It’s often the small moments that reveal the most. As part of a visit to NMiTE’s Ingenuity Studio for Rural Media’s Invisible Arts Network (or, as we call it, IAN), one of the nascent university’s Design Cohort offered us a 3D-printed bicycle brake lever to examine: “It’s a tough object - we challenge you to try to break it. No one’s done it yet.” I was last to test my mettle, so I doubt it was my feat of strength that actually broke it, more the accumulated pressure of numerous demonstrations over time. But what was telling for me, was, at the moment of the ‘snap’ (it’s okay - no one turned to dust, Avengers fans), our young demonstrator didn’t sink, didn’t look crest fallen. No, he sprang forward with glee: “Oh, that’s great - now you can see the carbon fibre core that runs through the plastic to give it its strength!” This small moment of positivity encapsulated the ethos of NMiTE - lateral thinking, creative problem solving and a can-do attitude. It was very impressive. It set the tone for the rest of the event, with members of IAN - gathered to learn about CAD design software, 3D printing and laser etching/cutting - immediately feeling free to play, to explore how this technology might be used differently for their art. And that’s the point of IAN, bringing artists and technology together to create challenging digital art for Herefordshire. Combine that mission with NMiTE’s energised approach to education, learning through real-world application, and it genuinely felt like anything was possible in that small container parked outside the Shire Hall. It’s name apt and earned. We all left its corrugated shell brimming with ideas and eager to forge new projects, new collaborations. Hopefully next time I won’t break anything!
Rich Matthews, Development Manager, Rural Media