LATEST ARTICLES

VR Playground for your audience

Can you remember swinging in the playground as a child: enjoying sensations of speed and weightlessness as you swooped high and low; laughing with friends, hoping they didn't spot that you were a little scared? Thrill Engineer, Brendan Walker certainly can, and he's harnessing those sensations to take you on some incredible, action-packed adventures. So, jump aboard a playground...

Washing Machine: dramatic thrill ride?

A few years ago, Samsung invited the Thrill Engineer to swap his boiler suit for a lab coat. I was asked to conduct scientific research to answer some pretty tough questions: why do odd socks go missing; what's the the probability of it happening; and what can Samsung do about it? The result? An in depth advertorial for Samsung's...

Engineering Fun: The Story of Orton & Spooner

I've been invited to guest curate the physics and engineering section of this new exhibition by the National Fairground and Circus Archive (NFCA) A PDF of the exhibition poster can be downloaded here). I reflect on Orton & Spooner's remarkable achievements, through the lens of my own contemporary practice. Some of my own work held by the archive will...

We need to talk about thrill: advice for 16 to 18 year olds who are P&P-curious

If you're anywhere between the ages of 16 and 18 then your appetite for sensation seeking is at its height, and your perception of risk is rock bottom. Go and have some fun! - you don't need advice from me. No, I'm talking about how the practice of Engineering Thrill can work as a great example of...

Six Lethargies

This summer I had the pleasure of working closely with folk-rock musician and artist Keaton Henson as he developed a new composition that explored his personal relationship with anxiety. Together we created interactive stage lighting, which we designed to reveal and amplify an audience's varying states of anxiety elicited by the six different movements of his composition. Keaton's orchestral...

which is most exciting: TV or Cinema?

If you love public social occasions and location-based entertainment, then the darkest months of the coronavirus pandemic will have seemed very long indeed. Cinema was hit particularly hard, as large indoor public gatherings were outlawed. So what did movie-lovers do? Without any alternative, they gravitated towards private home screens and private Netflix accounts. What's not to love about that...

Roller Coaster Challenge: win a badge

This week, out of the blue, and amidst everything going on, I was sent the most amazing message and photograph from this chap, Mylo. Mylo and his dad are stuck at home. They watched my Royal Institute lecture on The Science of Thrill. Mylo was so excited that...

the world’s first inverting looping playground slide

The following account is recreated from interviews with those who were there, and then dramatised for the internet. All video footage contained below is real, unedited, and as shot by independent witnesses. Slow zooming closeup onto shiny red 1970s telephone. It rings. Thrill Engineer, red boiler suit, looks up from experiment. Whippet wearing brain monitoring headset continues to runs on...

The Art and Science of Thrill Rides

Friends at Frontier Developments asked me to be the brand ambassador for Planet Coaster, and give a lecture to thousands of fans at their Expo in 2017. This video gives you the complete lecture, which I have since delivered at New Scientist Live. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-qFplNdEYw I jumped at the chance to work with Frontier for two reasons. Firstly, Planet...

Punters: auto-portraits of fairground thrill

I produced a collection of images capturing the emotions of riders at the fairground as they experienced a moment of ultimate thrill. I built a body mounted auto-portrait machine that detects the emotion of thrill through real-time sampling and analysis of physiological reactions. As a rider experiences euphoria, the machine fires its camera mechanism, automatically taking a...

Thrill Engineer at 32,000 feet

British Airways thought that their customers would enjoy reading about the things I take with me when I fly the world on my adventures. I'm in the seat-back pocket of every BA flight this month. Open me up (page 42), take a pic on the plane, and post on Twitter and/or Instagram (@ThrillEngineer). The best entry will get a...