The New Real - Trust And Acceptance In Networked, Online Experiences To Enable And Support Post-COVID19 Recovery

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Edinburgh College of Art


The vast majority of cultural organisations face significant barriers in transitioning towards networked, online cultural and business models. We call this the 'New Real.'

New literacies and skills are needed to develop and delight online audiences while negotiating the profound, complex challenges surrounding safety, privacy, transparency, and misinformation in networked environments. Being able to critically reason about the function of a system makes us more resilient in the face of future system failures, or can help us to make judgements about whether systems are safe and ethical. Our project responds directly to this need.

Qualitative research through participatory design and ethnographic methodology will investigate the potential for strategies from data arts to be tailored and situated for organisations newly producing online experiences. It will specifically address the design of online and hybrid experiences to both delight audiences and develop critical literacies around the underlying tensions and moral dilemmas in the New Real.

Aim: to better understand how to facilitate and accelerate the transition to resilience through new cultural, social and economic models for the UK's world leading cultural sector.

This is supported by three concrete Objectives (O), each corresponding to a work-package (WP) and research question (RQ):
O1: Understand the strategies used by data arts practitioners and organisations to delight audiences and build critical literacies in the New Real.
O2: Co-design pathways with cultural organisations towards new forms of pandemic-resilient online and hybrid experiences.
O3: Synthesise a set of actionable insights, tools, concepts and models that can enable and support post-COVID19 recovery.


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