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Twitter and London Design Festival unveil #PoweredByTweets winners

A pigeon that tracks air control and a Twitter-enabled tap to track donations to WaterAid are among the winners of the Twitter and London Design Festival #PoweredByTweets competition.

The contest, which kicked off three months ago, was launched to encourage Twitter users to create something beautiful via the social platform, or use Twitter to solve a problem.

Three winners were selected in each category and each of the entries will be built by Pixie Labs and exhibited during the London Design Festival at Somerset House in September. In addition the winners, which include Cheil, WaterAid and Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital, will also receive a Twitter Ads budget to help spread their ideas even further.

Speaking to The Drum Twitter’s head of creative agency development Helen Lawrence said the competition was created to show another side to the social media site.

“The publishing side [of Twitter] is really big,” said Lawrence. “I think people know us for breaking stories, and photos and content and videos but I think the competition is about seeing the other side of it and the potential Twitter has.

"When you tell people Twitter can do anything they come up with the weirdest stuff you could ever imagine which is wonderful. We wanted to see that really broad spectrum of the really fun stuff, the frivolous stuff but also the stuff that can genuinely change the world.”

This is the first time Twitter has run the competition and the company will now launch it in Italy and look to continue a roll out into other markets. “Recognising amazing people in the community is something we are hoping to do a lot more of,” added Lawrence.

Take a look at the winning designs below.

Solve a problem First prize: Pigeon air patrol

How could Twitter be used to monitor the quality of air and reporting back in real time on Twitter? That was the question posed by creators of Pigein air patrol Pierre Duquesnoy and Matt Daniels. "The answer might not seem obvious but we thought it was a flock of pigeons" said Daniels. Each pigeon will be equipped with a backpack capable of measuring carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels in the atmosphere and send updates to Twitter which will then be Tweeted out.

Second prize: #WordWatching

The top three words of 2013 were heavily influenced by internetisms: ‘404’, ‘hashtag’, ‘fail’, noticed #WordWatching creators Mark Carroll and Alex Willimott. In 2014 that went even further. The number one ‘word’ was a symbol — the heart emoji. #WordWatching will ask, how do we keep up with language and how does it evolve?

Third prize: #TweetTaps

"How can we use Twitter to keep people engaged after they’ve donated?" Asked creators Kate Waters, Perry Price, Pat McCaren, in partnership with WaterAid.

After pledging a monthly donation to WaterAid, users are assigned a #TweetTap to indicate that they’ve chosen to support, for example a tap in Muele, Mozambique. This Twitter-enabled tap will then update the donor on how much water has been produced and the impact it’s had on the local community — creating a shareable, tangible result and a stronger bond with the donor.

Create something beautiful First place: #PutRedBack

"Across the UK, there is a shortage of blood. By law, gay men are not allowed to donate blood," said #PutRedBack creators Vincent Versluis, Florian Hollander and Oliver Dennis from Cheil. "We think everybody deserves the right to help another human being. That’s why we want to help create a beautiful interactive art piece that uses Twitter and the London Design Festival to fight for this human right. The exhibit will feature a flag-shaped installation filled with different colour liquids resembling the rainbow flag. With each Tweet, we will add a symbolic drop of 'blood' slowly putting red back in the rainbow."

Second place: The social mindscape

"Chemotherapy can be a traumatic and exhausting, and #mindscape will provide an uplifting distraction from the natural anxieties of waiting and receiving treatment, which can span months if not years," said The social mindscape creators Adeola Akande and Eloise Parfitt from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital.

The social mindscape will look to harness the power of Twitter to enable cancer patients receiving chemotherapy to communicate non-verbally and create a visual #mindscape they can collectively enjoy in real time.

Third place: Word By Word

Word by word will use Twitter to reveal a previously unreleased book word by word and each word of the book will be ‘released’ by Twitter in real time.

As a Tweet appears somewhere in the world containing the next word of the book, so Word By Word will release the book’s next word — until the entire book has been gradually revealed. The centrepiece in the exhibition will be a typewriter, which types the next word in the manuscript whenever a Tweet is detected that contains it. The manuscript will then be revealed gradually on one long scroll of paper.

Word by word was created by Jeremy Garner, Dom Fisher, Yvain Granier, Pierre Briffaut and Albert Seleznyov at Hive Works.

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