Creative Economy Engagement Fellowships in Heritage

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

Abstract

"The project will support fellowships that aim to support:
To support the career development of talented early career researchers and nurture future leaders

To support the broader skills development of high-calibre recent doctoral graduates or early career post-doctoral researchers in the art and humanities, particularly in relation to working with creative economy partners to support the wider impact of research.

To support projects which will contribute to the Creative Economy

To support research which is cross-disciplinary, collaborative and innovation-orientated.

Planned Impact

See case for support

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Alderman 
Description A working prototype game called 'Alderman', based on Aberdeen's medieval records. In the game players take on the role of Aberdeen's chief magistrate and make decisions that affect the welfare of the town. The situations from which these decisions are closely based on archival sources. The game also provides detailed historical commentaries explaining how game content has been adapted from historical sources. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact This product is the focus of dicussions currently being held with the University of Aberdeen's commercialisation officer, Aberdeen City Council and chief executive of Intelligent Plant Ltd about the establishment of a spinout company to create games based on historical research. 
 
Title Greyfriars Kirkyard App 
Description For the project 'Framing Heritage Through Play' I created an app prototype that used gameful design principles to encourage alternative uses of the at-risk heritage site Greyfriars Kirkyard. It was created using the software Adobe XD and ProtoPie. The user finds specific areas of the kirkyard based on sound and image clues, which then unlocks further information about that area. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Given the positive response to the prototype our project partner Edinburgh World Heritage is considering developing a publicly available app based on the feedback from this prototype. 
 
Title Pop-up Studios with Young People: co-creating zoetrope animations 
Description The design and delivery of the pop-up studios draws on my Participatory Design research practice. Based on my overarching research questions for this project, the key topics explored during the pop-up studios with the young people included: • Perceptions of official forms of heritage and their engagement with this • Forms of unofficial heritage • Representation, and ownership over this • Sense of identity and belonging • Most valued cultural heritage assets Prior to the studio sessions, the participants were asked to reflect on what heritage means to them and to bring with them an artefact that embodies this to the studio. After an ice-breaker activity using postcards to get to know each other, each participant introduced their heritage artefact to the group, describing its provenance and why it was valuable to them. The participants' artefacts were then used as prompts in group discussions about connections and disconnections to their local cultural heritage. As the concept of heritage can have wide and varied meanings for individuals and take many forms, I was keen for the young people to define this for themselves. In seeking a participant-led discussion, I designed a visual prompt that provided a range of examples as well as indicate how heritage can be both visible and tangible, and invisible and intangible. Following this, I introduced the groups to the zoetrope animation technique, which, for many of them, they had never seen before. I did this by showing some example videos before demonstrating how to construct one and create an animation strip. This first studio session was used for the participants to experiment with the technique - having a go with the different drawing, collage, and 3D modelling approaches. The second studio sessions were more focused on the development of design motifs as heritage expressions for their films, taking inspiration from their heritage artefacts and from the insights shared during the group discussion. During the final session, the zoetropes were filmed and edited digitally to create a collaborative film. Here the participants learned editing skills and choose music to narrative their films with. The studios culminated in pop-up exhibitions, where the young people invited their family and friends. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact For the majority of the participants, this was the first time they had been introduced to this animation technique. During the studios, the young people worked individually and as a team in the co-construction of their final film, where they also learned new design and editing skills. It was through this creative engagement, as a form of thinking-through-making, that the participants engaged in critical conversations and sense-making surrounding their local cultural heritage. As an approach, project collaborators have request templates of the studio tools to use with other groups in the future. Methodological insights from this project are currently being developed into an academic journal article - contributing to the field of Action Heritage. 
 
Description This fund supported four fixed-term post-doctoral researchers, undertaking four projects across Scotland broadly conceived as 'digital heritage'. Each project had its own aims and outcomes. These are captured in the range of entries. In summary, achievements and discoveries across the four are:
1. The development, testing and evaluation of a novel, studio-based approach for undertaking Action Heritage with young people.
2. A deconstructionist framework is the most fruitful theoretical position for historians to take when making games.
3. The collection of data from local, national and international sources interested in the digitisation of textile collections.
4. A heritage digital app prototype.
Exploitation Route 1. Methodologically, there is the potential to develop the studio approach further as a creative engagement framework for future Action Heritage projects. This approach could be tested with young people in other rural and urban localities to explore and express contextually-located cultural narratives, so to foreground previously hidden voices in critical heritage debates.
2. This project was carried out in advance of the digitisation of Shetland Museum and archives textile collection. This has not as yet begun. Upon commencement the findings of the research will play a significant role in the creation of the museums online catalogue. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the dissemination of research results will act as a model, or template, for Shetland's small community museums, furthering the drive for the digitisation of their textile collections and encouraging inclusive content creation, sharing and use.
3. It is hoped that the new heritage mobile app will be made widely available to the public and it can also be used as a framework that could then be used in a variety of heritage sites.
Sectors Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description 1. Local socio-cultural impact emerged through this project by provided groups of young people with a creative forum to reflect upon, explore, and, in cases, critically challenge island cultural heritage discourse. Reflecting on the efficacy of the studio-based approach, it provided the participants with an extended period of time to experiment, prototype, learn new design skills and to collaborate with each other, which was less structured than a more traditionally facilitated workshop; an attribute that allowed for the engagement to be more participant-led and spontaneous. Through participating, the young people were also given opportunities to learn new skills in animation and use a diverse range of materials, and in filming and editing. Furthermore, the participants chose to share the creative outcomes of studios with their family during the pop-up exhibitions. Whilst out with the scope of this project, there is the opportunity in the future to develop, measure and more formally evaluate a youth-focused creative engagement framework for exploring the future of cultural heritage to inform policy, drawing on key learnings from this project. 2. Based on the work of this a project a company is currently being planned. This company would make historical games, starting with a full game based on the prototype created during the project. It would be embedded in interactions between the business, heritage and education sectors. It stands out from the majority of historical games with its guarantee of authenticity, by rooting its products in historical research and marketing its institutional and expert provenance. It is hoped that the products made by this company, as well as contributing to the Scottish economy, will support tourism in the Aberdeen area and encourage interest in Aberdeen's heritage amongst a wide audience.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Economic

 
Description University of Aberdeen Research Futures Fund
Amount £460 (GBP)
Organisation University of Aberdeen 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 06/2019
 
Description Digitisation Strategy for Shetland Museum's Recognised Textile Collection 
Organisation Shetland Museum and Archives
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This collaborative project was between the University of Glasgow and Shetland Museum and Archives (Shetland Amenity Trust). Ahead of digitising the museum's knitted lace collection the project undertook an investigation to understand the most appropriate approach to digitisation for collections of cultural and living heritage in which the provenance of objects is securely embedded in the local community. I collected research data collected through questionnaires and interviews with museum staff, the local community, designers and craftspeople, and visitors to the museum (webpage and in-person), and staff and students working with textiles.
Collaborator Contribution As the collaborative partner Shetland Museums and Archives was especially supportive of the research project. They advertised the project through there webpage and mailing lists, allowing me to expand on the range of interviews carried out. During my four weeks in Shetland carrying out the interviews, they provided me with office space to carry out some interviews and focus groups, and arranged for me to have a desk at the textile exhibitions to allow me to interact with museum visitors. They additionally facilitated introductions to the smaller community museums and the local textile college.
Impact The School of Humanities at the University of Glasgow has a long-standing and close relationship with Shetland Museum and Archives, and this project has reinforced this relationship. The key findings of the research form a stakeholder report, which although currently in draft form, is undergoing preparations for dissemination to the community museums. Relationships with the smaller community museums have been developed with a view to further collaborative projects, notably in relation to the findings of particular interest to them. These are currently in informal discussions. The development of these relationships has been of particular benefit to me in my current research role, in which I continue to work with Shetland's museums.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Exploring Youth Cultural Heritage Advocacy in Scottish Island Communities: studio-based creative engagement 
Organisation An Lanntair
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution In this project I collaborated with An Lanntair (Stornoway), Shetland Arts Development Agency (Shetland) and Pier Arts (Orkney), three island cultural organisations who supported the facilitation of my fieldwork. In each island location, I worked with groups of young people (aged 13-18) through a studio-based approached. The studios were centred upon learning and experimenting with the zoetrope animation technique, which was used as a conduit to anchor group interviews on youth perspectives and connections to local cultural heritage. A key premise of the studios was providing the participants with an opportunity to learn new design skills. For this, I designed and created original engagement materials and tools, which, in each of the three studios, participants requested to keep and project partners asked to have templates for them to adapt and use in their own future youth engagement practices.
Collaborator Contribution The three cultural organisations supported me in the delivery of my project fieldwork by supporting me in participant recruitment; gaining consent from participants' guardians as the majority of the participants were under the age of 18; and by providing me with access to their facilities to host the studios. At the end of each island studio, the partners enabled me to facilitate pop-up showcase exhibitions of the participants' films and made artefacts, which the participants' friends and family were invited to.
Impact This project builds on and has strengthened existing institutional partnerships with these three cultural organisations, which has contributed to new project opportunities. This includes informing the development of a SGSAH Collaborative Doctoral Award for a doctoral studentship in my department. Outcomes from this collaboration include the development of key research insights that have since informed my future research, which, as an early career researcher, has been incredibly valuable in terms of writing my next fellowship application, which builds on this work and the partnerships. Other outputs include a project report and the development of an academic journal article that foregrounds contextual and methodological insights pertaining to youth island heritage.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Exploring Youth Cultural Heritage Advocacy in Scottish Island Communities: studio-based creative engagement 
Organisation Pier Arts Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution In this project I collaborated with An Lanntair (Stornoway), Shetland Arts Development Agency (Shetland) and Pier Arts (Orkney), three island cultural organisations who supported the facilitation of my fieldwork. In each island location, I worked with groups of young people (aged 13-18) through a studio-based approached. The studios were centred upon learning and experimenting with the zoetrope animation technique, which was used as a conduit to anchor group interviews on youth perspectives and connections to local cultural heritage. A key premise of the studios was providing the participants with an opportunity to learn new design skills. For this, I designed and created original engagement materials and tools, which, in each of the three studios, participants requested to keep and project partners asked to have templates for them to adapt and use in their own future youth engagement practices.
Collaborator Contribution The three cultural organisations supported me in the delivery of my project fieldwork by supporting me in participant recruitment; gaining consent from participants' guardians as the majority of the participants were under the age of 18; and by providing me with access to their facilities to host the studios. At the end of each island studio, the partners enabled me to facilitate pop-up showcase exhibitions of the participants' films and made artefacts, which the participants' friends and family were invited to.
Impact This project builds on and has strengthened existing institutional partnerships with these three cultural organisations, which has contributed to new project opportunities. This includes informing the development of a SGSAH Collaborative Doctoral Award for a doctoral studentship in my department. Outcomes from this collaboration include the development of key research insights that have since informed my future research, which, as an early career researcher, has been incredibly valuable in terms of writing my next fellowship application, which builds on this work and the partnerships. Other outputs include a project report and the development of an academic journal article that foregrounds contextual and methodological insights pertaining to youth island heritage.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Exploring Youth Cultural Heritage Advocacy in Scottish Island Communities: studio-based creative engagement 
Organisation Shetland Arts Development Agency
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution In this project I collaborated with An Lanntair (Stornoway), Shetland Arts Development Agency (Shetland) and Pier Arts (Orkney), three island cultural organisations who supported the facilitation of my fieldwork. In each island location, I worked with groups of young people (aged 13-18) through a studio-based approached. The studios were centred upon learning and experimenting with the zoetrope animation technique, which was used as a conduit to anchor group interviews on youth perspectives and connections to local cultural heritage. A key premise of the studios was providing the participants with an opportunity to learn new design skills. For this, I designed and created original engagement materials and tools, which, in each of the three studios, participants requested to keep and project partners asked to have templates for them to adapt and use in their own future youth engagement practices.
Collaborator Contribution The three cultural organisations supported me in the delivery of my project fieldwork by supporting me in participant recruitment; gaining consent from participants' guardians as the majority of the participants were under the age of 18; and by providing me with access to their facilities to host the studios. At the end of each island studio, the partners enabled me to facilitate pop-up showcase exhibitions of the participants' films and made artefacts, which the participants' friends and family were invited to.
Impact This project builds on and has strengthened existing institutional partnerships with these three cultural organisations, which has contributed to new project opportunities. This includes informing the development of a SGSAH Collaborative Doctoral Award for a doctoral studentship in my department. Outcomes from this collaboration include the development of key research insights that have since informed my future research, which, as an early career researcher, has been incredibly valuable in terms of writing my next fellowship application, which builds on this work and the partnerships. Other outputs include a project report and the development of an academic journal article that foregrounds contextual and methodological insights pertaining to youth island heritage.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Framing Heritage Through Play: An App for Greyfriars Kirkyard 
Organisation Edinburgh World Heritage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This was a collaborative project between the University of Glasgow and Edinburgh World Heritage (EWH). EWH are partially responsible for Greyfriars Kirkyard, which was the site of my field work to design experimental digital interventions to inspire new types of engagement. They have identified the site as 'at-risk' due to the impact of tourists on the infrastructure and environment at the site. In response, I used gameful design principles to design a mobile app prototype that encouraged different forms of engagement with the site.
Collaborator Contribution Edinburgh World Heritage supported me particularly during the testing phases of the project. They sought participants for a focus group that we ran in the middle of the development process to gain some formative feedback. They also helped find participants for testing the app prototype.
Impact The project has created a lasting partnership between the Archaeology department at the University of Glasgow and Edinburgh World Heritage, which has included an undergraduate dissertation that suggested alternative forms of engagement with the site based on other cemeteries in the UK. Another outcome has been the personal relationship between myself and EWH. They were recently awarded Heritage Lottery funding for building community relationships with the kirkyard and I will be assisting with several workshops associated with this. Finally, a stakeholder report and an in-progress peer-reviewed journal article are outcomes of the project, both of which make suggestions for the use of experimental digital interventions at at-risk heritage sites, particularly with a view of these interventions being led by community groups.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Playing in the Archives 
Organisation Aberdeen City Council
Department Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The primary object of this project was to explore the potential for making videogames based on the medieval Aberdeen Council Registers as a means of sharing these records with a broader audience as well as a means of carrying out research to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. The council registers offer rich and varied information about Aberdeen's medieval past. Project partners Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives and the University of Aberdeen share the objective of making these records accessible to the wider public. However, the archaic script, language and terminology of these documents make it difficult for non-experts to access the information within them. Games, given their vast popularity, present a potentially effective way of increasing engagement with these records. Rather than a game based on already existing interpretation of primary historical sources, in this project a prototype game was built as a tool of interpretation, drawing directly on a large body of primary source material. In this way, the project was an experiment in the use of games as a medium for historical research rather than just a vehicle for conveying to the wider public research already carried out in more traditional formats such as the academic article or book. This work built capacity for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives to use games as a new way of engaging audiences with its collections.
Collaborator Contribution Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives provided access to its collections and backing to use material from its collections in the project. City Archivist Phil Astley was in regular communication and attended meetings about the direction of the project. He also participated in discussions about follow-on work from the project, including the establishment of a company to make historical games.
Impact Draft article for peer-reviewed journal A complete draft of an article on the theory and practice of making a game based on historical research, drawing on my work during the project. This article will be ready for submission within 1-3 months. Prototype game A working prototype game called 'Alderman', based on Aberdeen's medieval records. In the game players take on the role of Aberdeen's chief magistrate and make decisions that affect the welfare of the town. The situations from which these decisions are drawn are closely based on archival sources. The game also provides detailed historical commentaries explaining how game content has been adapted from historical sources. Working on this game drove the wider reading on the theory and practice of game design that inform the draft article, and the theoretical conclusions outlined in the article have shaped the game prototype, demonstrating an iterative interaction between historical research and game design. Business plan A draft business plan for a company to make historical games, starting with a full game based on the prototype developed during this project. Games and research event A funded interdisciplinary games and research event at the University of Aberdeen.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Creative Engagement: pop-up studios with young people 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Between April and June 2019, I facilitated a series pop-up design studios with young people, aged between 13 and 18, from Orkney, Stornoway and Shetland, each lasting between 2 and 3 days, recruiting a total of 18 participants. In seeking to gain a better understanding of the degree to which young people connect with their heritage and cultural assets (both tangible and intangible) and to gauge the extent to which they feel they have a stake in contributing to and shaping their local place-placed community identity, the studio ethos fostered creative spaces for the participants to interpret and re-imagine traditional cultural heritage assets and unpack what cultural identity means to them. The key objective was to develop an innovative approach to constructing cultural heritage narratives through visual storytelling; generating physical and digital artefacts that embody young peoples' perspectives and experiences of their local heritage. Working at the intersection of reviving old technologies through harnessing new digital applications, the participants created low-fi and digital experimental zoetropes, which resulted in a series of digital animated shorts. These were created with a range of mediums including drawing, paper collage, and found objects. During the studios, the participants learned new design skills in filmmaking and editing. In parallel to this, I conducted group interviews with the participants to gain an in-depth understanding of their lived experiences in relation to their local cultural heritage. The participants requested to keep their made artefacts and and the project collaborators requested copies of the original engagement tools to use their future practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Public Feedback and Testing 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public testing occurred for the app prototype which was the output for 'Framing Heritage Through Play.' This occurred at Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh in June and July 2019. Nearly 20 participants tested the app and then completed a feedback sheet. The participants came from a variety of age groups from teens to 70+ and also included both local and international participants. The final results of the project were ultimately shared with all participants. All participants expressed a desire for the app to be publicly available.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019