Our History

We established the company in October 2015, and transformed into a Community Interest Company in 2019 (UK Company Number 09849074).

Highlights include:


  • The idea was born at a residency at Somerset House called The Small Museum, in March
  • We incorporated in October, working out of Hans Sloane’s old house in Bloomsbury


  • Our first commission, “Big Stuff from the British Museum”, in April
  • Hired Charlie! Yeah!
  • Our first branded hardware, the progress bar Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
  • Tom’s lovely The Planets prototype pops out over a weekend
  • Early design thinking about a Box that can listen as well as speak


  • Flirting with the Raspberry Pi Foundation commences; press!
  • We connect with educational concepts of 21st Century Skills and object-based learning
  • Tom escapes the fracas to join Sketchfab
  • Gill Wildman coins the phrase “brainraising” to celebrate our first joint box-making session, which Adrian, Tom, Charlie, George, Gill, Dan, and Fiona all worked on to make five Boxes (!)
  • R&D on Make Your Own begins
  • First great outreach commission with Camden Council; lots of kids, lots to learn


  • Major commission with the Smithsonian Institution, including research trip to DC, to hand-deliver Boxes to Title 1 schools (and meet the kids)
  • Moved to Hoxton, in Shoreditch, out the back of the National Circus School (we’ll tell you about that at the pub one day)
  • Part of the spring cohort of the Young Foundation Accelerator
  • A collaboration between British Museum and National Museum of Iraq results in a Box in Baghdad that speaks Arabic
  • Declared V1 of the Box’s “skull” design (that’s the outer shell)
  • Successful Crowdfunder raises £20k for the company, our only outside investment
  • Made our biggest run yet, 80 Boxes
  • Initiated self-funded product R&D phase, to research Make Your Own, with 40 international pilots
  • Build the concept of “admin cards”, objects in each Box that can help you configure it, using the same UI as the Collection objects



  • Strong first quarter, with Make Your Own kit sales all around the world
  • COVID-19 hits
  • July: Company declares a “state change”, shrinking operations to conserve energy as cultural sector is in disarray; shop stays open