The Creative Futures Institute

Discover a more creative future

Check out our latest newsletters, giving you insights into our major projects, research outputs, and impact outside of academia.




Visit our archive

Dr Holly Tessler, Senior Lecturer in Commercial Music, has recently published a pioneering new textbook exploring the new field of interactive audio. As one of the co-editors of The Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio, she has been jointly responsible for bringing this ambitious project to fruition. This work represents a survey of this emerging and […]

Peter Snowdon’s debut feature, The Uprising (Belgium/UK, 2013, Third Films/Rien à voir), has gained critical acclaim, screening at over fifteen international film festivals and premiering as part of Documentary Fortnight at MoMA, NYC. The documentary is a multi-camera, first-person account of the Arab revolutions. Composed entirely of over 100 videos made by citizens and long-term […]

David Manderson and Eleanor Yule have made a quite an impact with their new co-authored book The Glass Half Full: Moving Beyond Scottish Miserablism. Focusing on the tendency of Scottish authors and filmmakers to dwell on the dark side of life, their study has been hotly debated on television, at book festivals and conferences. Published […]

Jo Ronan’s performance together with BloodWater Theatre in Leave Your Shoes at the Door, is a practice research project born out of her doctoral research. Jo Ronan, programme leader for Performance at UWS seeks to politicise collaborative theatre-making through BloodWater Theatre, formed to test research questions stemming from her doctoral research, undertaken at the Royal […]

By David McGillivray and Matthew Frew This article published in the Lusophone Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 1, n.2, pp. 232-251 opens with a discussion of the evolution of the Olympic torch relay, culminating in the London 2012 Olympics. This is followed by an examination of the corporate power and politics that surrounds the Olympics. […]

In November 2013, Professor Gayle McPherson and Professor David McGillivray published this report which evaluated the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad in Scotland. Commissioned by Creative Scotland, the report examines the Olympiad through the lens of a devolved Scotland, exploring how Scottish cultural programmes and projects are being evaluated and what this approach might offer for […]

Watch the Video now at – Turbulence – Alison Clifford ‘Turbulence’ (2013) forms part of the ‘Interstitial Articulations’ series of audiovisual works by artist Alison Clifford and composer Graeme Truslove. The series explores the space between sound and image through collaboration and is based around reinterpretations of a number of abstract photographic light paintings taken during […]

By Dr David Overend This article, published in the Scottish Journal of Performance documents and reflects on a series of ‘e-drifts’ conducted in 2012 through the physical and virtual spaces of Paris and London. E-drifting is proposed as a new form of cultural pathfinding for a contemporary city that is increasingly global, networked and integrated […]


Our research interests are informed by our core research values, which aim to develop significant, original and rigorous knowledge that has value and impact on society beyond academia.

Knowledge creation relies on insights from a range of disciplinary perspectives, but how can we build bridges between subject areas?
How can academic research bring insights that can help foster responsible decision making for the future of humanity?

  • Creative Practice 80%

  • Journalism 50%

  • Event, Festivals & Cultural Policy 60%

  • Visual Art 55%

  • Island Studies 35%

  • Science & Technology Studies 40%

  • Performance 40%


All of the research at the cf. focuses on questions that concern the future of humanity in the broadest sense. Whether it is through the creation of new aesthetic forms, discussion about the future of journalism, or attention to our media-event based economy, our approach addresses the gaps in our knowledge that arise from conventional divisions in research. Our work brings creative alternatives to research innovation that help us think more imaginatively about our future. The intersection of these approaches to common areas of interest provides the cf. with a unique contribution to broad topics about social, political and cultural change. The categories above offer an insight into some of the research clusters within our programme, while the tags below focus on specific content.



Many of our active researchers work across disciplines. For instance, visual artist Samantha Clark creates extraordinary artistic works that have been shown all over the world, while also writing on environmental philosophy. Alternatively, Professor Gayle McPherson has been heavily involved with Creative Scotland as a Board member and in the theatre sector, while also researching mega-events. This range of contributions to the creative research and practice sector allows us to build relationships for our students in their own careers, while deeply embedding our scholarly contributions in the applied context. Key clusters include Journalism, Creative Practice/Research, Events, Festivals and Policy, Island Studies, and Performance.





Research topics include




The media form an important part of the public sphere and our research in this area seeks to understand and contribute to these discussions. Our researchers investigate how the media report certain issues, how media organizations are changing
along with the development of new technologies and how we can study computer games from a social perspective to make sense of identity. We also undertake our own journalism to locate the cf. firmly within the public domain.



Major societal challenges all have a cultural dimension.  We can understand more about social, cultural and political values by investigating discourses and developing innovative practices, from mega-events to small-scale creative interventions.
Our research explores the future of urban/rural configurations, the politics and ethics of placemaking and representation, and the event economy.



The value of artistic practices and methodologies within research has grown considerably in the last five years, as social scientists draw more frequently on ideas developed by artists and as collaborations between HE and the art sector have flourished.
Our work focuses on how art reveals insight about the present state of humanity and future directions.


Rapid progress in the NBIC sciences has brought with it ethical, social, legal and policy questions that call for a greater integration between research in the STEM and non-STEM subjects. The last ten years has seen a rapid growth in collaborations between natural scientists, social scientists and arts & humanities scholars.

Our work brings these debates to a wider public playing a crucial part in making science relevant for society and theorising its value in the broader biopolitical sphere.



The development of new communication technologies has been accompanied by social studies of the user communities and our work contributes to this research by asking questions about the direction of technological change and how it will affect society.

The rise in telehealth, ecommerce and the transformation of leisure consumption are among the various ways that our researchers explore how new technologies have changed how people operate within their daily lives.



The rise of emerging sciences creates new ethical questions for society to debate and our research fills this gap by bringing together a unique collection of researchers in philosophy, social sciences
and the new natural sciences to develop empirically informed ethics that can assist policy making in promoting values that matter to people.


Visit our archive

Dr Holly Tessler recently spoke at the Pop Life event at the University of Northampton. The title of her talk was ‘Back In Black: Re-thinking Core Competencies of the Recorded Music Industry’

Dr Jo Collinson-Scott AKA Jo Mango will give an artist’s talk and performance at the McManus Gallery on 16 March, 2014. Here’s an overview of the event   Fugitive Significance” Helen Kellock and Jo Mango From February until 16 March 2014 “Fugitive Significance” is an interdisciplinary exploration by visual artist, Helen Kellock, and musician, Jo […]

Community Filmmaking and Cultural Diversity: Policy Innovation and Practice Conference Wed 22nd & Thurs 23rd of January 2014 Professor Nick Higgins will be speaking at this years Policy Innovation and Practice Conference. His talk titled, Assembling Scottish Identities: The Northern Lights documentary film project will be held on the second day. For more information and details on registration and […]

Last weekend, Prof Andy Miah gave a talk at the Congress of Brilliant Minds in Madrid. Also speaking were world leading photographer Steve McCurry, molecular scientist George M. Church, and Paralympic swimming legend Teresa Perales, among others. Here is a trailer for the event from speaker David Peterson, language creator for Game of Thrones. and […]

featured image: “Deep map’  Sarah Rhys 2013 Dr David Manderson spoke recently at the Bristol conference ‘Walking In The City Mapping Borders Symposium’ His talk was co-presented with Louise Barrett from the School of Education and was titled: Making the Ordinary Extraordinary: walking and creative writing. The talk drew on a Creative Scotland-funded, cross-faculty research project to […]

This weekend, Professor Andy Miah speaks at two events within NESTA’s Future Fest programme, taking place in Shoreditch, London. Find out more here

This week, Professor Gayle McPherson gives a keynote for the European Cultural Parliament on the role of national days & festivals in cultural advocacy and re-conceptualising National Identity. Find out more here  

Prof Gayle McPherson spoke this week at the Hybrid Museums event at the University of Copenhagen. As part of a visiting Professorship, Gayle’s talk takes place within a course led by the Danish Centre for Museum Research. Her talk focused on the following:   This presentation problematises the role of museums and the experiences of […]


Visit our archive

30 October and 18 November 2014: Curating Europes’ Futures is a collaboratively-organised discussion series which explores contemporary curatorial and artistic practices that have critically addressed themselves to the processes of socio-economic restructuring, identity politics, gender dynamics and cultural policies within ‘post-bloc’ Europe. The series will look to curatorial practices as they have evolved within the […]

CALL FOR CHAPTERS: Digital Leisure Cultures: Critical Perspectives (Routledge) Following the 2014 Leisure Studies Association annual conference – hosted at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), Professor David McGillivray, Professor Gayle McPherson and Dr Sandro Carnicelli are co-editing an edited collection on Digital Leisure Cultures. The collection considers what the digital age means for […]

UWS is a key Scottish partner in a new skills and business support programme recently launched by Creative Skillset targeted at digital content creators across the western seaboard of Scotland, most of Northern Ireland, and the six border counties of the Republic of Ireland.Creative Skillset is the Scottish lead partner for ‘Honeycomb – Creative Works’, […]

CALL FOR PAPERS: ANNALS OF LEISURE RESEARCH Sporting and Cultural Events: Contested Legacies Whereas the language of legacy has dominated sport and cultural event narratives over the last two decades, in recent years there has been a greater recognition that the outcomes of these events do not happen automatically but instead need to be planned, resourced, and led by […]

On 11 March, Professor John Robertson gave evidence at a hearing in the Scottish Parliament, focused on his research about the media coverage of the Scottish referendum debate. Here’s the footage and a link to the report which has caused so much controversy in the Scottish media.  

cf. associate Dr. John Robertson’s study ‘Fairness in the first year?’ investigates the television coverage of the Scottish referendum campaign through BBC and ITV channels from the period of September 2012 to September 2013. The objective, year long study found that both channels favoured the No campaign in their news coverage of the independence referendum. […]

From 2011-2013, Professor David McGillivray and Professor Gayle McPherson led a consortium that conducted an impact evaluation of Scotland’s London 2012 Cultural Programme for Creative Scotland. We are pleased to publish a link to the final report, which is now available for free. You can browse it online below (requires flash) or jump to the […]

This month, Prof Andy Miah accepted a role on the ministerial advisory group of Fiona Hyslop MSP, to focus on implementing Scotland’s Digital Charter. Meetings commence in December 2013.  This role complements the long history of research into digital culture that has been developed in the Institute and which continues in 2014 via our projects […]


Since 2008, we have produced over 70 events. Here’s what just happened…

Visit our archive

25-27 November 2014: The Creative Futures Institute welcomes Prof Kumiko Kushiyama and her colleagues at Tokyo Metropolitan University’s IDEEA Lab to the University of the West of Scotland where they will lead a series of demonstration workshops in making interactive “Device Art”. The workshops will be held in Paisley and Ayr campuses and will be accompanied […]

The Creative Futures Institute and the School of Media, Culture and Society are pleased to present an opportunity to see the new darkly comic British independent film Pubmonkey as part of a national tour. This free event will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s writer and director and the band The Len Price […]

18 November 2014: Prof. Katarzyna Kosmala’s new edited book Sexing the Border: Gender, Art and New Media in Central and Eastern Europe (CSP, 2014) will launch as part of the Curating Europes’ Futures discussion series at Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA). Sexing the Border is a timely intervention in both critical discourses on video and new media art, as […]

Cultures of Independence Event: Culture and Interindependence Location: Mackintosh Room at The Glasgow School of Art Date: Friday January 17th 2014 Time: 9.30 AM – 2 PM Admission: Free You are invited to attend our second event on the Friday 17th of January, Culture and Interindependence, at which our guest speakers are Fintan O’Toole, Jim Mitchell, […]

Prof. Katarzyna Kosmala launches her new book Imagining Masculinities: Spatial and Temporal Representation and Visual Culture at the CCA on the 31st January, 5pm. Prof Kosmala will also be speaking with artistic duo Kennedy Browne prior to screenings of their works, How Capital Moves(2010) and The Myth of the Many in the One (2012). For […]

Showcased for the first time in Scotland, Kennedy Browne, a collaborative practice of Irish artists Gareth Kennedy and Sarah Browne, explore ways of temporarily occupying architectural fragments and cultural texts, merging ‘real’ with artificial, politics and kitsch. Two screenings will open with an artist talk and book launch at 5pm on Fri 31 January and […]

Prof Kosmala will lead a stream in the International Conference Arts and Management in Copenhagen 2014. The Theme for this year is ‘Creativity & Design’ Details of the call for papers is below: Stream theme Spaces of Precarious Condition: Bridging Cultures, Designs and Worldviews Conveners: Katarzyna Kosmala, University of the West of Scotland Miguel J […]

(image: Tushar Joag: Bombay Dowry: UNICELL intervention) Tushar Joag was born in Mumbai in 1966. He completed his Bachelors in Fine Art in 1988 (Sir JJ. School of Art, Mumbai ) and Masters in 1990 (M.S. University, Baroda).  After spending two years (1998 to 2000) at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, he returned […]


MCS Associates

Associates from the School of Media, Culture & Society






Get Adobe Flash player

Visit our archive


The Creative Futures Institute is based across two campuses, Paisley and Ayr. Visits are usually to Paisley and you can find a map below for directions.

View Larger Map

For initial inquiries and post, please contact:

Graham Jeffery

Creative Futures Institute
School of Creative & Cultural Industries
University of the West of Scotland
Room 211, Barbour Building
1 High St, Paisley ,
Scotland, UK
twitter: @CreativeFutur 


  • Name (Required)

  • Email (Required)

  • Twitter ID

  • Message (Required)