Creativity without Clusters: Overcoming Fragmentation in the Scottish Creative Economy

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: College of Arts

Abstract

The project will support fellowships that aim to support:
- some of the UK's most talented researchers and nurture future leaders
- the broader skills development of high-calibre recent doctoral graduates in the art and humanities, particularly in relation to working with partners to support the wider impact of research.
- projects broadly aligned with the core themes, challenges and opportunities that are highlighted in the Industrial Strategy Green paper
- research which is cross-disciplinary and innovation-orientated"
- the best international talent

Planned Impact

See Case for Support

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description In the project exploring Crafts in the Highlands & Islands
1. BRING CRAFT AND PLACE INTERESTS TOGETHER
Due to the time and space that makers often prioritise when developing their practice, they can develop a deep knowledge and relationship with local heritage and landscapes. Bringing craft and place interests together seeks to bring these qualities of local values to the fore and develop demand for craft as part of efforts in place-making and community-building.
2. STIMULATING PERSONAL JOURNEYS
Each participant's journey towards establishing themselves as craft professionals can be seen as unique and highly responsive to family situations, local influences and other external factors. How do support services ensure visibility and accessibility to resources in key bespoke moments of need? Such a question may need to be explored collectively and built upon smaller units of resource and activity, such as projects, skills development, access to space and equipment.
3. EMBRACE THOSE TAKING A LEAD
Certain experienced practitioners were distinctive for taking on leadership responsibilities aside from their core practice. In recognition of such figures, the ambition could then be to provide leadership training offering knowledge of funding options and how to leverage limited means, local stakeholders and access strategic advice.
4. OFFERING BALANCED GROWTH
When recognising the drivers and interests of craft makers, more often than not they are based on developing the quality of their skills and outputs, while achieving a balanced business model to make their work viable. Services and stakeholders are best coordinated around engaging the quality and qualities of craft making, ensuring an important role for those with knowledge of the industry, and experience of the contexts of place as well, while also engaging those different levels of quality in craft making in order to gain a shared understanding of how to differentiate across limited marketing outlets.

In the project on Digital Design:
1. DATA SHARING technologies such as blockchain and distributed ledger technologies can help to build co-operative knowledge exchange within Scotland's creative industries.
2. IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES these automated tools work best in collaboration with people's own documentation and sharing efforts, not separate to them.
3. GRASS ROOTS NETWORKS provide important support structures in uncertain times.
4. CONSCIOUSLY DESIGNED bridging pathways can enhance cross-sectoral collaborations.
5. DIGITAL DESIGN is a dynamic process that requires lifelong learning. In general, it is advisable that digital skills development programmes are embedded within daily work practice.
6. WHILST EDUCATION IS ABOUT much more than employment, there is also a need for more secure pathways between education and employment within the Creative Industries.
7. FLEXIBLE, PEER TO PEER SERVICES that provide targeted and on demand professional advice are likely to become increasingly important resources for aspiring digital creatives.
8. FOR THE CREATIVE ECONOMY more broadly, flexible IP registration combined with ethical review frameworks might offer a more effective way to encourage innovative collaborations.
9. DIVERSITY INVOLVES building new relationships. Equally, cultural practice takes time to change. Early outreach interventions can provide much needed encouragement for young and non-traditional practitioners.

In the project on Self-publishing:
1. Pathways to publication: The pathways to publication evident from the interviews were multiple. No one account can sum up the work of a self-published author in Scotland.
2. Geography and creative networks: It became clear that whilst some networks existed, not every self-published author had even met another self-published author.
3. Genre and form: Self-published authors work in an array of genres.
4. Support as Signposting: Jules Horne, a self-published writer and traditionally published dramatist, noted that most conventional associations had struggled to point self-published writers in the right direction.
5. Commissioning Services: Both John D. Burns and Fiona MacBain highlighted the process of commissioning editorial and design service in their work. Burns emphasised the cost of The Last Hillwalker but balanced this with the product being prepared.
Exploitation Route They are being taken forward by partners who engaged in the research, as noted in another section of the reporting, especially the work on craft in the Highlands and Islands.
Sectors Creative Economy

 
Description For the partners of Shetland Arts, Orkney Island Council, CHArts Argyll and Isles and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, it has provided important insight into the experiences and challenges for craft makers, as well as examples of the personal journeys, motivations and ambitions that existing support services can struggle to work around. By building on the DING project and network, this has provided an ongoing programme of discussion, activities and new relationships that is helping shape support services, opportunities and resources for craft makers. For example, new projects are being prepared with partners based on the findings of this research to build a cooperative network of academics and organisations as stakeholders involved in supporting creative micro-businesses across Scotland (i.e not just in the Highlands and Islands). Providing a focused research project in the craft sector in the Highlands and Islands has been crucial for supporting design innovation projects delivered through GSA in the region. As such, this provided greater time and insight into existing research, networks and academics related to these themes and contexts. This has provided extensive opportunities for new projects and knowledge exchange, as well as opened up lines of enquiry and discussion to further validate and develop my own research interests and potential pathways to impact. For example, the DING creative growth model used to frame the Craft & Place interviews has gathered increasing interest from organisations such as Interface and the Cultural Enterprise Office, partly through it's application to gather more granular insights in contexts where they have had less reach and experience.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Creative Economy
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description The Value of Creative Growth: making growth work for creative enterprise
Amount £202,184 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/S004653/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 01/2021
 
Description Creativity Without Clusters 
Organisation Government of the UK
Department Orkney Islands Council
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Orkney Island Council are engaged with craft makers in the Highlands and Islands. They project helped with their understanding of the fragmentation of this industry in the region, how it can be better supported, trends, challenges, risk, and opportunities.
Collaborator Contribution They supported the strand of this project which explored the nature of craft industry in the region, providing access to networks, reports, etc.
Impact • Craft & Place paper presented at 'Artisan! Crafting Alternative Economies, Making Alternative Lives' (Sept 2018) - UWE Bristol • Craft & Place in the Highlands and Islands report (Nov 2018) - published in partnership with Creative Scotland • Frontiers of Creative Production (Nov 2018) - talks and panel by all three fellows at DCA supported by SGSAH • Placed-Based Innovation presentation (inclusive of Craft & Place research) (Dec 2018) - at 'Dysfunction Day' at Nantes Business School • DING Pop-Up (Dec 2018) - Presentation of DING and Craft & Place at Submarine Centre, The Tower Digital Arts Centre, Helensburgh • The Value of Creative Growth (Feb 2019 - Feb 2021) - Innovation Leadership Fellowship in the Creative and Digital Economy awarded in January by AHRC (directly targeting myself as a CEEF researcher) • Craft & Place talk (Mar 2019) - to be delivered at Historic Environment Scotland (HES)
Start Year 2018
 
Description Creativity Without Clusters 
Organisation Shetland Arts Development Agency
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution One of the research Fellows of this project collaborated with Shetland Arts to understand the nature of craft production in the Highlands and Islands.
Collaborator Contribution Shetland Arts supported the researcher by providing access to networks and data.
Impact • Craft & Place paper presented at 'Artisan! Crafting Alternative Economies, Making Alternative Lives' (Sept 2018) - UWE Bristol • Craft & Place in the Highlands and Islands report (Nov 2018) - published in partnership with Creative Scotland • Frontiers of Creative Production (Nov 2018) - talks and panel by all three fellows at DCA supported by SGSAH • Placed-Based Innovation presentation (inclusive of Craft & Place research) (Dec 2018) - at 'Dysfunction Day' at Nantes Business School • DING Pop-Up (Dec 2018) - Presentation of DING and Craft & Place at Submarine Centre, The Tower Digital Arts Centre, Helensburgh • The Value of Creative Growth (Feb 2019 - Feb 2021) - Innovation Leadership Fellowship in the Creative and Digital Economy awarded in January by AHRC (directly targeting myself as a CEEF researcher) • Craft & Place talk (Mar 2019) - to be delivered at Historic Environment Scotland (HES)
Start Year 2018
 
Description Creativity Without Clusters Digital Design 
Organisation UK Games Talent and Finance Community Interest Company
Department UK Games Fund
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution UK Games Fund - Research Fellow conducted an independent and rigorous study of the user experience of their aspirational blockchain based IP licensing tool. Potential applications for this tool were also explored as part of that research. The results of this study have been included in summary form within the final Digital Design Futures report and are also the focus of a more in-depth discussion in the "Lightbulb Concrete" chapter to be included in the upcoming Routledge edited volume, Blockchain and web 3.0.
Collaborator Contribution UK Games Fund provided access to networks and users.
Impact • The Supermarket of Life' (June 2018) - Delic, Edinburgh • "Just Speculating (Economics and the Future)" Paper (June 2018) - Institute for Advanced studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh • "What do blockchain technologies imply for digital design industries?" (2018) - ISPIM Innovation • Sharing Insights in the Creative Industries Paper (Sept 2018) - University of Dundee • Blockchain in Games (Oct 10, 2018) - Dundee Blockchain Meetup group • Making A Living In The Digital Arts (Nov 2018) - NEoN Digital Arts Festival
Start Year 2018
 
Description Overcoming Fragmentation in the Scottish Creaive Economy 
Organisation Creative Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The project was comprised of three distinct research pathways all connected to exploring the fragmentation of industries in the Scottish Creative Economy, specifically Craft, Digital Design and Self Publishing. The projects all undertook work that was of interest to Creative Scotland, allowing it to understand more about the fragmentation across the sector generally and these areas specifically. The projects were 6 months in duration and each one resulted in a report for Creative Scotland and other interested parties, presenting the research findings and offering proposals for addressing the fragmentation. The research projects each engaged in qualitative research across the sectors, drawing on the lived experiences of those working in these sectors, generating new research data and original research findings.
Collaborator Contribution Creative Scotland's Creative Industries Officer acted as a mentor to the three researchers across the duration of the project. He met with them monthly on the premises of Creative Scotland and supported their access to data held there as well as staff working in these sectors. He supported there research trajectories, discussed emerging findings, reviewed the draft reports, and presented insights from his role across Scotland. He attended the public sharing.
Impact • The Supermarket of Life' (June 2018) - Delic, Edinburgh • "Just Speculating (Economics and the Future)" Paper (June 2018) - Institute for Advanced studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh • "What do blockchain technologies imply for digital design industries?" (2018) - ISPIM Innovation • Sharing Insights in the Creative Industries Paper (Sept 2018) - University of Dundee • Craft & Place paper presented at 'Artisan! Crafting Alternative Economies, Making Alternative Lives' (Sept 2018) - UWE Bristol • Blockchain in Games (Oct 10, 2018) - Dundee Blockchain Meetup group • Making A Living In The Digital Arts (Nov 2018) - NEoN Digital Arts Festival • Craft & Place in the Highlands and Islands report (Nov 2018) - published in partnership with Creative Scotland • Frontiers of Creative Production (Nov 2018) - talks and panel by all three fellows at DCA supported by SGSAH • Placed-Based Innovation presentation (inclusive of Craft & Place research) (Dec 2018) - at 'Dysfunction Day' at Nantes Business School • DING Pop-Up (Dec 2018) - Presentation of DING and Craft & Place at Submarine Centre, The Tower Digital Arts Centre, Helensburgh • Craft & Place talk (Mar 2019) - to be delivered at Historic Environment Scotland (HES)
Start Year 2018
 
Description 'New coasts and shorelines: Shifting sands in the creative economy' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Engagement in the Creative Economy: Challenges, Approaches and Innovation methods workshop on Shetland
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Numerous Public Presentations of the Research Outcomes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This research project supported three Creative Economies Engagement Fellows, who each undertook a specific research project focusing on a particular sector of the creative industries in Scotland. At the conclusion of the research, they each published a short report intended for industry professionals and policy makes, including Creative Scotland. This was the culminating presentation of the project, open to a public audience, including those who had contributed to the research. The three reports focused on digital industry, craft in the Highlands and Islands and Self-Publishing across Scotland. The audience asked insightful questions at the end, and it was clear that these research projects had just scratched the surface of the sector and the challenges and opportunities presented.

In addition to this final sharing of the project,, the researchers on this overarching project presented their research at more than 15 different platforms, ranging from workshops, to conferences, to symposia and smaller working groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.sgsah.ac.uk/about/news/headline_624144_en.html
 
Description SGSAH Summer School Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A workshop for doctoral researchers on research design.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk for Historic Environment Scotland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invitation by Historic Environment Scotland to present research on craft industries in Highlands and Islands, based on report outcome of the Fellowship.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019