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UAL announces the AKO Storytelling Institute

Wall Installation about storytelling by Sean Anthony Murphy
  • Written byCommunications Team
  • Published date16 December 2020
Wall Installation about storytelling by Sean Anthony Murphy

UAL is delighted to announce the launch of a new initiative – the AKO Storytelling Institute – which has been made possible thanks to an extraordinary gift of £4m from the AKO Foundation.

Over the last three years, we have established a powerful new model of academic delivery, UAL Institutes, which has built upon and added to the global reputation of our six acclaimed art and design colleges. Following the success of the Creative Computing Institute, Social Design Institute and Decolonising Arts Institute, our new venture will create a fourth UAL Institute in a vital and topical new field: Storytelling.

In an era of fake news, a global pandemic, the growing influence of social media, and inaction in the face of a climate emergency, the manner in which we create, receive and understand narratives about the world around us is more important than ever. At UAL, we conceive of storytelling in the broadest sense – making meaning in visual, verbal, immersive and physical arenas. We already have significant areas of expertise in a very wide range of storytelling fields, as well as being the guardians of influential storytelling assets and special collections. The new AKO Storytelling Institute will explore the formidable applications of storytelling beyond cultural production.

UAL Vice-Chancellor, Nigel Carrington said: “We believe this new Institute has the potential to become an influential academic leader in a range of narrative disciplines. In particular, there is a unique opportunity to explore applied storytelling as a positive transformative agent in policy, climate, healthcare, the economy, and other arenas of societal change”

2021 will operate as a pilot year for the AKO Storytelling Institute and we are currently seeking a twelve-month secondment for a new Development Director who will formulate the longer-term academic strategy and delivery model for the Institute in teaching, research and knowledge exchange, as well as exploring UAL’s public programming offer. Further details of the position are available here.

We would like to thank the AKO Foundation for their extraordinary commitment to UAL, which represents one of the largest gifts in our history at a time of unprecedented challenges.