United Kingdom (London)
Fam Studio helps young minds prepare for uncertain futures through hands-on learning.
There are many challenges facing the young people of today, such as climate change and its accompanying eco-anxiety or climate injustice that makes it so much harder for some to get ahead. And then there are the rapidly changing technologies that could radically change the type of work we do or even force people out of employment altogether.
So how can the next generation prepare themselves for such an uncertain future? Fam Studio might just have the answer.
Fam Studio works at the intersection of family, environment and technology, creating play-led technology, learning content and planet friendly experiences to help families be better equipped for the future.
It all starts with understanding how future technological trends will impact children and their parents. Fam Studio research these major shifts and translate them into actionable insights and shares them with the industry. They bring in the voices and experiences of children and their families into the designing and prototyping stage, working with clients to make sure that families and their needs are part of the process rather than being treated only as consumers.
Learning, and innovative ways of learning, are at the heart of what they do. Fam Studio Co-founder and Chief Vision Officer Bethany Koby highlights the pivotal role learning has in the trajectory of people’s lives. As she said Fixing the Future festival 2022, “The experiences we have in learning are really formative to the choices we make and also to the feelings we have.”
From digital games and immersive stories to physical subscriptions and engaging workshops, Fam Studio work across a range of projects. One example is the Arcade Coder, a tactile, programmable game console where children can learn to create animations and even playable games. It’s a tactile gaming experience that combines technology with a tactile board of 144 illuminated buttons. It builds skills in game design thinking, while at the same time encouraging families to spend time together, addressing the parents’ concerns that too much screen time can negatively impact health, education and social skills.
Daniel Hirschmann, co-founder of Tech Will Save Us (a partner on this project) explains that it is the combination between the tech and the physical product that make this project so effective.
“Typically, in a game that you find on an iPad it’s very much a consumptive experience. There’s a game, you’re playing with it, but it’s a consuming of that content and experience. By creating something that’s physical as well – you go from the digital experience, to something that’s physical, play with the physical, go back to digital – that combination of media types creates a much more enhanced, retentive experience. You learn and you play so much better, more engaged that if it were purely consumptive.”
The project found that 98% of kids using the device created their first games, then programmed a simple interactive animation. Over 60% kept coding every week. This journey is supported with an online Games Designer Club, with additional resources.
Fam Studio works with all types of clients, including toy companies, family lifestyle brands, entertainment providers, businesses delivering services for families, charities, NGOs and iconic brands. They emphasise the importance of putting children and families, and their actual needs, at the centre of design. As Koby says,
“Kids should really be at the centre of how we are fixing the future, being empowered with the skills, the mindsets, the experiences, potentially the inter-generational knowledge that is required to actually live in the world and be participating contributors to this uncertain future that we’re experiencing.”
AtlasAction: Get in touch if you want to partner with Fam Studio. You can also follow them on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Bethany Koby, Co-founder and Chief Vision Officer
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