Design Innovation & Cultural Resonances (Resonance): Place based Collaboration

Lead Research Organisation: Glasgow School of Art
Department Name: The Innovation School


Resonance will draw together creative economy practitioners and creative and cultural organisations in a series of productive civic exchanges centred upon the capturing, amplification and sharing of nuanced local knowledge and cultural assets to inform decision-making and community development plans. This will enable the development of innovation capability, capacity and place-based collaborations allowing for wider socio-cultural and economic impacts at a regional scale. Resonance will focus on the cultural knowledge of project partners, stakeholders, communities, practitioners and the attendant governance structures, to inform decision-making thus delivering local impacts in areas with no easy access to universities or research and innovation assets. Resonance will be led by GSA's Innovation School, with Professor Lynn-Sayers McHattie as Principal Investigator with Professor Steve Love and Dr Michael Johnson as Co-Investigators. Dr Brian Dixon, Research Director of Art and Design at the Belfast School of Art will join the team as a specialist researcher and Zoe Prosser as Project Assistant. Lynn has extensive experience of directing and delivering UKRI, including AHRC funding bids, and will guide the progression of the research through each of its key phases. Resonance has been conceived and shaped in collaboration with project partners: Shetland Arts Development Agency; A' the Airts, Sanquhar; and North Down Borough Council in N. Ireland, in addition to connecting directly with the Scottish Governments Island Plan. It will focus on knowledge exchange within the creative and cultural economy with a longer-term view for evidence-based research to contribute to local regeneration and development plans. The two contexts of Shetland and Sanquhar and their discreet cultural, heritage and geographic attributes opens up the potential for new pathways to impact as each community is enmeshed within the wider inquiry. In scaling these two prior engagements, County Down, N. Ireland - Ards and North Down - will focus on the transferability of coordinated civic dialogues as a means of shaping productive, place-based collaborations. Throughout, Resonance will foreground direct impact for the communities involved through both the exploration and articulation of cultural assets related to place, landscape and craft. A key output of the project will be a Cultural Assets Framework that articulates place-based cultural assets towards advancing inclusive growth, sustainable innovation and equality; providing valuable insights that contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (, specifically SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), SDG 5 (Gender Equalities), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities). Resonance will take place over the course of 12 months (January 2022-23) and progress through three distinct, interrelating phases: scoping and planning; speaker's series and civic exchanges; evaluation and dissemination. The civic exchanges will allow each respective community to explore issues around place, landscape and cultural assets through the lenses of renewal, sustainability and the future of communities. The civic exchanges will also facilitate local knowledge around the ways and means by which cultural heritage can be articulated and contribute to community strategies and development plans. In this latter aspect, attention will be paid to the distinction between the local and the regional, and the extent to which intercommunal comparisons may be drawn, as well as whether it is possible to scale up to a national perspective. The Resonance programme will conclude with the design of the Cultural Assets Framework and a Final Symposium in October 2022, which will simultaneously draw together and disseminate the insights and findings amongst the wider network(s), with the opportunity for partners to co-evaluate and trace the impact Resonance has had within communities and wider publics.


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