The Waiting Wall adventure


It’s been a long and sometimes tumultuous journey but it’s really been worth it. Right from the start, The Waiting Wall threw up all sorts of challenges. The initial idea, the technology side of things and the actual building were not easy but accomplished with no major hiccups. However, the real challenges were in the planning, logistics and bureaucracy involved with getting approval and the actual staging of ‘The Wall’. There were times when we were up against so much that we were worried the project would not go ahead and we would just have to be content with doing the project for ourselves and our own enjoyment. 

But perseverance pays off. We didn’t give up and, in fact, we were totally surprised and pleased with how things turned out. Having The Waiting Wall displayed on the large advertising screen on the Brighton Station concourse was something we never thought we could achieve. Never in a million years did we think that this little project that we put together in the spare bedroom, thought up after reading ‘Religion for Atheists’ by Alain de Botton, would become such a media success, well beyond our expectations. 

To date, the has received over 12,000 messages, from the deepest recesses of people’s hearts and minds. Plus, there have been some fantastic articles written in the GuardianIndependentMashable and Huffington Post. Plus, Alain de Botton, whose book inspired the project, was so impressed that he has requested a version of The Waiting Wall for his own website. 

We started the project with the aim of doing something that contributed to the wellbeing of its users. Some people have told us that they found some of the messages quite dark and even disturbing, however, many have been profound, heartfelt and moving. It is almost like aiming a microscope at the collective psyche of our society, revealing the shared thoughts, feelings and angst that we never really reveal to others.

We’ve been moved by some of the comments that people have posted on Twitter:

“Becoming addicted to other peoples secrets” –

“Some pretty powerful stuff here. The Waiting Wall” –

“I’m moved to tears, frank, inspiring, beautiful and terribly sad. The Waiting Wall” –

So we want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who posted a message on The Wall. It would not be what it is without you. Even though the Brighton Digital Festival 2015 has now come to an end for another year, is still very much open. So keep those messages coming in and view them here.

A philosophical journey


In September 2015 commuters will notice a new digital display at Brighton Station. Brighton digital creatives, Free the Trees will be displaying a timetable themed digital display called ‘The Waiting Wall’.

Standing on the concourse waiting for yet another delayed, overcrowded train, will become a rare eye-opening and uplifting experience. Inspired by the book Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton, ‘The Waiting Wall’, referencing commuters’ experiences, is an electronic display of Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall, “that would anonymously broadcast our inner woes,” thereby reminding us that “we are none of us alone in the extent of our troubles and lamentations.”

For last year’s Digital Festival, Free the Trees produced a mobile app called ‘Histograph’, which created a collage of the user’s photograph with local historical photographs, that the user could then share on Facebook and Twitter, or send as a postcard from their phone.

The Brighton digital festival is a community-driven grassroots festival celebrating digital arts and culture. It draws an audience of over 41,000 people to more than175 events held throughout September.

Test our App!

Do you enjoy history and want to learn in a fun, interactive way? We are looking for 10 to 13 year olds to test our Historical Heroes App “The Story of Anne Frank”.

We want the app to inspire whilst teach and entertain. All you need is to own an iPad and download the app. Then after a few weeks of using it we will ask you a few questions with you and your parents to give feedback on the app.

Those who take part will receive a mention in the “Thank you” section of our next app.

Interested? Just drop us a message in the form below and we will contact you as soon as we can.

Please enter your contact details and a short message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Learning history IS fun


Forget about those boring history books – digital publisher Free the Trees have created fun and interesting interactive learning apps that inspire children and parents alike and connect them with history through today’s most up-to-date technology.

The Historical Heroes series of interactive iPad apps retells the stories of famous historical characters that are taught within the British National Curriculum. The stories come to life with animations, and learning is applied through fun interactive elements like quizzes and factual timelines.

Free the Trees believe in supporting the legacies of important historical figures and being a charitable publisher, they donate 10% of profits to charities related to the historical heroes. The first of the Historical Heroes apps, The Story of Anne Frank, is being supported by The Anne Frank Foundation, and 10% of profits will go to UNICEF. So not only will the purchase of these apps encourage learning but they will also go to supporting charities.

Going beyond traditional learning methods, the Historical Heroes apps will delight and fascinate children, and encourage them to emulate the best of what these historical heroes can teach us; things such as overcoming adversity and prejudice. And parents can be confident that they are giving their child a head start by supplementing their learning within the National Curriculum.