Arts and Design

Research ramps up at Creative Industries

QUT’s strengths in Arts, Media and Design research have been boosted with the consolidation of three research centres within the Creative Industries Faculty.

The move also aims to increase the Faculty’s global collaborative networks with an emphasis on transdisciplinary projects and the Asia-Pacific region.

Professor Terry Flew, the Faculty’s Assistant Dean, Research and International Engagement, said “The key to this new focus is the establishment of two new centres – QUT Design Lab and QUT Creative Lab. These have been established alongside our internationally-acclaimed Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC) to build capacity in these core areas.”

“The three centres will align with the Faculty’s new three-school structure from January 2017 – the Schools of Design, Communication and Creative Practice – to better service the needs of our industry and government partners. This alignment will also promote the transfer of research expertise into course curriculum, and generate more work integrated learning opportunities and applied research projects for our students,” Professor Flew said.

“The changes reflect QUT Creative Industries’ strategic focus on the key concepts of Create, Communicate and Design, which really define and drive everything that we do in research, learning and teaching, and in delivering valuable experiences and career outcomes for students,” he said.

Three centres for creative, media and design research

The DMRC, established in 2015, consolidates the Faculty’s existing strengths in Digital Media, Communication and Culture research. It conducts world-leading research that helps society understand and adapt to the social, cultural and economic transformations associated with digital media technologies, including developments like big data, locative media and wearables, to inform industry, governments and regulators.

Current research projects include: journalism beyond the crisis (Prof Brian McNair); intermedia information flows in the Australian online public sphere (Prof Axel Bruns); Australian consumer access to digital media content (Assoc Prof Nic Suzor); and the global role of YouTube in transforming screen media production cultures (Distinguished Prof Stuart Cunningham).

The QUT Design Lab, established in 2016, is based in the School of Design, and has pioneered an outward-facing, transdisciplinary approach to design research, that places QUT at the forefront of international leadership in this fast-changing field. The Lab is focused on developing design-led research methods and approaches to drive Australia’s National Innovation agenda. The lab will tackle major societal challenges in design across health and wellbeing, community, sustainability, social entrepreneurship, culture and environment.

Current research projects include: development of a youth mobile help-seeking tool-kit (Dr Oksana Zelenko); solutions for active ageing in residential aged care (A/Prof Evonne Miller); designing healthy and efficient luminous environments in green buildings (Dr Veronica Garcia Hansen); and commercially-focused research projects in design thinking, education and fabrication.

The QUT Creative Lab, also created in 2016, recognises that art practices can empower transformational partnerships with other disciplines, such as health, education, science and business, to generate new knowledge, create value, lead innovation, and assist end users as they engage with the great challenges of our era. Through new creative practice methodologies, the Creative Lab aims to deliver creative artefacts of international standing, while also investigating and creating significant outcomes for community intervention and societal advancement. The Lab provides internationally significant leadership and innovation in the performing, creative and screen arts, focused around experimental creative practice, disruptive technology, socially and ecologically engaged practice, and creative learning for the creative workforce.

Current research projects include: changing community and professional perceptions of storytelling and publishing in a digital age (Prof Helen Klaebe, Dr Donna Hancox); Over Many Horizons – an interactive experimental exhibition exploring co-creativity through audience participation (Dr Keith Armstrong); and research into the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM), Australia’s leading internationally-focused event for the contemporary performing arts industry (A/Prof Sandra Gattenhof).

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