Research Projects

Explore the future of value beyond money in a dynamic workshop activity, run by you!

Using mobilities-informed methods to support new approaches to arts evaluation
The Artcasting project will develop, test and assess ‘artcasting’, a new digital and mobile form of evaluation of arts-based engagement, in the context of ARTIST ROOMS On Tour.
The objectives of the project are to understand how mobilities approaches can enrich arts evaluation; to design, develop and pilot the artcasting platform; to generate a new approach to evaluation that can be built upon in the future; and to influence ARTIST ROOMS evaluation practice.

Perceptions around elder communities in the 21st Century are often enshrined in one dimensional narratives that elevate youth. Yet our changing and aging demographic is of critical interest to health, care and wellbeing practitioners and policy makers in Scotland and beyond. Social isolation and loneliness have detrimental affects on health, including health-related behavioural and biological factors as evidenced by University College London’s study (Steptoe et al, 2013), which established a link between social isolation and early death.

Telling the Bees is an interdisciplinary project working with Tay Landscape Partnership (TayLP) to develop new understandings of beekeeping practices through ‘future folklore’ for new and future generations of beekeepers. The future folklore prototypes will be a community resource and also a probe for academic communities, prompting questions on the role of folklore, literature, tacit knowledge, and traditional ecological knowledge structures. The project runs from April 2015 until March 2016.

Doing things in new ways, solving problems and pushing boundaries are the essence of any good economy.
Good ideas happen in the most unlikely and sometimes most inconvenient of ways. Inspiration, so often elusive, can hit us at the most awkward of moments. Why? Because the ultimate solutions to problems are rational, but the process for thinking them is not.

Adopting more sustainable patterns of consumption offers positive outcomes for improving personal wellbeing, minimising resource depletion and meeting environmental targets. However, changing consumption patterns is hard to achieve because our acquisition, use and disposal of material objects forms a central part of the cultural practices that give meaning to our lives.

Learning Energy Systems is a research project from the University of Edinburgh, and is a collaboration between ESALA, Design Informatics, Informatics, and The Institute for the Study Science, Technology and Innovation.

HAT is a £1.2m multi-disciplinary project funded by the Research Council’s UK Digital Economy Programme. It involves a team of 16 researchers from the domains of Economics, Business, Computing and the Arts across six UK universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter, Nottingham, Warwick and the West of England.

Launched in June 2013, HAT will create the first ever Multi-sided Market Technology Platform for the home, allowing individuals to trade their personal data for personalised products and services in the future.

Sixth Sense Transport research is investigating the extent to which behavioural change and better understanding of transport habits and practices can be facilitated through the creation of a new form of ‘transport network’, based on extending social networking principles to transport users, their individual vehicles and objects around them.

The Community Web2.0: creative control through hacking project sought to explore whether concepts and vocabularies emerging in relation to the Internet could usefully be applied to understandings of off-line contemporary community relations and practices. The project particularly focused upon the role of hacking and read-writing as a characteristic of contemporary online practices and how this is mirrored in aspects of actual life within and across communities.

If you change the representation of value, does it change the values that you can represent?
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are challenging the way we perceive money. Offering new models for financial transactions, based on trust, and maintained through its open transactional database, currencies such as Bitcoin challenge the government-regulated fiat currencies that we currently use today.

“In ten years, nearly every person on the surface of the earth will be online. This will allow us to mine the same huge amounts of data that companies like Google are currently using to their benefit. That data should be open and transparent and everybody will know what is going on across the whole economic value chain at any given moment. Everybody –from small businesses to individuals – will have their own apps to mine this data and make sense of it, to produce our own goods and services and offer them at near zero marginal cost to others in a new sharing economy.” Rifkin 2015.

In the field of mental health research, voice-hearers feel the effects of academic language-use in their everyday lives through the hierarchical language of ‘others’ (e.g. ‘researcher’ and ‘researched’) and stigmatising labels. This project seeks to learn how to listen to ‘others’ and to counter oppressive structures of language-use by building a network of expertise in listening. It brings together voice-hearing networks, independent artists and academics to develop a suite of resources for creative listening practices.

A growing number of academics are exploring the potential of the digital economy to connect communities and empower local economies. This project adds a new area to this field: digital engagement for rural craftspeople. In rural areas, crafting practices play an important role in local heritage and identity, contributing to the local economy and quality of life (Kazana and Kazaklis, 2009; EU Commission, 2009). Crafting industries form part of the creative industries, an important sector in rural areas and a major area of growth in the UK.

As objects around us begin to collect data and make suggestions about what might be desirable, it is possible that they may even be able to design things that we could never think of. Project Thing Tank is doing design research on these possibilities.

Elements of storytelling frequently appear in research, from the germ of new project ideas, and the creation of hypotheses, to development through design processes, and towards new products and services. We also use storytelling for communication of our work, to peers, end users, the wider public and organisations. These stories appear in many guises, navigating tradition forms of writing, practice and critical enquiry, and creating wholly different experiences accessible in a new era of distribution.

Linking data about the wide range of goods that are stored in the databases of high street shops offers positive outcomes for consumers, the wellbeing of salesperson as part of the UK's rapidly expanding service sector, health of the high street and the UK economy. Despite the tremendous connections that are made through shopping experiences on the internet, the high street remains locked in a 19th Century paradigm in which the cash register is the only interface between material goods, the customer and the stock inventory (database) (Carrier 1995).

The Memories of Mr. Seel’s was an AHRC Connected Communities Pilot Demonstrator Project.

The aim of the Memories of Mr Seel’s Garden project was to engage with the rich and complex history of food across the city of Liverpool through a collaboration between a broad range of partners with a shared interest in time, food and community engagement.

Recommended Relics is a smart audio guide created for the National Museum of Rural Life Scotland using Android phones and Near Field Technology. The guide provided additional information on objects by the visitor scanning RFID tags with a smartphone through an audio tour and most importantly also recommended other artifacts the visitor might be interested in, the guide allowed users to rate objects in the museum and also email themselves the objects that they had scanned at the end of their visit.

This Network extends the December 2010, UK Research Councils Ideas Factory "Transport Grand Challenge: Travel behaviour, habits and practice". The Ideas Factory drew attention to the significant contribution that the transport sector makes toward the production of CO2, and whilst it is recognised that improvements in vehicle technologies and fuel choices will reduce emissions, the travel choices of the individual remain complex and entrenched in habit.

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