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Dr Claire Bunyan

Research Fellow in Culture and the Creative Economy
London College of Fashion
Researcher Research
Claire  Bunyan


My research:

My work is concerned with the preservation and promotion of intangible cultural heritage assets, especially in the context of Indigenous Canadian populations residing on reserves. This includes craft skill as applied to textile and dress heritage artefacts. I hold a higher doctorate in cultural anthropology which comprised a longitudinal ethnography observing the cultural lives of the Sisikawa people on the plains of Alberta. In recent years, this approach has extended to Indigenous communities in South Asia and the contemporary creative economy in the UK. In theoretical terms, I am especially interested in the deployment of philosophy and literary theory in order to interrogate social and cultural phenomena.

At UAL, I work on high-value research grant applications and supervise doctoral students undertaking traditional theory as well as practice-based studies. I am happy to receive expressions of interest from doctoral candidates in literature, creative writing, philosophy, anthropology and cross-disciplinary studies.

Grants as PI and Co-I include:

2015-17 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada "PhD Scholarship" (PI)
2016-17 British Council "Understanding Arts Entrepreneurship in the Terai Region of Nepal" (PI)
2017-19 ERDF "Cultural Tourism Development in Dorset" (PI: Dr Rebecca Hawkins, RHP Ltd)
2019 UKRI Strength in Places Seed Funding "Performing Productivity" (PI: Professor Jane Harris, UAL)
2020-22 AHRC Covid-19 Rapid Response Award "DREEm: Digital, Regeneration and Experience Economy Modelling" (PI: Professor Jane Harris, UAL)


Current research students

  • Michael Allton, Design as disruption: how can inclusive participatory design interrupt the social and cultural matrix that influences contemporary bespoke luxury shoe design? (Lead supervisor)
  • Maya Amrami, The Self Makers: Developing New Modes of Self Portraiture from Social Media as Multi-Sensory Analogue Art Practice (Joint supervisor)
  • Mark Hart, How can the creation of new body-dress assemblages disrupt linear ready-to-wear fashion design practice? (Lead supervisor)
  • Yvonne Ntimoah, How can fashion design education aid in Ghana’s development? (Joint supervisor)
  • Bruce Sinclair, The Super-Bowl of Fashion: Understanding the Social, Cultural and Economic Impact of the Met Gala (Lead supervisor)
  • Shirley van de Polder, Liminal Affections: a practice-led exploration on the influence of encounters in the in-between: shapes of associative thinking in 20th and 21st century European and American art, curation, film, literature and theatre (Joint supervisor)

Past research students

  • Laya Gerami, The Cultural Antecedents of the Veil in the Persian Gulf (Lead supervisor)


Business & management, and science
Curation and culture