Immersive Storylab – Exploring Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Digital Placemaking
May 2016 11

“As connected devices and services continue to develop, filmmakers will be able to place a story layer over the real world. Inanimate objects and physical locations will become an opportunity to extend stories and engage audiences in ways that propel 21st-century storytelling.” Lance Weiler

This project is exploring the possibilities for transmedia, augmented and virtual reality storytelling by creating a number of experimental films that fuse filmmaking, digital environments and creative technologies. I am particularly interested in the way that these immersive environments create new forms of embodiment and can help us to experience geographical space in new ways.

Many people argue that VR can lead to highly empathetic and emotional kinds of storytelling experiences, which could have a number of applications for the social sciences, humanities and the arts. They therefore have really strong potential for storytellers addressing issues related to personal, cultural, social and behavioural change.

Filmmakers and storytellers who are working in this area are also having to rethink the way that they design ‘story architecture’ around non-linear forms of transmedia engagement. It is therefore an inter-disciplinary project that explores a range of areas such as the behavioural and cognitive sciences, user-experience design, immersive performance and transmedia storytelling.

We are currently developing a number of projects, campaigns and teaching initiatives with partners and organisations under this banner, so stay tuned for updates as they develop…

In the meantime, follow the Immersive Storylab on twitter for updates and links to work that we think is really exciting. Or get in touch with me to discuss a project via:  mail (at)


Digital Media BA – a new degree exploring the digital media landscape
Oct 2014 11

I’ve recently been working on the development of a BA (Hons) Degree in Digital Media at Coventry School of Art and Design. It’s a brand new degree exploring media design, storytelling, digital arts and digital culture.

Students will be working on convergent media projects in content production, moving-image, storytelling, speculative design and a number of related areas across the digital arts. Designed for learners who want to be hybrid-media artists, creative professionals and entrepreneurs in the increasing pervasive digital realm.

First year modules will explore digital culture, convergent multimedia production, digital publishing, storytelling and creative technology. The year will culminate in an intensive ‘creative hack lab’ project where students put their problem solving, innovation and design skills to the test with a live brief.

The second year will explore the creative and critical side of the digital arts, along with modules in digital advertising, transmedia storytelling and opportunities to undertake professional experience. There will also be options to develop skills in other areas of media production, including photography, experimental media and short film as well as opportunities to undertake visits with international partner organisations.

The final year will focus on critical digital research methods, exploring how to use creative technologies for research and the creation of new forms of knowledge, products and artistic expression. Students will then use their skills to develop a final research project, aimed at creating cutting-edge experiences and speculative possibilities for the future.

The degree is underpinned by an interdisciplinary approach to the design and analysis of digital culture and media, drawing on a range of methodologies from the digital and media arts, sciences, business and creative computing subject areas. It will be addressing the implications, challenges and possibilities of living in a world of disruptive innovation, peer 2 peer collaboration, connected devices, augmentation, pervasive storytelling, automation, big data and the internet of things and exploring this through projects that challenge and critique it.

Students will be involved in live projects, real industry and cultural briefs and working simulations that are informed by problem-based, activity-led and challenge-based learning methodologies. This will be supported by technology-enhanced learning approaches in a department that is internationally recognised for its innovative approach to learning design.

If you are interested in finding out about the degree please get in touch – you can find me on twitter and linked-in.

To find out more about the digital media research work in the Department of Media please visit the Centre for Disruptive Media website.

Advertising and Digital Marketing Projects
Jan 2013 01

I have worked on a range of advertising projects and integrated marketing campaigns over the years. My role as Creative Multimedia Manager included setting up a multimedia department, that now has over 10 people in it, at Coventry University working on print, video, social media, podcasting, website and other content marketing initiatives. Many of these campaigns made Coventry University an early adopter of digital and social media for marketing purposes

These projects cover national and international student recruitment, fundraising campaigns, research marketing and internal communications for a number of stakeholders.

I instigated and project managed a number of major initiatives during this time, including:

  • CUTV– a Youtube channel fully integrated into the Coventry University web strategy, that has had over 3 Million views since we launched it in 2008. I created most of the videos here.
  • CU on iTunes U– a podcasting initiative that helped to put Coventry University on the Map in iTunes. This has had over 16 million downloads since we launched in 2009
  • CU Social Media. I set up and developed the strategy for the Coventry University Social Media including running and analysing the Twitter and Facebook accounts. In 2009 we were highly commended in the ‘HEIST Awards for Educational Marketing’ for the integrated nature of this work

Examples of major campaigns I developed during this role included:

  • “The Start of Something Big” fundraising campaign- in order to get government and business support for a £100 Million capital development I developed a campaign that included a brochure, video and a presentation presented at Whitehall and with various development agencies and investors.
  • Launching the London Campus- developing marketing and web content for the launch of a brand new campus in London, that now has thousands of students studying MBA programmes.
  • ‘Hear My Story’ An NHS funded campaign to get more people into Occupational Therapy
  • Digital Brochure Projects for a range of activities

Other marketing projects I have worked on as a freelancer include:

  • ‘Delivering Digital Advantage’- a British Telecom Annual Report video
  • BMW/Mini Videos- Promoting BMWs sponsorship of the 2012 London Olympics with case studies of athletes in the West Midlands Region
  • Whose Shoes- a video marketing project for a new innovation in social care
  • ACT UK- videos for a new virtual reality training centre for the construction industry
  • Institute of Community Cohesion- various podcasts and video projects developed to promote the work of the centre
  • NHS Live- a series of videos to promote innovation in the NHS.
  • Same But Different- a DVD/Brochure training pack on managing Diversity and Inequality in Education, funded by HEFCE
  • Blueprint- a film guide to European Structural Funding, funded by Add+vantage West Midlands
  • Live streaming projects include directing multi-camera events for a variety of conferences and events including ‘Climate Change Solutions’ at the NEC, the ‘Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Sports Awards’ at the Ricoh Arena, ‘Play the Game’ Sports Conference at Coventry Cathedral, ‘Creative Pie’ at the Belgrade Theatre and a ‘Virgin Media sponsored gig’ at London Astoria
  • I have also created projects for Warwickshire Council, Coventry Council and many more
Picturing the Body Open Course App Launched #PICBOD
Feb 2011 15

Over the past few months I have been working with Jonathan Worth and the Photography Team at Coventry University to develop an iPhone App for a free and open undergraduate course called ‘Picturing the Body’.

The ‘trendsetting’ app has been mentioned by the British Journal of PhotographyPDN Pulse, Times Higher Education and Professional Photographer Magazine. The innovative class, and the innovations associated with it, have been described by one of the teams collaborators as ‘an innovation in photography education’ and by Wired’s Rawfile team as ‘Blowing minds & shifting paradigms in photo education’.

The beta App allows people to engage with the community of practitioners and students who are taking part in the course. Pulling in photographs from Flickr, content from the blog, comments from Twitter as well as a range of photography podcasts from our iTunes U Project.

The intention is to see whether mobile applications can enhance the experience of being involved in the course and to help us to think about future developments in this area as part of our mantra for Open Media at Coventry University. Since the launch of this app, we have been involved in developing a number of innovations for mobile based learning, including the launch of the MediaPRO – Media Production Course App

To download the visit the PICBOD App in the iTunes Store and to find out more about the course please visit the PICBOD website.

(The image at the top and on my homepage – Crash Courtesy of Jonathan Shaw)

The Picbod App was developed as a part of my Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education. You can find the poster presentation of the PICBOD App here. Thanks to all the colleagues, students and other people who were involved in its development.

CU on iTunes U – Open Educational Resource and Platform Project
Jan 2010 05

I initiated and project manag the Coventry University partnership with Apple’s iTunes U, enabling us to significantly raise our international profile through open sharing of teaching and research resources.

At the time of launch in June 2009 we were the 6th UK institution to launch our content through this platform and since its inception it has grown to include over 600 open multimedia resources ranging from lectures to online tutorials.

The site now attracts thousands of visitors every week and now has over 7 million hits (including the other sites where we send the content to) and includes a diverse portfolio of free content from across the University. It also enabled the University to be Highly Commended for ‘Innovation and Creative Thinking Campaign’ at the 2010 HEIST Awards. bank of america site down . As well as paving the way for a number of funded projects in the area of Open Access for the University and the development of further applications and projects.

Prominent collections in this include the Coventry Conversations series, the Photographic Mediations series and the Open Media series

Find out more information about the CU on iTunes U project

Jan 2009 05

I initiated and develop this project, whose aim was to set up an online channel for Coventry University. To date the CUTV channel has had over two million views. It includes a range of videos including lectures, research projects and student work from around Coventry University. browser test tool . It is helped with the support of a number of people around Coventry University including students and staff from the Media Production degree.

The CUTV project is also part of the Youtube Edu global education platform, which includes thousands of free academic videos from YouTube’s educational partners around the world.