Co-creating Future Research

Through the Co-creating Research initiative, Creative Futures bring together talented researchers and creative practitioners at the University of Brighton to develop ideas that push the boundaries of art, theory, and practice. We host collaborative workshops, events and projects connecting researchers who are eager to work with others and generate exciting new ideas for future enquiry.

For 2021 the focus of Creative Futures is to enhance collaborative research in the arts and science. Aiming to nurture applied collaborations and new fields of practice and theory within the University of Brighton, Creative Futures encourages new interdisciplinary research that uses an arts/science interface.

Banner image with abstract pattern, detailing symposium dates

A two-day Symposium that connects creative practitioners, scientists and researchers working across the arts, science, society and technology.
What is the role of the arts and technology in times of complex social  problems?
What does art have to offer to science?
How can collaborations between very different disciplines work?
Where do I start if I wish to work collaboratively?


  • Boredomresearch – Vicky Isley and Paul Smith
  • Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts – Ben Roberts
  • Anna Dumitriu – bioartist

Participants will have an opportunity to attend hands-on workshops, show-and-tell and paper presentations, and keynotes, on the 5 and 7 of July 2021. Online.


Overview of past activities

18 July 2018 Co-Creating Future Interdisciplinary Research
This workshop brought together University of Brighton researchers who use a co-creation process to develop and explore boundary-pushing ideas for future research. Attendees submitted applications outlining their initial ideas, and these were developed during the day. The ideas that developed during the workshop were supported further by Creative Futures.

Find out more about the participants of this workshop in the co-creation zine

Co-creating research

6 Nov 2018, 9 Jan 2019 and 6 Mar 2019 Creative Research Methods Labs
Following on from the Co-creating Interdisciplinary Research workshop that run in July 2018, Creative Futures funded a series of workshops entitled Creative Research Methods Labs, convened by Helen Johnson. These events brought together academics and postgraduate researchers from across the University to explore creative research methods through presentations, discussions, networking, and arts-based research activities. Moving beyond the sessions, a core group of participants sought Higher Education Innovation Fund ( HEIF) support through the Brighton and Sussex Medical School and established the creative methods consultancy, Coastal Creative.
Website Coastal Creative (

Workshops included

  • Values led creative methods in academic research – Values and Sustainability Helen Johnson engages workshop particpants in discussionResearch Group
  • Using digital communications technology in landscape as a gateway for accessing new audiences in research – Jane Whitaker, and Hannah Sofaer of The Beacon Matrix
  • Collaborative Poetics – Helen Johnson
  • Women and Domesticity – Vanessa Marr
  • Community theatre workshop – Root Experience
  • Performance art workshop – Caroline Osella and Helena Waters
  • Autoethnography and new technologies – Pauline Rutter
  • Good ethical practice in arts-based research/interventions – Alison Cotton

12 June 2019 #MoreCultureLessMedicine
Led by Creative Futures and supported by the Royal Society for the encourgement of arts manufacturers and commerce (RSA) and Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) Public Health. This evening of presentations and discussion brought together different perspectives from the city. It positioned the University at the nucleus of Arts, Health and Wellbeing activity as the City begins to brand itself as a Centre of Excellence in Arts, Health and Wellbeing and led to representation of the Centre for Arts and Wellbeing on the BHCC Cultural Framework – Arts and Wellbeing steering group.

Find out more about the event and watch the panel here.

June – July 2019 Visiting Research Fellow co-hosted with Centre for Digital Media Cultures (CDMC)
Visiting Research Fellow Rebecca Pardo Sainz is a photographer, researcher and senior lecturer of photography and cinema at the Faculty of Communication at Universitat Abat Oliba CEU (UAO CEU) in Barcelona (Spain). She joined the University to work together with CDMC member Dr. Patricia Prieto-Blanco. During this visit they co-authored a 45-minute presentation for the Oxford Auto/Biography Conference, developed an article for publication in a Spanish academic journal and delivered a public talk on family photography and health/illness.

11 July 2019 Extraordinary and Everyday Utopias: Shaping shared futures Symposium
This one-day symposium was yet another outcome of the Co-creating Future Interdisciplinary Research workshop and was convened by Jess Moriarty and Matt Adams. The symposium gathered academics, students, writers, artists, and practitioners committed to developing imaginative, creative, and ethical narratives of desirable futures to meet contemporary social challenges.

Keynotes: Activist and author Sohaila Abdulali Photographer and social commentator Miguel Amortegui
Contributors: Katrina Abbatuan, Matt Adams, Mary Gearey, Fergus Heron, Paul Howard, Jess Moriarty, John O’Donoghue, University of Brighton Suryamayi Clarence-Smith, Kate Meakin, University of Sussex Molly Drummond, University of Keele Tony Kalume, Diversity Lewes Christina Reading, Independent Artist and Researcher Neil Ravescroft, Royal Agricultural University Nicholas Van Hear, University of Oxford Sally-Shakti Willow, University of Westminster

Work for the symposium culminated in a number of research outputs:

July 2020 STUDIO LAB – VR maker and exhibition space
Led by Louise Colbourne, this project was initiated to create an accessible ‘maker space’ for researchers within Virtual Reality and shared spatial environments, with a particular focus on addressing the digital divides within the creative industries. This VR facility is run via a web-XR based platform, hosted on the studioLAB website

28 July – 9 August 2020 Grounded: A Season of Screendance
Curated by Claudia Kappenberg, University of Brighton and Fiontán Moran, Tate Modern, the programme Grounded was composed of five screenings, each appearing online for 24 hours, hosted by Coastal Currents, Hastings. Co-funded with the Centre for Spatial Environmental and Cultural Politics and Community University Partnership Programme.

Featured artists
Jordan Baseman, David Blandy, Holly Blakey, Lucy Cash, Lisa Clifford, Phoebe Collings-James, Hugh O’Connor, Oona Doherty, Dave Tynan, Becky Edmunds, Adham Faramawy, HRH, Evan Ifekoya, Onyeka Igwe, Fenia Kotsopoulou, Andrew Kötting, Paul Maheke, Zoë Marden, Ursula Mayer, Harriet Middleton Baker, Graeme Miller, Hugh O’Connor, Harold Offeh, Florence Peake, Sally Potter, Yvonne Rainer, Ben Rivers, John Smith, Eve Stainton, Dave Tynan, Rosa-Johan Uddoh, Cheryl White, Gray Wielebinski.

August 2020 Expanding Dialogues
Expanding Dialogues is a site for cross-disciplinary research and collaboration across and beyond the University of Brighton, which was the result of a collaboration between the Brighton CCA, the research centre Advanced Engineering Centre, and Creative Futures. This programme is built on examples of ground-breaking collaborations, consisting of three videos, an open sharing session and a second feedback session between arts, industry and education.

Rachael Champion, (Artist), Savinder Bual (Artist), Marco Marengo (Advanced Engineering), Penny Atkins (Advanced Engineering), Simon Harvey (Advanced Engineering), Ben Roberts (Brighton CCA) and Polly Wright (Brighton CCA). Co-funded with the Advanced Engineering Centre and Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts.

Find out more about Creative Futures initiatives.


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