AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractCivic LAB is a collaborative research Civic Lab is an interdisciplinary research group centred on participatory culture, creative dialogue and experiential design for social impact. How do we build communities (Manzini, 2019) and how can we create the conditions in which those communities can sustainably develop, innovate and thrive within the social, economic, environmental and cultural challenges of the 21st century? Researchers and practitioners in the Lab amalgamate a diverse span of creative practices and perspectives across the arts and social sciences to contribute to this burgeoning field of enquiry; interrogating, extending and redefining the value of creative practice to the public sphere. As a research forum for partnership and transfer of knowledge and best practices, the lab offers thoughtful and provocative readings of this sphere, through practical and theoretical acts of research and dissemination. The LAB promotes and supports a wide range of multidisciplinary creative research activities working with external cultural partners, public, commercial and third sector organisations, educational institutions and international networks. Through public engagement, participation and collaboration we aim to develop, deploy, evaluate and publish projects, works and methodologies which engender sustainable social, environmental and cultural impact. This research group is aligned to The Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre (DMARC) at the University of Derby, which addresses the shifting boundaries within the terrain of creative and artistic research. The work of the lab articulates a public pedagogy which effaces the boundaries between research, teaching, and the University’s civic agenda to create a positive impact in a range of contexts including, but not limited to: • socially engaged artistic research practice • health and wellbeing • social justice, mobility and inequality • participatory placemaking/place-reshaping • play, pedagogy and educational development • cultural heritage and belonging This is the first Civic LAB Symposium Civic LAB is a research group that sits within DMARC – the Digital Material Artists Research Centre based in the College of Arts, Humanities and Education. As a LAB we very much support and encourage a cross university way of working both internally and externally with stakeholder and the public. We want to use this symposium as a platform for profiling the brilliant research that is being undertaken by colleagues here at Derby but also those from other H.E institutions, such as University of Nottingham, Swansea University, University of Helskini, University of Manchester, University for the Creative Arts. We also have colleagues joining us from Derby County Community Trust, Derby Cathedral and Derby Theatre. We are joined by The Council for Higher Education in Art & Design (CHEAD), East Street Arts, Cumulus the only Global association to serve art and design education and research, The Mighty Creatives and European Cultural Academy, Venice. This fantastic group of organisations and individuals will enrich our thinking and sharing of methods of best practice and research and regroup our thinking in what we mean by Civic Life, and its impact on and relationship to each of us as academics, as citizens and industry professionals.
CitationJones, R., Murden, J., and McMahon, D. (2021). 'CivicLAB Symposium proceedings'. University of Derby, Derby, 8 - 9 July.
PublisherUniversity of Derby
TypeMeetings and Proceedings
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- Creative Commons
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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Letters to the editor: Comparative and historical perspectivesSteel, John; Cavanagh, Alison; University of Sheffield; University of Leeds (Springer Nature/ Palgrave Macmillan, 2019-10)This book provides an account of current work on letters to the editor from a range of different national, cultural, conceptual and methodological perspectives. Letters to the editor provide a window on the reflexive relationship between editorial and readership identities in historical and international contexts. They are a forum through which the personal and the political intersect, a space wherein the implications of contemporaneous events are worked out by citizens and public figures alike, and in which the meaning and significance of unfolding media narratives and events are interpreted and contested. They can also be used to understand the multiple and overlapping ways that particular issues recur over sometimes widely distinct periods. This collection brings together scholars who have helped open up letters to the editor as a resource for scholarship and whose work in this book continues to provide new insights into the relationship between journalism and its publics.
Creative and artistic place-making: creating a museology of Civic Dialogues during a pandemicJones, Rhiannon; University of Rome; University of Derby (Cumulus, 2021-06-11)Dr Jones chair of the Contemporary Art Working Group will discuss examples of how artists, educators and researchers are creating Design Culture(s) within Contemporary Art practice and research. It will consider this in relation to the Cumulus Community, so extending the debate on current issues, practices and research shared live at the Cumulus 2021 conference. To facilitate this, there will be a project presentation on Creative and artistic place-making: creating a museology of Civic Dialogues during a pandemic. Dr Jones invited Andrea Hadley-Johnson, Artistic Programme Manager, National Justice Museum, UK to co-present and share examples of methodologies engaged and devised through a co-creative and place-making model for the generation of public practice. This will be followed by an open platform for discussion. We will share ideas or acts of resilience, adaption and invention within Contemporary Art locating examples within a globalised frame of reference. The working group invited participation from academics, located internationally, whose practice and/or research challenges notions of civic resilience, design cultures, current cultural, social, and economic challenges in art and design.
Protest S.H.E.DJones, Rhiannon; National Justice Museum; University of Derby (National Justice Museum, 2021-08-01)This Artistic Residency in August 2021 summer, the National Justice Museum deigned by Dr Jones with collaboration from Barend Slabbert, and Interior Design Course Level 2 Students. Dr Jones curated a series of events, film screenings, talks and activities as part of S.H.E.D - the Social Higher Education Depot, with producer Ollie Smith. A S.H.E.D flatpack, pop up and mobile arts venue opened in our outdoor courtyard, creating a unique public space for activities stimulating discussion around young people and protest. The conversations also informed the development of an exhibition, due to open in January 2022. Dr Jones created a bespoke site specific installation for the Museum turning the courtyard that is Usually is a car park space, into a hub of creative, social and educational activity for a period of two weeks. We had participation from children as young as 5 right through to those in the late 70s. The research questions we addressed through this work explored how can museums, such as the national justice museum, look to create an alternative space for conversations with people about justice, the law and protest. We recognise that these conversations are urgent and necessary; for the future care of our planet and for society. To do this, Dr Jones created a site specific responsive space and programme with producer Ollie Smith, to interrogate the issues of social justice, young people’s opportunities and the impact on arts culture and heritage and to do that in radically different context for the museum and all activities we designed and delivered were free to attend. The outcome of the research highlights how it is often underestimated how important culture and social spaces are and the importance of co-operation, of cultural heritage and living heritage. We have witnessed first hand how inviting people to this space has empowered individuals, and brought people together, visiting the museum or passing by the museum. We had a blend of museum and non museum attendees – and shifted the parameters for engagement and of the physical blueprint of the architectural space. It was evidence that our approach increased individuals wellbeing which is an important pathway to learning, of providing the time and space to invite other to feeling that they have an important part to play in museum culture, that it somehow connects and belongs to them, that they have agency, and that their voice matters – sometimes even before the individual might know themselves just how important they are or how to use it. This is all underpinned by Manzini who talks about using expert design process to trigger and support meaningful social change. Which we can see taking place through this project and through the creation of a unique codesigned structure and artist led practice. The residency provided an opportunity to really challenge the potential of codesigned practices – and how we think about cocreation and placemaking. Over 17 days, and 2547 people of which, 1 in 4 were new audience goer to the museum and 2 out of of 4 were engaging with shed for the first time as extended activities and enriching way for them to experience the museum environment and wanted more and over 6,000 people actively engaged with our social media activity and with 13.5thousand impressions. The research methodology created a community of practice which is centred on a set of conditions that in turn defines that community as being a sustainable, innovative, creating a co-designed process from which new solutions for museum engagement of how to turn museums inside out can be done and where new audiences and knowledge is created. Shed became an incubation museum space, a hub of activity and action by shifting and relocating the context for learning and engagement. We extended the learning environment into the city, this action that has taken place has opened up dialogues, created new museum artefacts, and through this - documentation has started to build the foundations for an exhibition at the museum in 2022 as part of the legacy building work and inform the museums thinking about the potential of courtyard as a space transform and externalise the museum content bringing history outside of the building, engage with new audiences, ask questions such as whose history gets told and how does a museum connect with its contemporary audiences and public who live and work alongside the museum. The impact that asking these questions is having on future programming and public engagement is evident and by placing the museum in to the public domain through the use of a reconfigurable shed as a methodology has extend the possibilities of how different lived experiences can redefine how we think about the role , place, and opened up discourse about the future ways of working and learning for the museum .Together, we have generated a really exciting body of work, exploring protest and justice and climate change – the new knowledges and artworks gathered from the public, are informing the next design of shed and the activity that will take place in it, when we return in spring 2022 and informing part of our work into how we redesign and reconsider the outcomes and processes of social innovation and civic practice.