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“Data! data! data!" he cried impatiently. "I can't make bricks without clay.”

The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

 Welcome to Week Four_

Welcome to Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of Things—we're excited that you've joined us in this experimental Massive Online/Offline Collaboration (MOOC). 

The Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things MOOC is designed to be conducted over 6 weeks starting on August 23, 2016 to October 6th, 2016.

Welcome to WEEK FOUR - at this point in the process we begin to focus on moving our ideas towards prototypes.

Over the course of 6 weeks you and your teammates will ideate, design and prototype a 21st Century adaption of Sherlock Holmes that embraces a set of core principles. A prototype could be a game, an immersive storytelling experience, an enchanted object powered by IoT, a Sherlock AI bot, an AR or VR project, a learning program for youth, an experience that makes social impact and/or something else you dream up. The choice is yours.

We're experimenting with letting people into the MOOC at any point in the 6 weeks. So if you're just seeing this for the first time or if you need a refresher we recommend you start here

The "Baker Street Irregulars" is the back channel for the MOOC. It's where you'll find help, can ask questions and share resources. Click here to join. 


Please post challenge submissions for Sherlock Storytime5x WhyAppreciative Inquiry and Shaping a Design Question on the Baker Street Irregulars Facebook Group.  The challenges have a rolling deadline so if you're behind don't worry as the MOOC is open to new participants throughout its duration. 

CHALLENGE WEEK 3, 4 & beyond
WEEK THREE's challenge the "Marketplace of Ideas" continues into WEEK FOUR and beyond.  To receive an invite to the doable prototyping platform (aka "Scotland Yard") please complete this form. Once you do we'll send you an email invite so keep an eye open. If you don't receive one please email us at 

Join us at Scotland Yard 

1. Please watch this video 
2. Make sure you have completed WEEK TWO & THREE's challenges
3. Complete this form
4. Look for an invite via email to join 

For those using gmail the emails from the MOOC will show up in your "promotions" folder until you add us to your contacts. Read more about it here

*We're experimenting with a decentralized open MOOC format. An area of particular interest is enabling participants to join at anytime - meaning that people can join throughout the 6 week duration of the MOOC. So if you're seeing this for first time checkout the Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things quickstart guide to help you get up to speed. 



Focus: Entering the Marketplace of Ideas + Prototyping 
Estimated time to complete: 120 minutes 
Number of Challenges: 1
Number of Lecture Videos: 5
Number of Podcasts: 1
Number of Articles: 1 
+ A Playlist  of some immersive projects for inspiration 
+ Story & Code Bonus: A look at World Building 

WEEK THREE forensics - take a moment to reflect on the previous week.  

Special Event - hangout with MOOC instructors and hear from special guests via uber conference every Sunday. Next hangout is September 18th at 3:30pm - 4:30pm EDT click here to RSVP


The hashtag for the MOOC is #SherlockIoT - Click here to view activity across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Vine and more via the MOOCs Sherlock Stream.

Social accounts for the MOOC
Twitter - @SherlockIoT 
Instagram - SherlockIoT
hashtag - #SherlockIoT
Facebook Group


  MOOC weekly hangout _


Sarah Henry - data researcher & designer  

This week we take a look at a new prototyping platform called doable. We catch up on WEEK THREE of the MOOC and discuss what's coming up in WEEK FOUR and beyond. In addition Sarah Henry, a data researcher and civic tech designer, stops by for a convo on how data can be used creatively.

0 - 6:54 
MOOC update, doable prototyping platform, what to expect for WEEK 4 and beyond

6:54 - 11:50 
Update from the Sherlock Hack at the Made in NY Media Center + a look at the NY team's prototype

11:50 - 53:27
Interview with Sarah Henry about emotional data + creative uses of data within storytelling and prototyping

53:27 - 57:06
Wrap out

Click here to listen to the most recent MOOC hangout. 




Welcome to the Test phase of the EDIT process. In this phase you'll be turning your ideas into prototypes. Jorgen explains the last step in the EDIT process and also briefly setups what to expect in the MOOC this week.

Click here to watch. 

How can you rapidly prototype ideas? In this talk Nick shares methods for prototyping with paper and code. It all starts with the question that you're trying to answer. But where do you start and how can you iterate in a way that helps to move your ideas towards implementation?

Click here to watch. 

In this talk Lance discusses the notion of a 21st Century Rewrite - the creative space where rapid prototyping and storytelling intersect. What does it mean to creatively fork a project and how is the MOOC embracing an iterative design and prototyping process?

Click here to watch. 

Bonus Viewing


As we move into the ideation and prototyping phase of the MOOC, we thought it'd be interesting to share some immersive story/play based experiences. In an effort to provide some creative inspiration, this playlist includes examples that are fiction, doc, browser based, mobile, physical objects as well as live events. We've left the playlist open in case you have something that you'd like to add as well. 

Click here to view the playlist


 Dose of Sherlock Holmes _


Archetypes and Phenotypes:
The Memetic Life of Sherlock Holmes by Ashley D. Polasek 

This lecture offers a model for engaging with the Holmes character as it evolves across various adaptations. Utilizing concepts from biology, memetics, and adaptation studies, the lecture will explain some of the processes that can help you make sense of the complex web of interrelated adaptations of Sherlock Holmes. Click here to watch.

Ashley D. Polasek is an internationally recognized expert in the study of Sherlock Holmes adaptations. Both her MA thesis and doctoral dissertation interrogated the subject of Holmes on screen, and she has published several academic articles in leading journals and presented numerous papers exploring various aspects of Sherlockian film and television throughout the US, UK, and Europe. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a fellow of the Centre for Adaptations at De Montfort University, and is a member of both the Baker Street Babes and the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes. Ashley is the co-editor of Sherlock Holmes: Behind the Canonical Screen, published in 2015 by BSI Press. For more info on Ashley visit  @SherlockPhD

 Enchaned Objects_


Sherlock Holmes and the Tools of Deduction

Sherlock Holmes’s extraordinary deductions would be impossible without the optical technologies of the 19th century. 

"In his paper “The Art of Forensic Detection and Sherlock Holmes,” Ing deduced that when working at a micro-scale, Holmes would have most likely used  a “10 power silver and chrome magnifying glass, a brass tripod base monocular optical microscope probably manufactured by Powell & Lealand.” The specific brands for these tools are never mentioned in any Holmes story, but Ing notes that these items were the most popular at the time..."

Click here to read more 


Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things

"Some believe the future will look like more of the same—more smartphones and apps. David Rose has a different vision: technology that atomizes, combining itself with the objects that make up the very fabric of daily living. Such technology will be woven into the background of our environment, enhancing human relationships and channeling desires for omniscience, long life, and creative expression. The enchanted objects of fairy tales and science fiction will enter real life."

Click here to view


  Non-judgmental feedback _




1. Please make sure that you've completed the "Appreciative Inquiry" and "Shaping a Design Question" Challenges for WEEK TWO

2. We're inviting participants of the MOOC into PLEASE WAIT for an email invite - it will come from doable. To get invited PLEASE FILL OUT THIS FORM

3. When you've received an invite to the "doable" platform you'll please visit to sign in. We created a video to give you a simple overview. Click here to view.


Scotland Yard is all about "Yes and..." thinking
In the video below Jorgen provides an overview of how to get started with "Non-judgmental Feedback." The goal of non-judgmental feedback is to shape your response in the form of a question. Try to build upon what you've read within someone else's idea by starting your question with the words "Yes and..."

VERY IMPORTANT As the ideas begin to appear on Scotland Yard please leave 3 questions as a comment under 5 different ideas that are not your own. These questions should embrace "Yes and..." thinking. In order to do so please try to start your questions with the words "Yes and..."

Click here to watch

DEADLINE: Please complete by Monday, September 19th 

If you haven't already please make sure to join the Baker Street Irregulars Facebook Group. From now until the end of the MOOC much of the work will be done within teams. The Facebook Group is the best way to stay in touch and updated about the MOOC.

Join the Baker Street Irregular Facebook Group to get the inside scoop on the MOOC. Introduce yourself and get comfortable. This is where things are asked and answered. A special group of consulting detectives helping each other out while sharing knowledge and skills. 


 Meet the instructors_

Jörgen van der Sloot develops creative thinking strategies. He is co-founder of FreedomLab Future Studies and lead developer of its ThinkLab methodology. In a ThinkLab a team is challenged to deal with a wicked problem from a future perspective in order to construct a shared worldview, vision and strategy. As a host and enabler of such strategic and creative conversations Jörgen helps a group of people to take an outside-in perspective. He designs a collaborative space and a collective mindset that generates new thinking and creates solutions for the future.   @medialoco

An alumni of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, Lance Weiler is recognized as a pioneer because of the way he mixes storytelling and technology. WIRED magazine named him “one of 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood.” He sits on two World Economic Forum steering committees; one focused on the Future of Content Creation and the other examines the role of Digital Media in Shaping Culture and Governance. He is a founding member and Director of the Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab and a professor at the School of the Arts. His newest immersive storytelling project is entitled Where There's Smoke, an autobiographical immersive experience that mixes theater, storytelling, machine learning, game mechanics and fire.  @lanceweiler

Nick Fortugno is a designer of digital and real-world games and co-founder of the game company Playmatics. Fortugno has been the designer, writer, and project manager on dozens of games, serving as lead designer on the downloadable blockbuster Diner Dash, award-winning serious game Ayiti: The Cost of Life, CableFAX award winning Breaking Bad: The Interrogation and MUSE award winner Body/Mind/Change, as well as games with Red Bull, Disney, AMC, the Red Cross/Crescent, PBS and USAID. Nick is the co-founder of the Come Out & Play street games festival and teaches game design and interactive narrative at The New School – Parsons School of Design. @nickfortugno

In addition to your core instructors there will be a number of guest speakers who drop into the MOOC over the next 6 weeks.  This presents a rare opportunity to hear from leading practitioners working in the immersive storytelling/play space.

 How the MOOC works?_


Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things is a decentralized MOOC (massive online/offline collaboration). This means that we are utlizing a number of sites and services. 

Forensic Files via MAILCHIMP   - The core of the MOOC will be delivered weekly via email. Over the 6 week course you'll receive a new email each week with lectures, tasks and challenges. You can find an archive of all the emails here.

Baker Street Irregulars via FACEBOOK - Need help? Looking to share insights? This closed Facebook group is the backchannel for the MOOC. Our goal is to establish a peer based learning & doing space. In order to do so we ask that you help your fellow sleuths. Click here to checkout the group. 

Watson's Notebook via MEDIUM - As you work in teams you'll be documenting your journey throughout the MOOC. Each team will create a Medium publication in order to record and share your progress. Starting August 30th click here to see Nick & Lance's Medium publication that is documenting their prototyping efforts leading up to the Sherlock event at Lincoln Center in early October.

Scotland Yard  - When we reach week three we'll open a special ideation/prototyping space. In order to gain entry to this special space you'll need to craft a Team Design Question and submit this form.  When we receive the form we'll send you an email invite to the prototyping platform. 

221 Baker Street - New to the MOOC? Checkout this quickstart guide to help you get up and running. 

The Strand Magazine - MOOC media will be available via YouTube and Soundcloud. Lecture slides will be available via Voice Thread. You'll be able to find the links you need in the weekly Forensic Files emails. 

 Sherlock links_ 

Sherlock Wiki - new to Sherlock Holmes or looking for a refresher. Checkout the Baker Street Wiki by clicking here

The works of Arthur Conan Doyle - looking to find a Sherlock Holmes story click here


 A collaborative space  

We're working hard to establish a non-judgmental space that embraces "Yes, And..." thinking. This applies not just to your design challenges and work product, but also in the way that you communicate and collaborate together in team and collaborative workspaces. We have a few collaborative guidelines that we've used over the course of the project that we'd like to share with you.


- Keep it fun

- Be kind

- This is a non-judgmental space

- Listen with intention

- Speak with passion

- Embrace "Yes, And..." thinking

- You are in an experiment

- This is emergent

- We embrace the fuzzy

- This is a copyleft project

- Learn Do Share


 Story & Code __
Alex McDowell - World Building (FoST 2016)
McDowell and his interdisciplinary students are designing storyworlds that unfold across multiple media platforms, including those that don't exist yet. 
Click the image to WATCH
Story Thinking: how Sherlock Holmes can help us understand and embrace emergent technologies.  Click the image to READ
Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things is a prototype of the Columbia University School of the Arts' Digital Storytelling Lab (Columbia DSL). The project is released under a Creative Commons International 4.0 Sharealike License. For more details see below. 

Creative Commons License
Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things by Columbia University School of the Arts' Digital Storytelling Lab is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at & - the project was initiated by Lance Weiler, Nick Fortugno, Jorgen van der Sloot and a global community of creative thinkers & doers
CopyLEFT2016 Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab open prototype

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