Escape Live, originally opened their doors in Birmingham, roughly 5 years ago. Since then, they have expanded in size opening an additional four sites across the West Midlands and the South East, however their development of further new game rooms are limited by the size of their premises. Escape Live contacted FabLab Coventry in regards to having props designed and made to go in their latest game room which was under development.
Escape Live, approached FabLab Coventry in March 2019, to originally discuss the potential for a commission. However through further discussion, and introduction to the Collaborate to Train project (CTT), the concept idea fell nicely into a placement opportunity for both the business and a volunteer placement.
Currently, the props Escape Live have for their games rooms are expensive to have designed and built, and in many cases they require multiple versions to be available as spare in case of any damages. Due to the robust requirements regarding strength and durability, FabLab’s volunteer and resident carpenter, Tony, took the lead on the project.
Working alongside Escape Live to ensure the designs had the durability they were looking for, Tony began to develop a concept idea which would cover all their basis, exploring the different types of materials that would offer the strength and stability, as well as means of creating a weathered, old style look onto the material.
Once settled on the design and materials, Tony made a start on creating the chests, cutting timber to appropriate sizes and joints to add strength, whilst Jack, Technical Skills Instructor at FabLab Coventry, began looking at the different available options to create a jewel which would sit prominent.
Tony made light work of the job, getting all pieces cut and assembled in a matter of days, the jewel took a little more conversation to ensure the best outcome was achieved. Once all the pieces of the chest were completed and assembled, it was time to give it that “weathered” look. Using a mixture of techniques and stains, the chests were finally ready for their final finishing touches: adding hasp locks, handles and jewels.
Escape Live offers a range of team building and skills through their different game rooms, which is very much aligned to FabLab’s goals of upskilling local people, albeit it in a different capacity. This project enabled Escape Live to not only gain local support, but more important support which involved them at every step within the process, rather than having to outsource the production of the chests.
This Collaborate to Train project proved highly successful on a number of grounds:
- The business gained specific tailored support relevant to their design brief.
- The placement created a high quality, durable design to meet specific requirements.
- The project fell nicely into further developing local communities to acquire skills and strength civic contribution