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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:47 pm 
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so there is some discussion about changing the setup of the gold room in various ways.
there is some discussion in <a>this</a> thread regarding the idea of sprucing up the room and using it for a chilled out dining space for people to use when films etc. are on.
also the talk of removing/moving the computers, which continued in <a>this</a> thread.

so far we have two suggestions for theme-ing the room; graceland and underwater. Also the idea of building a raised platform mezzanine for the freeshop.

any more ideas, discussion, brainstorming?

i think what has been said elsewhere is true; the space does create the first impression of the forest as a whole-is it necessary to use this space to communicate what the forest is up to as a whole or just make it look cooler/ give it a new coat of paint?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:49 pm 
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ok the links didn't work, here they are again.
http://theforest.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?t=3315

http://theforest.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?t=3304


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:28 pm 
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Just to clarify, the mezzanine plan was to have comfy seating up there, with the free shop underneath. Well, actually when Matt & I first planned it the free shop was at the front of the room, but it's probably better at the back.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:22 pm 
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A problem with the gold room right now is

* The free Internet is in there, it attracts moochers and weirdos
* The free shop is in there, it attracts moochers and weirdos
* The room is out of sight of the cafe where the volunteers and KMs are most of the time, creating a hideout for moochers and weirdos
* And yes, the gold room is the front of the forest

But I dont know what to do about it. I cant see moving the free shop or the computers into the main cafe, as theres nowhere for them to go and it would spoil the cafe. But it would be a big shame to get rid of either the free shop or the computers.

Someone needs to think outside the box.

Also I have watched Red Andy tidying up the free shop and gold room generally quite a lot. He is a helpful fellow.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:48 pm 
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Well, if you want to really think outside the box, then I think ideally the kitchen would be in the front room. That would sure make the cafe more obvious from the street, and everyone would have to go past staff to get in, and all the rest of the seating and facilities would be in the back.

Ain't going to happen, of course. But maybe a hatch?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:35 am 
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what about the talk of wall mounting the flat screen monitors at standing height? that certainly might reduce mooching slightly. the freeshop, i agree, is a difficult one because it is a good thing to have and difficult to put anyplace else. however, if its movement opened up more dining space in the gold room, would this create some space in the main room?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:21 am 
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I like the idea of standing computers. Very good.

And some sort of hole in the wall so we could see from the kitchen to the front room would be great - is that possible?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:40 am 
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That has to be a supporting wall, so it could be quite a job.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:09 pm 
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Shannon wrote:
I like the idea of standing computers. Very good.





the last ttime it was mentioned it seemed that there was cables missing for the mionitors that are down in the office. have they been found or are there any leads as to their location?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:58 pm 
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<i>there were cables missing [...] are there any leads as to their location?</i>

I do hope that horrific pun was unintentional.

What was/is missing? I may have spares.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:51 pm 
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It was some specialised power leads for the flat screens. They don't take the usual kettle leads which is a bugger. But they must be somewhere. Things don't just disappear. Do they?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:38 am 
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surely you mean pun-intentional? sorry.

maybe also in the office? what other potential locations?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:39 am 
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Might it be possible/a good idea to turn the front room more in to an information space/community action space/show of what the Forest in the larger sense is?

I know there have been grumblings that people see us as 'just a cafe' - the front room, I think, buys in to this.

Could we get rid of the tables chairs and make more of an effort with:

standing computers (if we find the parts). To provide computer access to those who have difficulties elsewhere.

Jazzing up the free shop with better storage etc to make more of a show of it and to keep it easier to manage (more compartmentalised storage/shelves).

A bigger show of Forest merchandise - showing off what we produce (currently I feel it is being overlooked as it is stuck between the computers and free shop)

Provide more information boards (to get round of the problem of tatty posters everywhere). The community action board looks great - could we have an 'events with people we support board', a 'photo's from projects we have supported board' Upcoming Forest events/workshops etc. etc.

Basically I like the idea of using the front room to show off and provide space for stuff that is not the cafe. It would also help get rid of the problem of people being put off when their first impression is people asleep on the couches or hovering round computers (it's hard to keep a tab on the space for managers/volunteers dealing with cafe business).

We could still have tables brought in for small workshops/community action events.

Redefining the space could help highlight all the other stuff we do and help to get people to think of us more as the Forest instead of just a cafe with free wi-fi.

I know it means less tables for customers - but quite often (not always) the customers in the front room have bought very little, if anything and are waiting for the pc's or are hanging out with friends drinking/eating their own stuff until they get told off (more often than not giving the volunteers a hard time when they do so).

I think it could help change our image/the feel of the place to become more in line as showing us as an arts/theatre/music/community action collective that has a cafe, rather than a cafe that does some other stuff (but we're not too clear what that is sometimes).

Whilst I have thought the themes suggested are cool, I worry that the novelty can wear off quickly and we could end up with the space reverting back to how it is now. How long would it be until anothe refurb when the novelty has worn off?

I do agree we need to redecorate, but perhaps something a bit simpler would be easier to adapt with non-permanent accessories/decorations for various events (or even themes that we can change with more regularity), in keeping with the rest of the Forest.

Or am I on completely the wrong track?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:04 pm 
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I like Laura's ideas a lot. Bit of a worry about reducing the number of tables and chairs for customers, we are often full as it is, but it would surely get rid of the people sleeping in there.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:09 pm 
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Maybe we could get round that by having folding tables and chairs kept aside to be brought out to increase capacity for customers on busy nights.

If it's not a given - i.e. they are only brought out when genuinely required this means that they will only be used by people who are in the forest to attend events/participate in the space.

Too much hassle?

Or.... on the busy nights we could be moving furniture from the cafe space in to the front room, thus making extra room for performance /dancing/ mingling in the cafe??

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 4:47 pm 
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I also like Laura's ideas a lot. And I also think if the space was furniture free it would provide a place to put furniture from the main room on busy nights, when it can seem like there is too much.

The free shop has been expanded and improved recently. But there is def potential for making more of the forest things on sale. A bigger glass cabinet that is lockable would be good.

My offer of a loft bed/mezzanine is still there, though it has to be considered that jakey types could use it has a place to hide/sleep.

Crazy decorative themes could and probably should be used to more effect in the main room, which at times seems a bit dreary and uninspired.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:16 pm 
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I dug around in the office bunkroom and found the power adapters for the flatscreen monitors. I have tested them all and left them on the shelf with the monitors. There are three monitors, two matching white ones and a smaller grey one. I suggest we use the two white ones for the front room and save the other for some other project like the listening station or kitchen jukebox/bb computer or something.

I think the easiest way to mount them on the wall would be to put in a shelf and use the built in stands on the monitors.

It would be nice if they were at slightly different heights so that both shortasses and tall bastards like me and can use them.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:38 am 
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excellent.

so it seems the consensus is that the standing computers is a good idea and that a crazy theme is probably not worth it (though redecorating is.)

perhaps the best time to act on this would be the next FOH house day, mentioned at the last forest meeting- is this still going ahead? if we figure out what needs to be done by then, we can action it all in one fell swoop.

i really like the idea of making that front room about what the forest does, like laura suggested. At the moment, there is that much going on, that space on the pinboards for new stuff is very limited.

one idea is to move the "what is forest" stuff across onto the other wall and relocating and expanding the shop to make that side of the room devoted to information regarding the organisation and what it does. that said, maybe somethign so text heavy inhabiting a whole wall might look a bit boring.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:06 am 
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Ideas are flowing and things are happening, this is very good.
It would be great if we could concentrate on the Gold Room at the next FOH day.
What about the window, could it be a mini gallery space open for submissions or a showcase for our in-house artists? Or do we love our plants enough to give them proper respect and attention?
How about staining/painting the little square windows above the big window in the Gold Room? They would be sunlit(!) from outside during the day and could be lit from inside at night


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:20 am 
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so the next FOH meeting is with teh VIsual arts one this thursday no? can we meet for FOH at 6? and letthat flow into the 7pm meeting?

palmer found some water proof radge proof mouse/keyboard units we could fit the the out side of the cafe and have the screens leaning up against the window. true freedom. i think is brilliant.

cool.

i think mezzanines for the forest are well overdue. there is some tedious legal stuff we should check out like if we make it and then some one dies because we didn't do it well etc etc........


i think we make an opium den type area where people can make out and its pretty dark with lots of cushions above the free shop will ad a certian edge to the moochers area

x


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:49 am 
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surely the whole idea is to get away from the Opium Den feel to the front room :roll: :D

the idea of people using the internet from the outside is ace but silly. We want people to come in the building not just use its generous resources then bugger off without coming in and seeing what we can offer.

it seems that most people think that everything has to be ridiculous and crazy for them to be deemed "cool" enough for the Forest. often those things don't work, as they are so weird and "insider" that people go "what the fuck" and just walk on. Everyone would like to think people go "what the fuck" and come inside to investigate, but some people can find this place quite intimidating when they first stumble apon it. and crazyness can often adds to the intimidation.

The front room is a place that needs to attract people in, it needs to immediately show what we're about, whats going on, what has gone on, that anyone can get involved, that everyone is welcome. Not just a crazy themed room...however cool a Graceland themed room would be (and it would be fookin cool). themes and crazy people show that we are cool etc. What else do they say about the Forest though?

what are the benefits of a mezanine? do we really need more spaces out of view of the Kitchen which will allow/encourage people to fall asleep? Will it fall over?!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:25 pm 
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lots of good ideas here. i think there is surely a compromise between laura's good idea of information points etc. and the notion of doing something crazy and creative and, even weird.

I think we should do what we want to do and not worry about it too much. I mean: let's create a room we'd want to be in and then have it there.

When it was red room, I would hang out there a lot more.

FOH UNITE! I think the FOH / VA meeting should be at the same time. Unless I am wrong, I believe we there are many artists who might want to contribute to the actiall look and feel of the place. I think the foh aspect of the VA group gives people a real chance to get into the forest and do something (team water!) and therefore provides a very important role.

ry

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:49 pm 
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Keyboards outside is silly.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:47 pm 
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why is it silly. it means we give people internet. it means they don't piss us off. if peoples want tea they come in. thats fine. 24hr free internet. we should have the cave on the street too.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:06 pm 
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we'll have you on the street sonny jim. :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:08 pm 
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keyboards on the strteet is a total winner.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:24 pm 
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check these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/SILICONE-FLEXIBLE-S ... dZViewItem

or, this one is probably best if as well as vandal proof it is waterproof:

http://www.industrialkeyboard.com/html/ ... stee1.html

http://www.eao.com/global/en/products/p ... search.asp

only if we do this can we be ACAF.

oh yes,

Chris xx

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:29 pm 
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So where the hell are these "radge proof" keyboards? I don't believe it for a minute.

Anyway, more seriously:

The window and what goes in it is absolutely crucial. At the moment it is just a barrage of posters and flyers that doesn't even let you see through to the rest of the space.

We need to decide what are the single most important 2-3 things we want people to see in that window when they walk past, and then make sure they can see them all clearly through it as well as into the rest of the space. Anything that is not immediately going to grab people in belongs inside, on a noticeboard, or whatever.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:39 pm 
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Actually I think the outdoor keyboard idea has some potential, if only because it'd be such an unexpected thing to find on the street that it would get people's attention and stop them just walking past.

But it done it should be just one machine, so that it takes up the bare minimum of precious front window space, and it should be set up to have more information about the forest, with lots of photos and stuff. It could do internet access too, but it should at least be a few clicks away, or maybe only available when the forest is closed.

The weakness of those keyboards would be the trackballs though. This is what happened to the ones at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco:

http://www.dnalounge.com/backstage/log/2003/05-gum.html


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:55 pm 
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Metal trackballs might be less susceptible to that though.

This is the cheapest metal keyboard I can find though, 200 quid:

http://www.keyboardspecialist.co.uk/pro ... yboard.htm

For that price we could just use plastic ones and replace them every time they get wrecked for a very long time.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:14 pm 
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Outside computers is a genius idea, but how long before the police force us to end it because people keep leaving mucky images on display and some old lady or religious nut complains? Also there will likely be people (the worst kind) camping out all night to use them, and quite possibly fights over who gets to use them. But it's fine with me if people think it's cool enough to spend the money despite the risk of it being wasted, and more run ins with the police etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:31 pm 
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if we get plastic ones they will not have the tracker ball (also they are available with touch panel i think) - plastic ones will get wrecked by rain.

(although tacker balls can easily be made from adapting an upturned mouse.)

police will not care, and it can have a screen saver that kicks in quite quick to prevent that problem, and reset to home page after 5 mins idle time.

i say we get 5 of the metal ones!

xx

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:33 pm 
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we should get these guys:
http://www.dnalounge.com/backstage/log/ ... guild.html

and this guy:

http://www.dnalounge.com/backstage/log/ ... onkey.html

to install it.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:45 pm 
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100 plastic keyboards for 99p each:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 0165821829

How many nights a year does it rain? How many wet keyboards will start working again when they dry? How long will it take a 200 quid metal keyboard to get wrecked?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:46 pm 
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Actually I am tempted to buy these just to make a sculpture out of.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:15 pm 
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Keyboards are so last millennium. You want to use a webcam and hand gestures. This way, there is no physical contact with rain, radgecunts or chewing gum.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:37 pm 
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A itouch window !


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:57 am 
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There seems to be a suggestion of a meeting this evening in respect of the FOH at 6pm. Not very well advertised unfortunately.

I will try to make it, but due to staffing problems at work this may not be possible. My ideas are above and I am happy to pitch in this Sunday at the FOH day to help put in to action whatever is decided upon.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:38 pm 
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i think that idea was vetoed and will now be a seven laura


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:14 pm 
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here's some stuff from the VA meeting minutes:

Enthusiasm for having computers outside but no-one with knowledge and skills available until mid november- maybe put flatscreens on wall in the interim?

decided that trying to work out colours and plans for the redecoration of the gold room by committee will probably end up with sub-optimum results. It is better if someone who is good at those things works outr what is to happen and then others pitch in to realise it.

jesse has prior experience and skills and has accepted the task- hopefully a plan will be devised in the next few weeks.

everyone agrees that a good use of the wallspace therein would be to represent the myriad activities and events which occur as a part of the forest community- however, some disagreement about how best to do this- will more noticeboards solve the problem of scruffiness?- perhaps some good photos of events displayed well would work in combination with text?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:21 pm 
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I look the coolness of having outside internet, but I am very against buying loads of cheap keyboards. Incredibly, unnecessarily wasteful. And if you go for an expensive one, how long before the punters kill it? How about getting one or two of the cheap ones to see how it goes? Could you install it so that the keyboard is sheltered from the rain (only those who can touch type will be able to use it!)?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:29 am 
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I wasn't serious about the cheap ones. I was using them to illustrate how indestructible the metal one would have to be to be worth that much.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:47 pm 
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It would be nice to have some blown-up photos from events/ or different areas of the Forest to show people instantly what its all about on the wall in the front room.
e.g. a cheesy photo of Volies all smiling behind the Kitchen;
a band rocking out on the stage;
the Garden;
people relaxing on the couches;
the Forest record cover;
the cave;
the toilets...uuum maybe not!
etc, etc.

we have plenty of photos to look through to find ones that sum us up best...not only that, i think it would look really cool!!
:D

just an idea :idea:

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i heartily concur- would like to see those photos from the blender also, andy.

this could also be combined with text that was more permanent- "the forest is n ot just..."or something.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:25 am 
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If we want to put one computer outside as a gimmick I don't care. But I'm against moving all our public Internet computers to outside, if that is what's proposed. I think it would be shit to use them from outside. And the forest wants people to use the Internet, we're always wanting people to visit our website and SIGN UP TO OUR BB. If at the same time we push non-laptop computer users outside we are mixing messages. We will all still come into the forest and use the computers in the office, which is cliquey. I know we currently do a shit job of using our public computers to promote our website and bb, we do nothing except set the website as the homepage, and the computers are always in use by moochers. But, surely we can do better somehow? Standing computers inside might be ok. Or something to do with the new meeting room one day.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:43 am 
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ryan heartily agrees with chombee.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:51 am 
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I whole heartedly agree with Ryan who whole heartedly agrees with Chombee

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:39 pm 
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We still have our laptop which Graeme got for us form Standard Life. This can be the vollie internet/bb sign up computer if we can get it accessible somewhere near the kitchen like behind the decks. Of course it will need to be chained up or firmly bolted down or whatever.

Listening station (desktop pc) would be good for the front room and would nicely compliment the forest shop with all the fine cds we have available to buy.

Let's remember that free internet access is not remotely edgy anymore. But 24 hour free internet on the street, in the rain - that is something else...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:37 pm 
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i know internet is no longer edgy. but it is still a service and it's quite a bad looking thing to say to the people who can't afford laptops that they need to stand outside in the cold. this does not do us any good from a philisophical perspective. the implied meaning of no computers inside but one free one outside is bad.

that said: the idea is weird and sound and rediculous and i like these things.

but, chombee is right. it's like the fact that a lot of new (and really good) art keeps happening in the darkness of the basement while the main cafe walls have not been touched in ages.... it reinforces a notion of US as a collective that I do not want to support or increase.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:21 pm 
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I don't think the outdoor computer thing is really that important at the moment since, judging by the VA meeting, those with the most enthusiasm for the idea lack the time to implement it.

That particular issue won't prevent us from further discussing the future plans for the gold room because none of those plans are likely to stop this idea from being possible in the future if it is to become a reality.

I think the key points of this discussion are to create an inviting space and using it to better communicate the wider range of forest events, activities, aims and achievments.

we have a wealth of photos on the website which document exactly these things, not to mention a wealth of good photographers; a great resource for facilitating this communication,i think.


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