The Creative Technology Research Group launches…

The newest group to be formed in the School, the Creative Technology Research Group has launched! 120 people – including colleagues, funders and local businesses – gathered to witness its birth and play with scented smoke bubbles, watch levitation, test if their creativity was enhanced by smells (such as jasmine and coconut) and learn about the processes and products of the new group.

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The cross-School Creative Technology Research Group brings together staff and post-graduate researchers from informatics, product design and engineering to explore innovation at the point where societal and technological challenges meet. The goal is to create new knowledge, opportunities and relations.

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The group unites basic research into cognitive and social processes with applied work – from making things, to understanding what people can use – including at the point where physical and digital meet. This manifests as everything from the data-enabled objects for cultural heritage to mist-based interfaces and tangible graphics. And the group’s strengths go all the way from discovery to delivery of marketable products and services.

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The group prepared for its first public outing by identifying common themes (including ageing, young people and disability, technology enhanced learning, gaming, environmental issues) and building on these interests.

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At the launch there were workshops showing our methods, such as participatory design of digital traces for the neighbourhood; exploring the seaside circular economy; and Sensory and Emotional Design.

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Later, Marianna Obrist talked about multi-sensory interaction design, Judith Good described work to include those with autism in the design of tools, Phil Watten showed MAVIS, his professional film making app for an iPhone, Sri Subramanian gave an impression of how ultrasound could animate robots, Peter Cheng explained how the concept of electricity can be taught successfully in primary school and Diane Simpson-Little shared a little about what great design processes encompass.

With the vice chancellor Michael Farthing there to welcome the new group into being and Michael Davies (pro-vice chancellor for research) and head of school Diane Mynors inviting guests to make a toast, the birth of the group is now official.

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As the group’s leader, Ann Light also said a few words, stressing the need for partnership and furthering our existing collaborations across the university, city and wider world if we are to link theoretical with practical and on-the-ground knowledge of the kind that helps to design futures.

And of course, Created by US will be there to let you know what those futures will look like… Plus, check out the extra coverage on the event here… 

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