Research

I’m interested in Digital Placemaking and the way we can use emerging technology and storytelling to enhance people’s relationship to place.

My current research looks at Augmented Reality (AR) and Smart City technologies as a tools for Digital Placemaking. I am particularly interested in how AR, through the blending of the digital and physical world, can help to positively transform our experience of public place and connect us to stories hidden all around us. My work focuses on bringing storytelling experiences into environments such as the urban public realm, cultural heritage sites, on public transport and in deprived areas.

This practice-based research includes working on designs, experiments and prototypes that involve addressing the storytelling nuances and user-experience dynamics of Mobile-based Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality Display Technologies, Projection Mapping and Interactive Screen-based Media, Holographic & Volumetric Capture Technologies, Spatial Interface Design and Real-time/Games Engine rendered media experiences. It also often involves the integration of data and sensors to create platforms that are capable of telling stories in novel and dynamic ways.

Since 2017, I’ve mainly been developing this research at the University of Liverpool Research Centre for Architecture and the Visual Arts and at Liverpool Screen School and with my company, called the Immersive StoryLab.

From 2015-2017 I was mainly doing this work at the Manchester School of Art as part of the Future Technologies and Creative AR Hub Research Centres. Between 2011-2015 much of my research work was located within the The Centre for Disruptive Media at Coventry University- where I worked on pioneering digital engagement projects in education, publishing, archiving and storytelling.

Here are some of my projects:

Digital Placemaking, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality and Digital Storytelling

Projects in this area include:

  • Fantasia Express a digital placemaking / augmented reality storytelling platform utilising Augmented Reality and Location based media on Trains (with Me, You and Us / Corporation Pop and Virgin Trains)
  • CreativeXR digital placemaking prototyping project for a place-based AR experience funded by Digital Catapult in collabooration with the Arts Council, called COAST AR
  • ‘If these walls could talk” a mixed reality experience at the UNESCO world heritage site in Liverpool, in collaboration with Research Partner Draw and Code, LIPA and CAVA at the University of Liverpool.
  • Liverpool Digital Placemaking Project- an exploration into the use of digital media in the Smart City
  • Consultancy for a UK Innovate Project with Spark Compass- looking at new communication and experiential platforms for Smart Cities.
  • Invited Participant to ‘Fieldwork‘ as part of a joint initiative between Abandon Normal Devices and the Barbican
  • I run a number of research projects under the banner of the Immersive Storylab – Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality Storytelling including running a student research group looking at future filmmaking and immersive storytelling in VR, AR, Interactive Content and Transmedia.
  • PhD on Digital Placemaking and Mixed Reality Research at the University of Liverpool’s Centre for Architecture and the Visual Arts.
  • Lumiere 360 – a project in collaboration with the North West Film Archive, creating 3D Stereoscopic versions of the the Lumiere Film Archive
  • Medical Training VR Simulation – collaboration with Liverpool Medical School and Realspace LTD
  • KAFKA VR Immersive Storytelling – Collaboration with FACT, LIPA to develop a 360 prototype of Kafka’s The Trial
  • Beacons For Science (with Salford University): A digital placemaking project looking at digital storytelling in urban environments through connecting sensors in the city with augmented reality and virtual reality experiences.
  • I led the development of an innovative new Interdisciplinary Degree in Digital Media that explored the future of digital media through innovative speculative practice in convergent media design.
  • Contributed a chapter to the after.video project with Mute Publishing and the Open Humanities Press, looking at the augmented future of video as a critical publishing tool.
  • Secrecy Machine #secrecymachine – an experimental and performative transmedia publishing project on the politics and practices of secrecy with Kings College London
  • Latitude: An experiential concept feature film – Partly pedagogical, part teaching as research project, part experiment in low budget transmedia filmmaking – a feature film told in 12 chapters that are hidden around the web and in the physical world in geocaches.
  • The Liquid Cinema Project/Hyper-Cinema – thinking through the future of storytelling and expanded film through a series of events with industry partners interested in the future of storytelling. Developing speculative prototypes for the future of film.
  • Gallery Installations/Film Festival submissions include: Virtual (Anthropo) RealityThe Relativity DelusionEmbodied PerspectiveSounds of the Subway
  • I have also developed a number of projects that use augmented reality, social media and networked environments for marketing campaigns and digital learning, including
    • Media content developer on the Shakespeare Unplugged App
    • Various Augmented Reality and Digital Media projects at Coventry University as part of my role as Creative Multimedia Manager.

Open Education, E-Learning and Publishing Projects

 

Examples of projects here include:

Civically-Engaged Storytelling and Critical Media Practice

Projects

  • The Creative Activism Open Class – an open education project exploring the role of art in activism and critical media making
  • Deleuze’s Postscript on Societies of Control: An essay film/documentary on emerging power paradigms in contemporary digital culture.
  • Post-Secret State: Openness and Transparency in the Era of Gov 2.0?: An essay film on on the politics and practices of secrecy, transparency and open culture
  • Falcones Generation: A interactive documentary film on Organised Crime in Sicily, funded by the British Council. Released in 2017.
  • Migration Aware: Film resources and a short documentary for an transmedia education project on irregular migration in sub-Saharan Africa, funded by UNDP.
  • Fracking Futures: A short awareness raising film on Fracking in the North West
  • Same But Different: An educational resource pack on Diversity and Equality
  • Demystifying Visual Dyslexia: A visualisation project exploring artistic representations of dyslexia.
  • Delivering Digital Advantage: A campaign video & report for the West Midlands digital infrastructure needs.
  • Blueprint: European Structural Funding documentary commissioned by Add+vantage West Midlands to critically explore the issues of funding throughout the EU.

I have spoken at a number of conferences and consulted with a number of Universities in the UK, China, Australia and Africa. Find out about some of these projects.