The Innovation Insights Hub organises and participates in events aimed at understanding art and design contributions to innovation. These combine insights and ideas from practice and research.
Design Research, Social Futures
Panel discussion held on 6 December 2016 at Central Saint Martins, UAL.
Speakers: Guy Julier, Professor of Design Culture at the University of Brighton; Lucy Kimbell, Professor of Contemporary Design Practices at University of the Arts London (chair); Paul Rodgers, Professor of Design Issues at Lancaster University and AHRC Design Leadership Fellow; Ann Light, Professor of Design and Creative Technology, University of Sussex; and Adam Thorpe, Professor of Socially Responsible Design at UAL.
Design research has a long history of studying and intervening into social issues. Taking various forms, ‘social design’ has co-emerged over the past decade along with other new kinds of social including social innovation, social enterprise and social media, in relation to more well-established concepts such as social policy. Some researchers emphasise the collaborative and generative nature of designing as a way to do research that is co-produced with users and stakeholders. Others emphasise the ways that design research anticipates and envisions future possibilities and action. Others highlight the aesthetic dimensions of social designing.
In this panel discussion, speakers from academic design research shared perspectives from different contexts and formats for doing design research in relation to social issues. What kinds of infrastructuring and capacities are required to do design research that results in social change? How might current political and economic uncertainties shape the environment, support and need for such research? What are the barriers to social design research becoming more persuasive and more visible within the research ecosystem?
Introducing the event, Guy Julier gave an overview of projects commissioned for the Arts and Humanities Research Council exploring social design. These include Mapping Social Design, resulting in a report published in 2014. This was then followed by Developing Participation in Social Design: Prototyping Projects, Programmes and Policies (‘ProtoPublics’) whose outputs published in 2016 include a report and an animation summarizing much of the argument produced by Julier and Kimbell. This includes a proposal for ‘2 stage research’ in which the research questions, publics, methods, data are developed and refined through a cross-disciplinary, material, collaborative process.
Sharing her perspectives as a design researcher who among other things was involved in several AHRC-funded Connected Communities projects, Ann Light emphasized how designing is always designing for potentiality. Social design is not just about involving people in design, but it recognises how they will change with an attendant moral concern for anticipation and the consequences of any changes. Design research co-produces the spaces that anticipate the worlds we are making. For Light, the social design should be inclusive, deferred, different and reflexive.
Following on, Adam Thorpe reflected on the infrastructuring of social design informed by 2 decades of practical, design-led projects addressing social issues. For example, the Bike Theft project he led the Design Against Crime Research Centre had multiple phases and 7 separate funders. As principal investigator of the Public Collaboration Lab, a collaboration between University of the Arts London and London Borough of Camden funded by the AHRC, Thorpe and the team have been reflecting on what this project achieved. They identified 3 types of social infrastructuring that design research achieves: relational infrastructuring, to build mutual understanding and shared values; thematic – in which people get together around a theme with common objectives; and strategic, building up capacity and confidence to embrace uncertainty. But in a context in which ‘Politics drives change faster than social design does’, what are the implications for academic social design research?
The final speaker Paul Rodgers argued it was a great time to be a design researcher. He described his recent AHRC design research fellowship within Alzheimers Scotland in which he worked with more than 130 people living with dementia across Scotland helping them to design their individual version of the “Disrupting Dementia” tartan, using more than half a kilometre of different coloured ribbon in their prototype creations in the process.
Creative Lenses Forum London, 'Innovative business models in the arts'
A one day forum, 13 October 2016 at Chelsea College of Arts.
This one-day forum, took place at Chelsea College of Arts, is part of a four-year European action research project called Creative Lenses which is led in the UK by UAL and London-based independent arts venue Village Underground. Thinkers and managers from arts and cultural organisations, academia and business will be invited to explore business models in independent arts venues and performing arts organisation. The event will combine high profile keynote presentations with practical workshops.
Creative Lenses Focus group
The workshop was organised as a focus group and facilitated by Lucy Kimbell in collaboration with the researchers from the University of Basilicata, Italy.
As part of the EC-funded Creative Lenses project, UAL organised a focus group in collaboration with researchers from University of Basilicata, Italy.
The workshop enabled researchers to engage with London arts organisations, venues and performing arts companies through a structured session to share expertise and perspectives about developing viable and sustainable business models. Participants included The Place, Creative United, Arts Catalyst, Battersea Arts Centre, Corsica Studios, Furtherfield and Vortex Jazz. Findings will be combined and compared with outputs from similar workshops across Europe.
This was an invite-only workshop, held in February 2016.
Innovation in the Luxury Sector - The Key Role of Independent Firms
Guest speakers: Jonas Hoffmann and Laurent Lecamp
Chair: Lucy Kimbell, University of the Arts London
Luxury goods and services are associated with craftsmanship, rarity, uniqueness and heritage but is this at odds with what is happening in the sector? Four firms currently dominate, whose rapid growth has been achieved in part via acquisition. What does this mean for the smaller, niche players who have traditionally been associated with luxury products? What are the opportunities for brands aiming to create new offerings?
Based on their original research with businesses around the world, in this talk Jonas Hoffmann and Laurent Lecamp present four strategies for firms wanting to innovate in this sector. Sharing insights from their recent book Independent Luxury (Palgrave, 2015) www.theindependentluxury.com, they argue that independent brands are key to the survival of the industry.
This event is jointly organised by the UAL Innovation Insights Hub and London College of Fashion.
Who should attend
Business students, fashion, textiles and design students, innovators and entrepreneurs, researchers
Reimagining Adult Social Care
This was a half-day studio workshop held at Central Saint Martins in December 2015 bringing together people from different backgrounds to generate visions for looking after older people, informed by the latest analysis from London Borough of Merton.
Adult social care is in crisis. Demographic changes, funding cuts, health conditions such as dementia, growing recognition of the role of loneliness and other factors are resulting in policy, service delivery and personal challenges affecting millions of people in the UK. There is increasing attention being paid to the care crisis in the form of research, funding and entrepreneurial activity.
However, there are new opportunities to address these challenges from systems perspective by combining technology (eg distributed data gathering and analysis shaping service delivery), research (eg understanding of behaviour change to support older people’s wellbeing) and social practices (eg informal and formal caring networks).
During the workshop entrepreneurs, designers, design researchers, data scientists, and innovators working in local government responded to a challenge set by Merton Council and generated scenarios for adult social care.
- Visit the Open Policy Blog to read the notes from the event.
Arts and Humanities into Policy Making
A ‘speed dating’ themed workshop was held in December 2015 involving 11 researchers and seven policy officials from the Cabinet Office social action team.
Posing the question “How can the resilience and capacity of communities be maximised so that they are able to survive, adapt and grow despite chronic stresses and acute shocks?”
The workshop enabled research from the arts and humanities to engage with policy makers inside government. The Open Policy Making Agenda recognises that policy officials need to draw on a wide range of sources of evidence when making and delivering policy. Much of this evidence is based in economic and social research. Participants included; Arts and humanities researchers, the Cabinet Office, AHRC and Institute for Government.
- Visit the Open Policy Blog to read the notes from the event.
We Have Never Been Speculative Enough
Workshop held at Central Saint Martins during London Design Week, September 2015
The emergence of critical and speculative design was premised on the idea that industrial and product design were too closely interwoven with capital to allow a space to challenge dominant ways of thinking and being.
Instead, by engaging materially and discursively with technoscience, designers claimed to offer up new fictions and propose alternate realities in contexts as varied as product development, exhibitions and policy making. This workshop will ask:
- Has this work substantially challenged the political and ethical realities in which it is embedded?
- Now that the long-term future of the flagship course promoting this approach - MA Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art – is uncertain, following the departure of its head of programme Professor Tony Dunne and of Fiona Raby, what are the wider implications for design education?
- How can teaching, learning and research in design institutions be re-imagined to speculate, challenge and reorder dominant ways of thinking, doing and being?
This workshop explored these questions with contributions from educators and researchers, and invited participants to collaborate to create new proposals for design education and research.
- Jamie Brassett (Central Saint Martins)
- Duncan Fairfax (Goldsmiths)
- Ilona Gaynor
- Professor Lucy Kimbell (University of the Arts London)
- Matt Malpass (Central Saint Martins)
- Cameron Tonkinwise (Carnegie Mellon University)
Design and Entrepreneurship
How can design be used to align and coordinate different stakeholders including academia, industry and government institutions?
In the current networked economies, innovative ideas, competences and resources are sometimes distributed in different geographic, social and cultural contexts or possessed by diverse people and organisations. Entrepreneurs bring together these ideas, competences and resources forging connections, which can create economic, societal and environmental value and introduce innovative ways of achieving goals.
Luca Simeone discussed how design ignites, fosters and fuels entrepreneurship. Referring to design and social processes of innovation he explored: participatory design, co-design, iterative design, user research and testing, hackathons, design jams and living labs. These processes can be instrumental to support entrepreneurship precisely because they connect and align stakeholders, ideas and resources.
Communities of Practice initiative
This event was also held as part of UAL's Communities of Practice initiative, for which the Innovation Insights Hub has committed to focus its discourse on evaluation methodologies. Within the discussion, this event provided an opportunity for academics, students, university management staff and invited industry guests to share experiences of evaluation methodologies used in collaborative projects.
Visiting researcher in design management and interaction design
Event hosted at London College of Communication, 12 March 2015.
Stepping into our Creativity
Creativity is perceived and often used as embellishment or enhancement. We propose that distillation is more powerful than embellishment. Useful creativity is about experience and experiential practice.
In our virtual world we become more distant and mistrusting of our own unique sensorial life. Our work as researchers and engagers is intrinsically linked to our ability to empathise.
This is a sensorial and emotional quality that is about one’s own ability to be fully present and cognitive. Using techniques drawn from performance and art, Martin Gent led an experiential session inviting participants to re-engage with their own unique creativity. Exploring our ability to be comfortable with the ‘mess’ inherent in working creatively; to enjoy complexity; to release our tendency to want to control; to be embodied and confident to let things appear; to explore our ability to be fully present, playful and innovative.
Stepping into our Creativity – It starts with us: Building ‘in-sight’ for organisational development.
Co-owner and Director of Creativity, Spinach.
Held at Chelsea College of Arts, 11 February 2015.
Connecting Design and Fashion Business
How can we foster collaborative innovation across design, fashion SMEs and academic research?
In today’s fast changing business landscape the capacity of SMEs to prosper in the fashion and textile industry is strongly tied to their ability to continuously innovate. In particular, embracing the open innovation approach, it is strategic for SMEs to understand how they can link with fashion design and academic research. Indeed, the collaborative innovation emerging from fusing fashion business needs, design thinking and creative research investigation is a fundamental driver to think differently and explore new business models in fashion and textiles sector.
The Arts&Innovation Discourse proposed a roundtable discussing FIREup (Fashion, Innovation, Research, and Enterprise), a pilot project that has opened up a dynamic creative space for collaboration between UK designer fashion SMEs and academic researchers in order to catalyse innovation, bring research closer to the industry and stimulate sustainable business growth for the UK designer fashion sector. This project offers the opportunity to explore how the synergy among design, business and research can inspire new innovative sustainable business models for typical micro and small enterprises in the fashion and textile design sector.
Held at London College of Fashion, 9 December 2014.
Further information about the FIREup project and videos is available on the project website.
Performing Arts for Innovation
How can drama and theatre be applied to support innovation and organisational development?
Innovation Gym is a research initiative at the School for Innovation, Design and Engineering, Mälardalen University in Eskilstuna, Sweden. It connects different researchers from the school, mainly from the department of Innovation Management, with the aim of collecting knowledge, methods and research around how innovation competence can be developed and supported on individual, group and organizational level. This project incorporates different dimensions from developing training programmes to developing innovation competence to create a physical space - an innovation gym, with different training machines on which visitors can train their innovation competence.
Professor Tomas Backström and Research Fellow Nina Bozic Yams, School of Design, Innovation and Engineering, Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna, Sweden.
Imagination into Action: an applied drama and theatre in innovation and organisational development workshop
This workshop considered the key question: “How can drama and theatre be applied to support innovation and organisational development?” The workshop simulated the process of Research-based Theatre (RBT) as a form of arts-based initiative in the context of practice-based innovation. Emphasis was placed on the articulation of the stages of artful inquiry through a demonstration of the combined use of Process Drama and Work Story. The workshop offered a space to discuss what these arts-based initiatives actually mean in organisational contexts when employees, managers, customers are trying to find out how to improve and renew practices, services, products, organisational culture or organisational climate or find out how they can survive in crisis, in perplexed situations and complex relationships.
Dr. Anne Pässilä, LUT, Lahti School of Innovation.
Professor Allan Owens, University of Chester.
Held at Central Saint Martins, 14 November 2013.
Mind the Gap - Bridging Arts and Business for Innovation
Event held as part of the Arts2Innovation Forum launched at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, 9 September 2014.
In order to achieve success and maintain growth and stability companies need to be able to adapt and evolve. Injecting more culture and creativity into business is a powerful way to encourage fresh ideas and help private and public organisations find solutions to the challenges facing them in an ever-changing environment. Art and design thinking requires critical reflection and provides ideas, techniques and processes which can be used as management tools. By adopting these models, organisations can benefit from emotional and experiential input and put staff at the heart of the business.
Our panel of experts shared their experiences and tackled a number of key questions:
- What is the value of arts and culture in business management?
- What is the role of the arts in organisational development and innovation?
- How can the arts contribute to improve business performance?
- How can arts-based education and research be connected to business innovation?
- How do investments in the arts contribute to wealth creation at micro and macro levels?
- How can arts-based strategies and initiatives be designed and implemented to enhance organisations’ value creation capacity?
- Nigel Carrington, Vice Chancellor, University of the Arts London
- Chris Higgins, Director, The MAP Consortium
- Professor Clive Holtham, Director of Cass Learning Laboratory, Cass Business School, City University
- Fiona Lesley, Co-director, The MAP Consortium
- Professor Jeremy Till, Head, Central Saint Martins and Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of the Arts London
- Professor Giovanni Schiuma, Director, Innovation Insights Hub, University of the Arts London
- Moderator: Martin Gent, Co-owner and Director of Creativity, Spinach
Nigel Carrington Arts2InnovationForum 2014
Jeremy Till Arts2InnovationForum 2014
Arts-Based Initiatives in Korea
Interaction between the arts and corporations to encourage social responsibility has been a recent focus in Korea, supported by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The Ministry offered corporations various consulting opportunities that incorporated their social responsibility strategy, and to build up a foundation for creative management with arts and culture. The Ministry has developed a new model of Corporate Creative Learning to introduce the possibility of training and business strategy based on Arts & Culture for corporations, by collaborating with the Industry Academy Cooperation Group at Korea National University of Arts since 2011.
ARCOM (Arte e Compagnia), a supporting project of Corporate Creative Learning through Arts & Culture, is the first step towards cooperation between arts and businesses. ARCOM has also provided various programmes such as research of arts-based management; sharing knowledge among internal and external experts and arts management related individuals; hosting open-forum and information bank for network formation; and curriculum development for professional personnel training. Underprivileged people in the Korean community will face new hope with corporations’ social contribution, and companies will get a motive for creative management through arts and culture. Hereafter, ARCOM hopes that more corporations grow with artistic inspiration and creativity, adopting artistic and cultural social contribution, and therefore, encouraging better society.
ARCOM offers development of an integrated model of creative learning and social contribution through advanced arts and culture that supports a cycle of sustainable relationships among policy, corporations, arts and academia. ARCOM spreads the knowledge capitalization of collaboration between corporations and arts, strengthening the capacity of the artists (groups) through expansion of the social impact of art, and matching pilot projects between businesses and artists (groups) in the role of intermediary.
Korea National University of Arts
Director, Industry-Academy Cooperation Foundation
Director of ARCOM.
Event hosted at Central Saint Martins, 7 February 2014.
Previous conferences, events and initiatives that the Innovation Insights Hub has been involved with.
- UAL Research Fortnight & Communities of Practice initiative. Central Saint Martins, London, 16 March 2015.
Research Perspectives of the Innovation Insights Hub. Speakers: Professor Giovanni Schiuma and Visiting Researchers Daniela Carlucci, Anna-Maija Nisula, Giustina Secundo and Luca Simeone, University of the Arts London, UK.
- 15 kulmaa: artistic interventions in the workplace. University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland, 27 January 2015.
Back to the future: the arts for company value creation. Keynote speaker: Giovanni Schiuma, University of the Arts London, UK.
- Workshop Tempus Project: E-Learning as catalyst of Learning and Knowledge in Organisations and Companies.
Matera, Italy, 22-23 January 2015. Learning and Knowledge in 21st Century's Organisations. Speaker: Giovanni Schiuma, University of the Arts London, UK.
- Conference on Intangible Capital, Ifrane, Morocco, 12 January 2015.
Intangible Capital in Morocco: Measurement Approaches and International Benchmarking. Workshop coordinator: Giovanni Schiuma, University of the Arts London, UK.
- Arts & Business Ireland - Business Thinking Rewired. Belfast, Northern Ireland, 28 November 2014.
Speaker: Giovanni Schiuma, University of the Arts London, UK.
- Economies of Experience Conference, The Chainstore, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London, 6 November 2014.
Keynote speaker: Giovanni Schiuma, University of the Arts London, UK.
- Knowledge and Innovation Network Masterclass: Measuring the Value of Intangibles, Tearfund, Teddington, UK, 4 November 2014.
Masterclass leader: Giovanni Schiuma, University of the Arts London, UK.
- 2nd International Conference on Art Economy Initiatives, Taipei, Taiwan, 28-29 October 2014.
Bridging Arts and Business for Cross-Innovation: session chair: Giovanni Schiuma, University of the Arts London, UK.
- TEH Meeting 78 - Cooperation, not Competition, JOHAN Centrum, Pilsen, Czech Republic, 9–12 October 2014.
Managing and Innovating Business Models of Culture Organisations: keynote speaker and panellist: Giovanni Schiuma, University of the Arts London, UK.
- The 7th Knowledge Cities World Summit, Tallinn, Estonia, 23-27 September 2014.
Do cultural and creative industries matter for innovation and value creation in knowledge-based business? keynote speaker: Giovanni Schiuma, University of the Arts London, UK.
- 7th Art of Management & Organization conference on the theme 'Creativity & Design', Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, 28-31 August 2014.
Integrative Arts-Based Initiatives for Enhancing Strategic Design and Business Innovation: stream organisers: Giovanni Schiuma, University of the Arts London, UK; Clive Holtham, Cass Business School, City University London, UK; Anne Pässilä, LUT Lahti School of Innovation, Finland.
- ArtLab International Summer School: Third:Space for learning on Artists and Organisations, Copenhagen, Denmark, 25-27 August 2014.
Learning Jam on Artbased Initiatives: keynote speaker: Giovanni Schiuma, University of the Arts London, UK.
- 9th IFKAD – International Forum on Knowledge Assets Dynamics, Matera, Italy, 10-13 June 2014.
New Business Model for Sustainable Growth: chairs: Giovanni Schiuma, University of the Arts London, UK; Daniela Carlucci, University of Basilicata, Italy; JC Spender, ESADE, Spain.