Popping-in?

Our studio is filled with light and music.
There are multiple meeting rooms, a well stocked kitchen, and an indoor garden (with fishpond). Talk to us about access needs, environmental factors and any accommodations we might make to enhance your visit. Pop-in for tea and stay to use a spare desk for as long as you need.

11 Greenwich Centre Business Park,
53 Norman Road, Greenwich
London SE10 9QF

Cog is a Certified B Corporation

Public transport

We’re next to Greenwich train and DLR station. We have a door right on the concourse but it’s different to our postal address.

From Greenwich rail platform

This video shows the route to take from the train that will arrive at Greenwich rail station from London Bridge. There's a gentle slope next to the staircase.

From Greenwich DLR station

This video shows the route to take from the DLR that will arrive at Greenwich DLR station from Bank. There's a lift at the platform level if that's useful.

By car

If you have to come by car, we have a couple of parking spaces. We have a charging point that you are welcome to use if you have an electric car. Call ahead and we'll make sure the spaces are free. Use our postcode (SE10 9QF) to guide you in.

Get in touch

We’d love to hear from you. Use whichever medium works best for you.

11 Greenwich Centre Business Park,
53 Norman Road, Greenwich
London SE10 9QF

Cog is a Certified B Corporation

New project enquiry

It's exciting to chat about potential new projects. We don't have a ‘sales’ team or a form to fill in. Call us or give us a little detail via email and we'll get straight back to you.

enquiry@cogdesign.com

Website support

If you're a client then you'll be best served by calling us or contacting us via ClickUp, otherwise you can use this dedicated email that reaches all of the digital team.

digital@cogdesign.com

Finance questions

This email hits the inboxes of the people who deal with our bookkeeping and finances.

accounts@cogdesign.com

Just want a chat?

Sometimes enquiries don't fall neatly under a heading, do they?

hello@cogdesign.com

Cultural Calendar

A round-up of recommendations and reviews, sent on the first Friday of each month, topped-off with a commissioned image from a talented new illustrator. Sign-up and tell your friends.

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Cog News

An irregular update of activity from our studio. Showing off about great new projects, announcements, job opportunities, that sort of thing. Sign-up and tell your friends.

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Bat Night Market at Science Gallery London (LIFT)

Bat Night Market at Science Gallery London (LIFT)

Alex gives his take on our June Cog Night, where we were taken on a time travelling culinary journey to a (complicated) future without bats.

Our website for London International Theatre Festival (LIFT) is one of my favourite designs of the sites I’ve worked on in my time at Cog. I also loved our previous Cog Night to this biennial festival where we saw The Albany transformed into a beach.

So, I was excited to see what was in store when we visited LIFT two years later for a “strange journey into a futuristic Taiwanese night market.” And the first theatre experience in my life that involved edible “creative food solutions”.

And how was it?

Bat Night Market was quite unlike anything I’d been to before (and I once watched people slow dance with loudspeakers in an abandoned warehouse).

Once we entered the Night Market, it was both overwhelming yet somehow not fully immersive. Between the designated areas it still very much felt like we were in a conference room of a science gallery, particularly as the sound of each area of the performance could be heard easily from the others, and was at times distracting. But perhaps this was part of the Night Market experience.

In the first area we were regaled with great fervour about the benefits of new synthetic bat meat before being offered tasters from petri dishes. The show made great use of their collaborations with real scientists to create convincing video footage of scientists explaining this latest breakthrough. However this didn’t last long before we were accosted by a man in a batman mask (maybe a little on the nose) who told us to “Drop those petri dishes if you want to live!” and quickly ushered us onto our second experience.

What followed was a frenetic game used to learn more about historical bat facts from a strange arcade machine. Whilst it felt slightly contrived and confusing, Justin and I committed hard to doing well, so hard in fact that Justin managed to break his glasses in the course of the game.

A frankly delicious Bao bun A frankly delicious Bao bun
Laura and Lottie in the Bao restaurant Laura and Lottie in the Bao restaurant

Of the range of other experiences, two really stood out to me:

Mia, the aggressive Maître D’ of the Bao restaurant, was exceptional, with excellent timing. Even if you could hear her from across the entire space – and did so 4 times as you made your way through each other area. The Bao buns really were delicious.

And the final experience was perhaps the most successful. It was particularly strange and magical as we donned headphones and watched a shaman dance in memory of bats. I found the dancing genuinely moving and emotional. The use of headphones drew you out from the room and added a whole new level of immersion.

 

The end of some surprisingly moving interpretive dance The end of some surprisingly moving interpretive dance
Marta takes an offering in memory of Bats Marta takes an offering in memory of Bats

The show made frequent reference to the COVID-19 Pandemic and used this as the kicking-off point for the global demise of bats in its premise. However it wasn’t clear if the show was a reflection on the pandemic or just using it as a plot point. Talking afterwards some of the team wondered if this detracted from the show as it was such a strong association for everyone in the audience.

The games were also a strange element often only involving a few players whilst the rest of the around 15 participants in each group stood by and watched (or watched what was coming up elsewhere in the room).

All the actors did a great job with the material and really worked hard to balance the educational angle of the piece with the self-aware silliness of some other elements of the show. But, at least for the Cog team, the educational points were lost in the rest of the experience. On reflection I do think that there were slightly too many ideas fighting to be heard in the show:

The pandemic made bats extinct and eating them was bad – so why are we eating them now?

We need to save habitats for bats but ok we’re being turned into robots by some evil mega corporation lab?

I’m eating bat blood – or was that watermelon jelly?

 

I’m a firm believer in art pushing boundaries and experimenting. But it’s worth acknowledging that if experimental art really is experimental, then more often than not experiments fail in some way. And that’s ok. We can learn* from that and still enjoy the experience along the way.

With some extra soundproofing, I think the show could be even better in hitting the balance of immersion and education.

LIFT Festival continues until the end of July.


*an inconclusive list of bat facts that the team and I remember from the evening:

  • Bats make up 50% of mammals
  • There are over 14,000 species of bat
  • Bats are key pollinators for more fruits than you can imagine – Coconuts, Mangos and more
  • Bats have opposable thumbs
  • Bats are genetically closer to humans than they are to mice