hedgehog lab at the Great Exhibition of the North 2018


14th January 2020


4 min

Ray Clarke headshot

Ray Clarke

Here in the lab‚ we’re currently gearing up for the 22nd June. The date will see the start of an 80 day celebration‚ as Newcastle and Gateshead collaborate to host Great Exhibition of the North 2018.

The event will showcase the North’s finest inventors‚ artists and designers‚ demonstrating the region’s talent in creativity and innovation. Those featured are a great example of how the North is shaping the economy of tomorrow.

Paying tribute to the input our region has had in global developments‚ The Exhibition will also educate around what we can expect from the future of such sectors. Part of the event’s vision is to make those who participate over the course of the Summer aware of the North’s input in driving the fourth industrial revolution. 

This leads nicely to our own involvement. Last week‚ we were named 9th in TechNation’s #NorthernTech100‚ a league table ranking the top 100 fastest-growing tech companies in the North. Elsewhere‚ later this week‚ we’ll be hosting the fifth edition of our flagship event‚ Innovate Now‚ where we’ll be demystifying Industry 4.0 and exploring how giants like Nissan are embracing technological disruption in our region.

Recognition and events such as those above leave us well qualified to be involved in The Great Exhibition. But even then‚ they barely scratch the surface of our input in relation to engaging people and spreading the word about the great work done in the North.

Having promised immersive experiences‚ hands-on activities and family-friendly fun to the three million who are expected to participate during the Summer‚ we’ll be ticking all of The Exhibition’s boxes when we unveil our work to bring Stephenson’s Rocket back to life.

The project has seen our XR team work to develop a virtual reality experience that allows you to ride the historic locomotive that defined a new era in transport during the 1800’s‚ taking you on a journey through different eras with a nod to the future of rail transport.

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Elsewhere‚ a companion app will make use of an augmented reality feature allowing you to use your phone’s camera to take and tour Stephenson’s Rocket wherever you go.

The experience‚ which has already been predicted as one of the highlights of the event‚ will be available for the entire length of The Exhibition at the Discovery Museum. The iconic steam-powered locomotive itself will also be homed at the venue throughout the Summer.

Elsewhere‚ we’re delighted to confirm that our Newcastle HQ will host an event as part of The Great Exhibition‚ which will be held in partnership with Aging 2.0. The event‚ a design hack that will form part of The Exhibition’s workshop programme‚ will be led by our Chief Design Officer‚ Ray Clarke.

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The event will help small and medium sized businesses to enable design thinking‚ as well as pushing them to consider how they can tailor their digital experiences for ageing audiences. 

Following an introduction to the prominent issues concerning ageing audiences and digital offerings‚ attendees will be broken into teams for an interactive workshop. During the remainder of the afternoon‚ these teams will then collaborate to address a number of set challenges. 

More info on the event‚ including information on dates and how to apply‚ will be released in due course. To be the first to find out when tickets are available‚ follow us on Twitter at @hedgehoglab

The hedgehog lab team are delighted to be a part of The Great Exhibition‚ and we are excited to celebrate the region’s valuable input into innovation across the world. 

Great Exhibition of the North receives funding from a variety of sources including public and private sector. For more details‚ visit their website at