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Science Of Spying
Commissioned by the Science Museum for the Science of Spying Exhibition, 2007

  • Field Operative Elf scoping property

  • Traditional image of Santa – believable?

  • Field Operative Elf inspiration image

  • Field Operative Elf inspiration image

  • Field Operative Elf with compulsory white beard.


Proposal 1. Re-branding Father Christmas for the 21st Century.
The Science Museum's key audience is 8-12 year olds...exactly the age children start to question the reality of Father Christmas. We felt that children are more savvy these days and the idea of an over-size, aged man travelling all over the world in one night, going up and down chimneys, eating pies and drinking sherry is certainly easy to question.

We set ourselves the brief of trying to raise the age where children start to question the concept of Santa Claus. To fit into the spying theme we imagined his activities, during the evening of the 24th/25th December, to be straight out of Mission Impossible. With the help of modern stealth technology his job of getting in and out of properties quickly and unseen would be much easier (and therefore more believable).

SO... Now Father Christmas (FC) remains at Alpha Base (in Lapland) and controls his worldwide team of Field Operative Elves (FOE), uploading building schematics and suggesting the best entry points. The FOEs can also download a live satellite feed of the heat footprints of the people in the house (as seen on the TV series 24) 2 large footprints = parents room, small footprints = childs room.

The Elves are dressed in stealth gear with a head mounted display and a special rucksack offering quick access and making climbing and entry much easier than FC's usual sack.

The project was exhibited at the Science Museum in London an then toured globally for 5 years.

  • CCTV image from doll

  • CCTV dolls


Proposal 2:
CCTV toys portrays a near future scenario where children hack into their toys with wireless cameras, mics and video senders. These toys can then be surreptitiously placed around the house with the aim of either de-bunking the scary places or checking up on parents.