An interactive trail around the Royal Docks, East London, with new writing and spoken word poetry by young people. Commissioned by the Royal Docks Team for Join the Docks.


Fight for Peace, Royal Docks Learning and Activity Centre, West Silvertown Foundation, and Youth Empowerment


The Royal Docks Team

CASA Contact

Leah Lovett, Valerio Signorelli, Duncan Hay, Martin de Jode, Andy Hudson-Smith

Quick Facts

ARGH! Mateys is an exciting new augmented reality trail commissioned as part of the Join the Docks Festival. There are eight stops on this immersive tour of the Royal Docks where visitors can experience site-specific poems written and recorded by young people via either WebAR or sms text message. In addition, an interactive map was created using the Memory Mapper Toolkit to support online access to audiences in lockdown.

ARGH! Mateys – Augmented Reality Grounded Heritage: Portholes for Environmental and Youth Stories invites people to walk and discover site-specific writing commissioned from local young people and hidden in digital portholes located throughout the Royal Docks. Visitors can look for the AR markers and titles on signs at locations chosen by the contributors, and interact with them to explore new writing and spoken word poetry as an AR experience or via sms text message.

The AR experience works with smart devices (phones and tablets) up to 4 years old with granted camera-access. Please note, in the old version of iOS, Safari is the only browser supported.

To interact with the markers, visit the website on your mobile device.

  • For iPhone/iPad, use Safari. On Android, use Chrome. If asked, allow access to the camera
  • Point your camera at the AR marker, keeping it square within the screen
  • Make sure that the entire image (black frame) is in the screen

Amplifying the voices of emerging writers from the Royal Docks, ARGH! Mateys has been created by researchers from the Connected Environments Lab together with young people from Youth Empowerment, Fight for Peace, West Silvertown Foundation and Royal Docks Learning Activity Centre. Part of the Bartlett Centre of Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London, the Connected Environments Lab is an early adopter of UCL East. This project builds on previous EPSRC PETRAS-funded research to enable objects in outdoor spaces to converse, from talking trees to a tour of Wordsworth’s poems and conversational gnomes in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Special thanks to the project writers and spoken word artists:

Fatima Abukar
Bisi Alakan
Joel Brown, aka the silent voice
Sarah Hussain
Suhaila Khamis
Angel Okoturo
Ava Rogha

Thanks also to Tom Bayley from Youth Empowerment, and Sarah Barrow from the Royal Docks Team.

Find Out More

Andrew Brookes, Autumn programme of events for Royal Docks cultural festival announced, Newham Recorder, 12 October, 2020.

What’s On, The Royal Docks [website]