Speaking Tubes with Emily Godden

Creative technologist, Emily Godden wanted to explore the idea of connection through digital technology.




September 2020

As part of our Creative Conversations in Isolation programme, we commissioned creative technologist, Emily Godden after she put forward the idea of using technology to connect people. As an example, she explained the thinking behind the speaking tubes at Ickworth House. Similar to an intercom, speaking tubes allowed people on different floors to communicate with each other. 

Emily developed the idea by creating an analogue light box using IoT technology (built so that all the desired devices can be connected inside a specific network for sharing data and information without any manual intervention) which connected to a phone number. This was then based at The Hare Salon in Brandon with Brandon Creative Forum, and we asked people to share their #LockdownGuiltyPleaures – what has gotten you through lockdown? – and to send them to the number pictured. The answers were then brought up on the light box. Here’s how it turned out…

Jill from Brandon Creative Forum and Emily with her light box at the The Hare Salon with owner, Craig.

Over the few days that the light box was in place, we had over 50 responses from visitors to The Hare Salon and on social media. Many of the responses were around the themes of food, drink and being outside.

The project inspired people to consider the positive elements of their every day, however small, and the fact that lockdown, if anything has instilled a deeper appreciation and connection to those moments.

Neelie – “Have to admit food has been mine. Went on to 4 meals
a day and as soon as I had finished one meal was thinking about the next.”

Lorna – “the days we had shopping delivered have become very exciting”

Desiree – “Jane Austen adaptations of persuasion, discovered the 1940 version of pride and prejudice, Indian styled bride and prejudice. Meditation, yoga, going for walks, reading my sons’ book Skyward, singing and dancing around the house”

Hayley – “Wine, mostly.”

Lorna – “well I didn’t mention the cocktails but yeah, we’ve learned some new ones”

Siobhan – “I read a great book called belleweather rhapsody by Kate Racculia”

Desiree – “German cake. It is Zwetschgen – plum season”

Ali – “Gherkins and Cadbury Wholenut!”

Anna – “Working with some amazing people! Rediscovering our beautiful local parks & green spaces and a more local community feel – feel blessed”

Louise – “G&T”

Nigel – “Eating 5 meals a day!”

Tim – “A larger glass!”

Alice – “My cat Jeeves, I adopted him at the start of lockdown and now I can’t imagine my life without him now!”

Lorna – “I have to say telly has been a big one – 2 seasons of The Rockford Files and watching Dr Who from the ninth to twelfth doctors has been ace!”

Leanne – “Books, finally learning to cook curry from scratch, and buying a new bicycle!”

The Fens Mag – “The hope that lockdown will end soon!”

Emily – “Puppies!”

Roger – “Gardening”

Sophie – “Being in my garden”

Jack – “Home improvements and games”

Patrick – “Fish and chips…and curry sauce”

Regina – “Reading old favourite books (again!)”

Claire – “Fancy Dress Quiz nights with the family and all the beach walks”

Geniveve – “I have to agree with Jack – DIYing, painting, upcycling and having a good clear out has been cathartic!”

Dom – “Cadbury’s Giant Chocolate Buttons… at least a bag a week”

Holly – “Trying out new arty activities and making/eating lemon drizzle cake”

Julie – “Good people”