to the act of telling stories across media, disciplines and industries.
Bonfire Dog is a narrative design, interpretation and digital consultancy, working with national museums, galleries and archives, international publishers, videogames companies, schools, universities and research bodies, charities and design studios, heritage sites and landscapes and other independent partners. Our projects interpret heritage collections and landscapes, advocate for governmental policy change, develop new audiences and new understandings of complex social issues, create innovative artistic interventions, and research and implement new approaches to the act of telling stories across media, disciplines and industries.
We provide a full web design service for smaller charities, heritage organisations, trusts and businesses. This can include conceptual and information design, copywriting and editing, graphic design, social media integration, animations, interactives, database management, ongoing maintenance and webhosting, depending on requirements and budget. All work conforms to the latest standards and innovations in web accessibility, security and responsive design for a wide range of devices.
An interdisciplinary PhD project, the result of the award of a prestigious SWWDTP scholarship and in collaboration with Bath and Bath Spa universities. A practice-based work that combines academic research and industry development, Knole explores the potential of digital technologies for creating immersive, resonant character-led narratives, in particular for heritage intepretation.
In partnership with the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall, we developed an immersive, mixed-reality installation piece, exploring the social and political contexts of 18th-century England through the fictional narrative of a Yorkshire 'cunning woman' and the supernatural 'familiar spirit' who lives in the walls of her house. The installation, presenting a virtual version of the 'spirit' using artificial intelligence techniques and an array of sensors and props for interacting with visitors, is accompanied by the 'cunning woman's' spellbook, giving instructions on how to use the creature to cure the ills and ailments of a superstitious population.
Our experience was later written up as a self-reflexive essay.
We are often invited to deliver lectures and seminars on a variety of subjects, including artistic practice in museums, digital narrative design and virtual heritage. Appearances include:
We frequently deliver workshops and classes for a variety of audiences, from senior academics to school-age children; teaching narrative, interpretation, interactive design, creative writing and coding. Some of these appointments include:
We were awarded CreativeWorks' Creative Entrepreneur-in-Residence funding, in partnership with the British Library, in order to explore artistic and intepretative practice in conjunction with a London heritage institution. Attached to Lines In The Ice: Seeking The Northwest Passage, the Library's exhibition about polar exploration, we used both research and interpretative/artistic practice to examine the many different ways that the Library's audiences could interact with this exhibition, and with the contested histories which it presented.
Using the narrative framework of a fictional Victorian explorer, we produced a 'parallel exhibition', with both physical and online presence, designed to engage the Library's audiences in new ways. Outputs included handmade books which visitors could read, touch and even deface; found and constructed objects presented as actual historical artefacts; musical recordings and performances; interactive digital maps; seminars and symposia; websites and blogs; hidden web servers in the exhibition space, serving secret documents to curious visitors; online archives and interactive fiction works. We even produced a range of ship's biscuits from original recipes, inked with messages and legends by fictional characters, as an attempt at a form of 'narrato-gastronomics'!
The residency was a huge success, helping Lines In The Ice in extending its term for three months and reaching over 15,000 individual visitors. The residency also formed the focus of a chapter of the exhibition's accompanying book, Exploring The Roof of the World.
Though fictional, The Spare Set was informed by extensive research in Shelter's archive of case studies, and helped to instil empathy for the charity's beneficiaries during a complex and politically-charged campaign.
A set of short stories and Key Stage 3 teaching materials developed in conjunction with housing charity Shelter UK. These stories were proposed and written, with illustrations by Paper Moon, to supplement Shelter's annual Gingerbread House Sale run in thousands of UK schools; a scheme in which schoolchildren design, build and sell their own gingerbread houses to raise money for the charity.
We felt that a narrative supplement to the main fundraising activity, telling the stories of the fairytale inhabitants of these houses, would not only inspire creativity on behalf of the children building them, but would also introduce them to Shelter's work; using the characters to appropriately showcase the social problems which Shelter tackles, and providing teaching materials to allow the children's understanding to develop beyond the Sale itself.