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We Can Create Profile: Tomas Roope

We Can Create 2011 speaker Tomas Roope of Rumpus Room talks to Idealog

As we gear up for the design and art showcase that is We Can Create, here’s a little more about speaker Tomas Roope, one of the founding partners of London’s Rumpus Room, who work closely with sister Kiwi film production company, The Sweet Shop. 

Roope’s first project, anitrom, launched in 1995, was awarded the “Most Outstanding Contribution to Digital Culture” as part of the first Europe Internet Week. He also started the interactive department at Tomato in 1998. 

The Rumpus Room specialises in hybrid communication—fusing real world, interactive and social platforms. It looks for new ways to raise brand awareness through engaging audiences at an emotional level. 

With a track record of innovative global projects, the team works with advertising/ media agencies, local and international brands, broadcasters, charities and government agencies.

The Rumpus Room works with its sister film production company, New Zealand’s The Sweet Shop, on integrated online campaigns, delivering traditional film craft, interactive participation and the servicing of communities. 

Roope has won several awards including three D&AD silvers and a Gold Lion, and was nominated for the Design Museums British Insurance Design of the Year 2009. He has produced permanent and temporary installations for several international exhibitions and events, working with internationally acclaimed creative minds such as Ron Arad, Rankin, Mark Farrow, Alan Yau and Danny Boyle.

What do you most want to do when you get to New Zealand?

Do my talk and not mess up.

Your top three ingredients for creative success:

1.Risk taking: just because it hasn't been done before it doesn't mean it 

2. can't be done (but it usually means its fundamentally tricky). 2. Don't be frightened to make mistakes, but you must learn from them. 

3. Knowing that confidence is good and arrogance is bad. There is always a possibility (faint) that you are right and everyone else is wrong.

Explain how it is that you work in an undefined space:

I think there are several reasons. The first is that I am easily bored and the exploration and invention that comes with undefined is never boring. Secondly, I think I always wanted to compete with the best and never had enough self-belief to go head to head in an established creative area, so tried to invent one—it’s easy to the best if you are the only one doing it.

What’s the next big bright spot in the realm of emotional communication?

As usual I overestimate the speed but underestimate the impact of change. The key trends that are going to fuel change in "social entertainment" are both cultural and technical. 

There is growing expectation by audiences that they can significantly impact and be included in their experiences. In parallel this desire can been realised technically as back channels are allowing for far richer contributions, and the computational power available on "cloud" are allowing for these contributions to be integrated into content in a way inconceivable before.   

There is a growing desire and the technical capability for us to move from objects to subjects of our entertainment experiences.