We chew the fat with Pete Hellicar at OFFF 2012
One-part art director and designer Pete Hellicar, one-part interactive expert Joel Gethin Lewis, Hellicar & Lewis is a London-based partnership in the business of “creating groundbreaking experiences that use art, technology and design to take people into the moment and impart lasting memories.”
A recent project for Google saw the pair harness the power of social networks to take real-time input from music fans around the world for a global 24-hour music event for Coca-Cola, and other clients include Selfridges and The British Council. But it isn’t just client work they’re interested in – they have an ongoing project creating interactive therapeutic software for children on the autistic spectrum, and have exhibited their work around the world.
For us, the Hellicar & Lewis talk has been a highlight of the show. We caught up with Pete while we were in Barcelona...
Computer Arts: Tell us a bit about yourselves…
Peter Hellicar: I’m Peter Hellicar. One half of H&L. He's the Joel; I'm the Pete.
CA: What’s the ethos at Hellicar & Lewis?
PH: We’re always looking to push each other. We have a nice rapport.
CA: What’s the partnership all about?
PH: Liberation at work is liberation from work. We like to have fun.
CA: What keeps you fresh?
PH: Box-fresh trainers and two showers a day. And books. Lots of books.
CA: Talk us through one of your favourite project to work on at Hellicar & Lewis so far…
PH: Somantics and ReacTickles Magic have been the favourite job so far. It’s softwear for kids on the autistic spectrum. We’ve both learned more working on this project than any other. It’s been an amazing lesson in stripping back and also how to create intuitive interaction that allows students to explore their own narratives. The process has been nerve-wracking and sometimes difficult. But only because autism is such a deep head-space. You can't take anything for granted, you have to constantly remain observant and on point.
CA: What’s coming up for Hellicar & Lewis in the coming months?
PH: Broadcast and maybe a radio show.
CA: Who were you most looking forward to seeing at OFFF?
PH: Gaudi. He was crazy. I never know what to expect at these things – I think it's good not to have any expectations and to enjoy the surprise of new faces and ideas. It’s great to see and hear the way other artists are working and get a feel for the current head-space of a group of creative types.
CA: If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be?
PH: Blue whale.
CA: Is there anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
PH: Keep the faith. We will get through this. What ever "this" is.