sgp outside day view
sgp interaction
sgp limina tent phone booth
sgp swan lady
sgp limina tent
sgp last night!
sgp last night
sgp outside view
sgp boat service
sgp boat service
sgp life on boats


Rachel Caroline Derrah (co*lab) and Sophia Horwitz (co*lab)  collaborated with the Scatter Collective (a British theatre improv group) along with a number of other interactive performers at the Secret Garden Party Festival (SGP) in 2010- a yearly arts music fest inspired by Burning Man (committed to self-expression/ community/ art/ self-reliance).

The Secret Garden Party is a temporary community that is as free, irreverent, friendly and engaging… we provide the Garden and plant the seeds, but you nurture its life and allow it to blossom.

Co*lab advised the SGP 2010 team in their planning for the festival’s future using new forms of playful, creative engagement.


THE DESIGN // playing for change instead of working for change

Who better to design your festival, than the festival goers themselves.  We built upon events such as Cardboard City in Halifax, NS, and the OASIS game emanating from Brazil and drew inspiration from the better city board game from Copenhagen.  We created a large interactive textile map of the festival where people could physically change and play with all aspects of the festival.  Props and materials were provided that allowed participants to create any vision for the future that they desired.

Over the course of the four days we documented the many iterations through video, photographs and interviews.


THE OUTCOME // shared vision for the future of the festival

After four days of co-creating we held a dialogue with the festival organizers with the goal of taking the participants ideas and visions to next year’s design team.

Our SGP conversations focused on ::

(i) community building & sustainability during SGP

(ii) soft/hard infrastructure ideas to support stronger relationships within the temporary community of SGP

(iii) a vision to spread the wackiness, joy, openness, learning, spectacle, freedom that people thrive on during SGP into our daily lives.